Toronto Raptors Play In a Winter Wasteland

By Shahab Khan
Terrence Ross Toronto Raptors
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto is a winter wasteland. That untruth is another reason why free agents — good free agents — don’t want to sign with the Toronto Raptors. That statement is false and the proliferation of that idea by the media, and that includes the hometown media, continues to hurt the franchise.

Sportnet’s Holly MacKenzie interviewed rookie Terrence Ross and with the help of the funny folks of the Basketball Jones word is getting out. The gist of which was Ross’ adjustment to his first year in the NBA with the Raptors. What is getting the most publicity is a story about one snowy night coming home from the airport. The details of which are very familiar to anyone living in any northern city in the league: cars skidding out and friends helping each other in getting out of a snow inflicted jam.

MacKenzie is a good writer and her views on basketball and the Raptors are worth following and reading. I have learned a lot from her thoughts and words. I also realize she didn’t do this on purpose but what has come out of the story may not be something the brass of the Raptors wants anyone to hear.

For the good of the franchise and the city, sometimes reporters should leave things out. I have always been honest about my opinions with the team and the roster but I have never put down the city. I am a fan as well as columnist and all I wish for is for the team to succeed. I would never put out a story which scares potential players away from joining the team.

MacKenzie has done just that. Anything Ross says, being the current dunk champion, is read many times over. Today the NBA is reading a story about how bad the weather and the driving is in Toronto. On how you can’t even buy the car of your choice and how you are left alone to get yourself out of winter hazards.

The truth can’t be farther. Other than Vancouver, Toronto receives the least amount of snow as compared to any other major city in Canada. Of those cities, Toronto also has the mildest temperatures and I assuredly can tell you that all types of vehicles can be seen at all times.

Have you ever heard any beat writer for the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, or Minnesota Timberwolves, only to mention a few, talk about how bad the weather was in their city? Look at their temperatures and snowfalls, it’s either the same or worse than Toronto’s.

I don’t get paid by the franchise or anyone in the league to promote anything. I try to discuss all the facts with honesty and only with my opinion. I don’t shy away from stating my opinion. I have discussed at length my disgust with Dwane Casey, Brian Colangelo and some of the players.

I want the team to get better and want the fans to enjoy the success as well. I would never put out a column that hurts the team in acquiring a player or hurt’s the city reputation. It’s not my job to talk about the weather or how nice a city is to play in.  All I want to discuss and write about is the franchise and its’ players. By writing this column, I am doing exactly what I don’t want to do but someone has to say something about how the media in Toronto may be one of the issues for any team in the city.

Shahab Khan is a Basketball and NBA Columnist with Rant Sports focusing on the Toronto Raptors

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