It’s a bit of a surprise that the closest player in the world to stealing the ‘best player on the planet’ title from LeBron James wanted to bring his talents to Canada.
Durant was interviewed on The Dan Patrick Show Thursday morning, where he said as a kid the Raptors were the team he cheered for.
“Believe it or not, I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors, that was my favorite team,” said Durant. “I was a big Vince Carter fan, and just liked their jerseys to be honest.”
Durant goes on to mention how he liked how the Raptors were a new team to the league, and the way Carter’s arrival helped changed the culture of the organization.
It’s certainly a pipedream for Toronto fans to wish seeing Durant in a Raptors uniform, but it does say a lot about the organization. For years, fans of the team have constantly heard nobody wants to play for Toronto because it’s in Canada, or its cold, or the differences in the school systems, or its cold, or taxes, or they don’t have ESPN…or its cold.
However, Durant expressing his childhood interest in the franchise is music to every Raptors fans ears. There’s no bias towards Toronto compared to other cities; it’s just a matter of being competitive. With Carter, the Raptors were competitive and for a short period were even considered a legitimate Eastern Conference threat. Unfortunately, since that period Toronto has hardly been competitive with, the exception of one good season during the Chris Bosh era.
Durant’s admission just goes to show that if you build a winner, they will want to come. Nobody wants to play for a loser, and that’s just the reputation the Raptors have across the league at the moment. Yet, when Carter was leading the team into the playoffs, Toronto was a desirable destination for players.
Who knows how it’ll take for the Raptors to return to being a competitive franchise, but it’ll likely require a player like Durant or Carter in his prime to get them there. However, Toronto fans can rest a little easier at night knowing there is nothing wrong with their city. It’s just going to acquire a winning record for the rest of the league to notice it.
After all, it wasn’t too long ago people were avoiding the Los Angeles Clippers while praying they’d never get traded there.
Oh, how winning changes things.