According to an old saying, “There are many [different] ways to skin a cat.”
However truthful this may be … doubtless … each distinct method actually starts with thinking of that cat in the proper way, in the first place, i.e. “skin-less”.
Four plus years into the tenure of current President/GM, Bryan Colangelo, and there is still a significant segment of the team’s fanbase which is thinking about the continued development of the franchise in a way which is not going to result in major on-court success.
How can we ever win?
Star US players leaving in a hurry. Big name free agents looking elsewhere. It’s a never-ending cycle of American players disliking something different. Like different is a bad thing.
Four years ago, when Bryan Colangelo came to town, he went European. Today as we collectively lament over the loss of Chris Bosh, I understand why.
Going European may in fact be this team’s only chance to win.
Take the Blue Jays. Throughout the late 80s they cornered the Dominican and Puerto Rican markets. Built a roster full of international talent and then filled holes with key American players.
On the streets of the Dominican you wouldn’t see a Yankees hat or a Boston Red Sox hat. You’d see a Blue Jays hat. Or Tony Fernandez uniform.
Maybe the same can be done for the Raptors.
If the Raptors can continue to build relationships internationally it could reap rewards. Scout heavily overseas. Hold basketball camps in Europe. Promote Bargnani in Italy. Bring in a coach like Ettore Messina.
Bring in non-American players who are more akin to different cultures. Players who don’t care what anthem is played before every game. Who don’t scoff at seeing kilometers written on speed signs. Who are more cultured than your average American athlete.
This is the specific comment which was left by yours truly, just a few minutes ago, at this otherwise first-rate Raptors blog:
The fact that Toronto is the only NBA franchise located outside of the continental USA is irrelevant to the organization’s ability to succeed in a major way, e.g. by winning the League Championship, one day in the not-too-distant future. What it will take, however, is the supplanting of parochial thinking which mistakenly believes that any one region, or nation, or continent, etc., is the source of where their [best] players “should/must” come from, in order to make this into a reality. Three specific things need to happen: i. Implement a new organizational paradigmn which actually prioritizes the winning of the League Championship; ii. Get the best players possible, regardless where they happen to be from; and, iii. Get a President/GM and a Head Coach who actually qualify [properly] as legitimate Transformational Leaders and authentic Basketball Experts.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11