Why are the Toronto Raptors so European? Do Americans want to play there?

Why does there seem to be so many Europeans on the Raptors roster? What are the Raptors trying to do? Why did Hedo Turkoglu sign there? Is it because Toronto is a world class city? Toronto is a world class city but there is another reason to these moves. The answer is that Bryan Colangelo is a genius. His main plan is to fill the entire Raptors roster with Europeans to help Chris Bosh. What a genius!!! European basketball players for the most part are better basketball players than Americans. And it helps sell tickets in Canada. Canadians are closer to Europeans. A country colonized a long time ago by the French and the British. They have a large french speaking population. The fans like the European players because it resembles them, so that sells tickets. Canada also has more of a European style compared to America. That is why European players want to sign in Toronto. That is why Hedo Turkoglu decided, at the last minute, to sign there. Because his wife liked the city, probably reminds her of Turkey. And that explains why Colangelo is signing so many Europeans. I personally think the Raptors should move to Europe, to take on the competition in the Euro league. What Colangelo needs to do next is sign a Chinese player to take advantage of that large Asian population in Canada.

Raptors current roster: Filled with Europeans, more than the average NBA roster.
Andrea Bargnani (Italy)  (over LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy in 2006 NBA Draft)
Jose Calderon (Spain)
Hedo Turkoglu (Turkey)
Roko Ukic (Croatia)
Rasho Nesterovic (Slovenia)
Pops Mensah-Bonsu (Britain)
Marco Belinelli (Italy)

Former players:
Jorge Garbajosa (Spain)
Uros Slokar (Slovenia)
Primoz Brezec (Slovenia)

Another question is do Americans want to sign in Canada? No they do not. It hurts the Raptors that they are in another country. A good example of this is Steve Francis in the 1999 NBA draft, in tears after hearing he was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He demanded a trade and never played for the Grizzlies. And the Vancouver Grizzlies folded and moved to Memphis. What I mean is most Americans think Canada is a joke, even though its actually a great country. But no way Lebron James(the best player in the world) signs with the Toronto Raptors!!! Its CANADA!!! Nike would never allow it. I mean imagine Michael Jordan signing with the Toronto Raptors, back in the day. That would be crazy!!! Or course it matters a lot if the team actually wins or not.

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~ by Travis on July 26, 2009.

20 Responses to “Why are the Toronto Raptors so European? Do Americans want to play there?”

  1. […] NBA Inside & Other Stuff Another question is do Americans want to sign in Canada? No they do not. It hurts the Raptors that they are in another country. A good example of this is Steve Francis in the 1999 NBA draft, in tears after hearing he was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He demanded a trade and never played for the Grizzlies. And the Vancouver Grizzlies folded and moved to Memphis. What I mean is most Americans think Canada is a joke, even though its actually a great country. But no way Lebron James(the best player in the world) signs with the Toronto Raptors!!! Its CANADA!!! Nike would never allow it. I mean imagine Michael Jordan signing with the Toronto Raptors, back in the day. That would be crazy!!! Or course it matters a lot if the team actually wins or not. […]

  2. “Another question is do Americans want to sign in Canada? No they do not.” Great analysis. 100% of Americans do not like to play in Canada?! Wow. Great research. Oh, wait, sorry – you do give ONE example. The class act Francis obviously speaks for all Americans.
    Question(s):
    1) have you ever been to Toronto or watched a game there
    2) explain why Canada is so much different than the U.S.
    3) would a player rather play in a city of 5.5 million, an area that sold out almost every game, and for a country of 30 million potential supporters OR Memphis, Charlotte, Sacramento, Minnesota, LAC, etc.? Hmm…

  3. You are dead on about American players not wanting to sign here (not all but most)… and I never understand the people who claim this isn’t true. Its been seen time and time again. The reason? Just as stated…. they don’t know Canada and their agents/endorsements don’t want it. The big money is through endorsement deals… you get those by showing your stuff on Nationally Televised games…. and you don’t get those playing for Toronto (even when the Raps have a good season they don’t get nationally televised games). The big markets are in the states. Thats why I do like what BC is doing… taping into markets outside of America. If we get the rest of the world watching the Raptors, we can tap into a market much bigger than the US can offer (which means endorsement deals and thereby players are bound to start coming).

    Question though… is this sarcasm?
    “European basketball players for the most part are better basketball players than Americans.”
    Because if its not… you better check who the top players in the league are and how many of them are NOT European.

  4. You’re hilarious!

    Thousands of Americans come to Canada to work every year. Not because of some burning desire to leave the USA, but because there are opportunities to advance their career. The exact same reason they’d move from NY to LA or Miami.

