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Chris Bosh is surprised Raptors fans still boo him, but he says it motivates him

It has been more than two seasons since Chris Bosh left the Toronto Raptors via free agency to join the Miami Heat, but many of the fans in Toronto are still bitter about it. On Sunday, a number of Raptors fans booed Bosh when they hosted the Heat. The 28-year-old center said he is surprised they have not gotten over his departure.

“Yeah, I’m a little surprised,” Bosh said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “They (fans) pay their money. They can do what they want. I hope they just remember the good times.”

While he may not have expected to be booed nearly three years after leaving the city where he began his career, Bosh said it helped him elevate his game.

“I was hearing a lot from the fans,” he said. “I thank them for continuing to stay on me and calling me names. That helped my focus a lot. I was like, ‘I need to get in this game to shut them up.”‘

He did just that. Bosh scored 28 points in the Heat’s 100-85 victory — 22 of which came in the second half. Perhaps Raptors fans have yet to get over the comments Bosh made about being on TV a couple of years ago. But if he’s going to react like that when the fans boo him, they should probably bite their tongues next time around. Clearly the heckling isn’t throwing the big man off his game.

H/T SB Nation
Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Sam Mitchell: Raptors made me coddle Andrea Bargnani

andrea-bargnaniAndrea Bargnani was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2006 and has not developed into the franchise player the Toronto Raptors hoped he would become. The team has had one winning season since he was drafted, and they actually started winning this season after he got hurt. Though he is talented, one of his big problems seems to be his mental toughness.

Sam Mitchell coached the Raptors four and a half seasons and led the team to the playoffs twice. He was the team’s coach when Bargnani was drafted, and he says he wasn’t able to coach the Italian player the way he would have liked.

During an appearance on “Tim & Sid” on the Fan 590 in Toronto, Mitchell says the organization coddled Bargnani.

“I would say my biggest problem with Andrea is I wasn’t allowed to coach Andrea the way I was allowed to coach Jose (Calderon). I was a hard ass on Jose. I was hard on him,” said Mitchell, “but look at the type of player he turned out to be.”

Calderon was drafted by the team the year before, and he has developed into a fine point guard.

“I was not allowed to be that tough on Andrea because the organization thought he couldn’t take it. My whole thing is, if he can’t take it, then we can’t build around him,” said Mitchell.

“No one thought Jose could take it, but look at how Jose did.”

Mitchell was asked by the hosts how early the team decided Bargnani couldn’t handle harsh coaching.

[Read more...]

Amir Johnson shows his loyalty with a Raptors haircut (Picture)

Amir-Johnson-Raptors-haircut

Amir Johnson is in his fourth season with the Toronto Raptors, and the power forward is damn proud of it. If you weren’t aware of that before Friday morning, you are now.

Johnson tweeted a photo of his new haircut early Friday morning, which includes the Raptors’ logo — color and all. We have seen athletes shave their team’s logo into their standard haircut or their sweet high-top fade before big games, but Johnson took the detail to another level.

Should Johnson earn himself another ejection for throwing a tantrum like this one, NBA officials will now be frightened as they look at the back of his head while he’s walking off the court. That’s just one of many perks this haircut is going to provide.

H/T The Basketball Jones

Raptors rookies are the latest victims of backpack hazing (Pictures)

Don’t worry, guys — everyone has to do it. The Toronto Raptors are welcoming their rookies to the big show this week the only way NBA veterans know how. As you can see from the photos above, 2011 first-round pick Jonas Valanciunas and rookies Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy have been rocking children’s backpacks with the added bonus of stuffed cartoon characters. Since Valanciunas is technically a sophomore he got to rep someone cool like Bart Simpson. Ross wasn’t so luck and neither was Acy:

[Read more...]

Raptors will reportedly drive up the price of Jeremy Lin on Knicks

Over the course of a year, Jeremy Lin has somehow gone from a player who was destined to play overseas to a highly sought-after restricted free agent. Such is life in the world of professional sports. With the Knicks having control over whether or not Lin leaves for another team, the general consensus is that they will match any offer Lin receives in order to retain him. One of those offers is expected to come from the Raptors.

According to the NY Daily News, Toronto is high on Lin and could make him an offer that would annoy the Knicks. In addition to sparking the team on the court, Lin became a marketing machine for New York when he burst onto the scene earlier this season. There are a number of reasons they cannot let him leave, but a team like the Raptors could make things interesting if they become desperate enough.

Both the Knicks and Raptors are also expected to make a run at Steve Nash, but Nash is at the very end of his career and will only sign with a team who is a definite championship contender. Neither is a likely suitor, but the Knicks probably have an edge on the Raptors. If Toronto misses out on Nash, they could make life even more difficult for New York and force them to really overpay for Lin’s services.

H/T Eye on Basketball
Photo credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Raptors Fans Mock Kris Humphries with Giant Kim Kardashian Cut-Outs (Picture)

Can’t we all just leave Kris Humphries alone?  The man recently had his heart broken.  He was in love with a beautiful woman and ended up having to go through a horrible divorce.  He was completely blindsided by his relationship with Kim Kardashian going south, as she has an immaculate track record.  Yet for some reason, the poor guy was recently voted the most hated player in the NBA and has had boos raining down on him wherever the Nets travel.  On Friday night, Humphries had to deal with one of the most hilarious and brilliant forms of heckling we’ve seen from NBA fans.  Check out what some clever Toronto Raptors fans did to him:

Oversized Kardashian cutouts? Brilliant.  By now you probably realize the commentary that came before the picture was completely sarcastic.  Humphries knew what he was getting himself into so it’s almost impossible to feel badly for him.  That being said, booing him every time he touches the ball is so overplayed.  Kudos to these Raptors fans for coming up with a brilliant idea and executing it to perfection.

See, now you know exactly why Danilo Gallinari turned down Kim. This is the exact reason why it won’t be so easy to predict who the next athlete to date Kim will be.

Picture Credit: Jay Satur on Twitter
H/T Eye on Basketball

Raptors Coach Dwane Casey Put 1,300-Pound Boulder in Locker Room to Motivate His Players

Successful motivational tactics are hard to come by. Sometimes when you are a coach at the professional level, you have to dig deep to get your guys to play hard. Professional athletes are getting paid millions of dollars whether they win or lose. It can be easy to lose sight of the importance of winning, and that’s why new Raptors coach Dwane Casey came up with the most unique motivational symbol he could think of: a 1,300-pound boulder.

The massive rock currently sits inside the the Raptors dressing room as a reminder that they need to pound the rock all season in order to succeed.  In fact, “Pound the Rock” has become Toronto’s new motto.

“I knew we were going to be a work in progress,” Casey said. “Every time we walked on the floor we were going to have to have something to get us to think about — how we have to get better, we’ve got to work to get better. It’s from a story about a stonecutter. Every time a stonecutter hits a rock, it may not break. You may have to hit it 100 times, but on that 101st time you hit it, now you crack the rock.”

The rock is there for the players to touch each time they pass by it, and as the Raptors break from their team huddles they now yell, “Pound the rock!”

“That’s our motivation this year,” forward Jamaal Magloire said. “As you know, rocks are hard to break, and our goal is to break that wall and to persevere. Everybody gravitated to it right away. I just think you’ve just got to remember it and always persevere and break through that wall — or break through that rock — as we say.”

And you thought motivational tactics like this one and this one were weird? A+ for creativity.

H/T to I Am a GM for the story.