    Sure there are a few hillbillys like Francis who are scared of their own shadow, but most Americans don’t find the Canadian border all that much of an issue. Anyone with character as weak as Francis is not going to be someone you should want to risk your high draft pick on. (Note: the more recent Yi pick.)

    Most Americans, with any ambition, will go where they can make the most money – and Canada is about as American a place as there is outside of America. The one thing you can say about pro players is most of them have ambition. LeBron can make the most money in Cleveland – that’s where he’s most likely to end up! Note: Vince Carter never lacked for sponsors, fame, or dollars because he played in Toronto, playing in NJ has looked like more of a handicap!

    Toronto’s Euro push came with Colangelo because he has strong connections to European basketball that he has only made stronger by hiring senior European basketball talent. And why not. It’s worked pretty good for the Spurs – its easier and cheaper to get talent that other GMs may have overlooked. Maybe Colangelo will find the next great talent to come out of China too – but I’d bet he has to fight off a lot of other GMs to sign him!

    Other than a desire to see Steve Nash more often, I never heard a Toronto fan say, “that was a great play, what’s on his passport?” Fans here like players who play hard and want to win! Whiners, pouters, and malcontents need not apply – I hear they’re real popular “down south” as well.

    Steve
    Hamilton, ON

  5. Yout a fucking arrogant piece of shit

  6. You are a jingoistic jackass.

  7. The writer of this story shows his ignorance of the city of Toronto on a number of levels.

    He clearly has no firsthand knowledge of the city or the country, yet bases his opinion on this misinformation.

    Toronto does not have a large french population. It has a very tiny french population.

    The province of Quebec has a large french population, and quite frankly, they would rather watch fat people eat than watch a basketball game.

    Torontonians do not want to watch players that look like them. They want to watch a competitive, well run basketball team that is committed to winning.

    Americans want to watch a team, that is white. Regardless of the sport. They also want to watch movies, TV, commercials and read magazines about white people.

    Please do not project your biases on this country and city.

    The writer seems to think that everyone in Toronto is of European background. Toronto is a very diverse city with people of all backgrounds, many of whom love basketball.

    When you grow up in a diverse city, unlike the segregated cities of America, you do not look on people that do not look like you, with suspicion.

    Right now, as I look at the raptors current roster, I see a team with a definite component of Euro players. Draftees and free agent signings.

    Given the availability of these players, at the time they were brought in, they were the right pickups at the time.

    Coangelo is not trying to build a Euro team. He is trying, like every other GM in the NBA, to put together pieces of a puzzle. One he hopes will be able to be successful on the court.

    NBA players want to win. If an organization has a history of success on the court, they will be a preferred destination.

    If a team is not competitive, free agents will prefer not to sign there.

    I didn’t see any bigtime free agents hankering to play with the Knicks this year.

    Nope, they preferred Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, LAL. All championship contenders.

    Vince Carter resigned with Toronto. He grew disgruntled with the direction of the team.

    Tracey McGrady did not want to play in VC’s shadow.

    This happens all over sports in America. How did this become a hate-on for Canada?

    Oh yes, regarding the most assinine thing that the writer said about Nike having ANY say where ANY player plays, just shows how out of touch this writer is.

    It seems like all you need is a computer and Internet access to be a quasi sports journalist these days.

    Sad times indeed.

  8. […] Why are the Toronto Raptors so European? Do Americans want to play there? « NBA inside & o… Another question is do Americans want to sign in Canada? No they do not. It hurts the Raptors that they are in another country. A good example of this is Steve Francis in the 1999 NBA draft, in tears after hearing he was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He demanded a trade and never played for the Grizzlies. And the Vancouver Grizzlies folded and moved to Memphis. What I mean is most Americans think Canada is a joke, even though its actually a great country. But no way Lebron James(the best player in the world) signs with the Toronto Raptors!!! Its CANADA!!! Nike would never allow it. I mean imagine Michael Jordan signing with the Toronto Raptors, back in the day. That would be crazy!!! Or course it matters a lot if the team actually wins or not. […]

  9. Carlos Delfino isn’t a Raptor yet, and as you wrote, he is from Argentina, which is definitely NOT in Europe.

    I realize that there are players out there who wouldn’t think of making a living in Canada, so I see your point here, but I always wonder why it is that when talk turns to players not wanting to come to the Raptors, it becomes a whole anti-Canada thing (and this is not an attack at you, but a general statement that I’m making).

    If a player decides not to sign for the Raptors, can we just say that he didn’t want to come to the city of Toronto, instead of making it an issue about the country? As another poster stated, Toronto really isn’t all that different from any major American city. The large French-speaking population lives mostly in the province of Quebec, not in Toronto. And I’m pretty sure that Hedo’s wife didn’t think that the city reminded her of Turkey. There is an area of the city that has a large Turkish population, but the city will not fool any European tourist into thinking that they’re back home. I see comments left by idiots on other basketball websites saying things like “Stupid Canadian” , but really, what does being Canadian have to do with anything? “Stupid Raptors fan,” I can deal with. Even “Stupid Torontonian”. But, there are a lot of Americans (and obviously I’d like to emphasize that I don’t mean ALL Americans) who look at the Raptors as an NBA team playing in a foreign country, and not as just another team in the NBA. I’m not saying that Canadian Raptors fans aren’t proud of being Canadian, but being an NBA basketball supporter has nothing to do with nationality. Again, I see a place for written pieces like this, because unfortunately, there are many who see things the way you do, but I really hope that this will change at some point. Cheers!

  10. From how poorly this article is written, it’s hard to tell whether you’re a Canadian with an inferiority complex, or an American with ignorance all over your forehead. There’s so many points of contention I could write a dissertation, but what I found funniest was this:

    “Canadians are closer to Europeans. A country colonized a long time ago by the French and the British. They have a large french speaking population. The fans like the European players because it resembles them, so that sells tickets.”

    So Americans are less European because the United States was colonized a long time ago by aliens and magic pixie fairies? Just how much of the population speaks French, because I can assure you that aside from Quebec, which is unique in its own right, few people outside of that one province speak a lick of French. Even in Ontario, you’re not going to find anyone speaking any French outside of French class in school, much less the other, less diverse provinces (exception being British Columbia, which has a huge Asian population). If you try to speak French, you’ll probably be met with blank stares. By comparison, Spanish is a much bigger part of the United States than French is in Canada, and you’ll probably find a lot more people who understand Spanish. Does that mean the United States is more European because so many people speak Spanish (because Spain is, you know, part of Europe), or perhaps more Latin-American?

    I’m not here to argue whether there’s more obstacles to signing players to Canadian teams — I’m sure there are, as there would be when you are asking anyone to move to a different country for a job — but the reasons you give, and the way you present them in half-sentences and ultimate declarations of fact, are simply laughable. Whatever you do, don’t quit your day job.

  11. I’m from the Toronto area and because of the previous posters, I don’t really have to say too much here — everyone else is bang on in their assessment and criticism of this ignorant blogger…. Try to actually research a city/area/country/topic before you ramble on ignorantly about it with sweeping uninformed generalizations next time. Brutal.

    Toronto is a world class city and everyone (American or otherwise) realizes that when they play here. Yes, it’s very diverse, but again, Colangelo doesn’t care — he’s putting the best team he can out there. Yes, he has international connections and generally likes the way international players play. Yes, some players are ignorant about Canada and aren’t interested in coming here but that’s not really the issue. And no, it doesn’t sell any more tickets here because of the international flavour of this team — the city wants a winner no matter what the players’ passports are. Maybe if they had a bunch of Canadians on the team, then you might see ticket sales rise — they are already strong though, and besides Nash, there are no good Canadian players (ok, dual citizen Matt Bonner maybe).

    VC resigned in Toronto and wasn’t seen as much on US National TV as he could have been, but he did just fine with popularity and endorsements, thank you very much. Bosh loves it here too and realizes that Toronto is one of the best, biggest and strongest markets in the league and there are bigger endorsement deals available in Toronto than smaller US markets like SacTown, Indy, New Orleans etc. Playing in Toronto as the only Canadian team, you have a market of 33 million — Bosh just signed a deal with Warner Music Canada for instance….. Most big US Corporations have Canadian head offices in Toronto…..

    The French comment and the Canadian history lesson was just laughable.

    Stick to writing about something else, please.

  12. […] the original: Why are the Toronto Raptors so European? Do Americans want to play … Share and […]

  13. […] do European Players prefer to play in Toronto anyway? I will see this bench only if I am injured in Toronto! […]

  14. Forget Having Europeans or players that resemble the crowd of Toronto do want an NBA Title! Aswell i would like to say every NBA team that wins nba titles today or even back in MJ (MICHAEL JORDAN) days consist of more american players then Europen players so i don’t know what Colangelo is doing. Yeah you may get more ticket sells but don’t expect an NBA Title. You gotta get the best players forget what the crowd wants. Europeans are great basketball players but America is producing way more superstars that take there team somewhere. European basketball players are good but i feel they are not ready for the nba level because what most them are doing is staying behind the perimeter and shooting also they never play aggressive always this highschool fundamental game. Andrea Bargnani? Have you seen him? He’s a 7 foot centre that plays like a guard no aggression. 5 year 55 million waste of money. Hedo Turkgolu over Trevor Ariza? Hedo Turkoglu Over Artest? You gotta be kiddin me. I like the Raptors because they represent our city but this is why they get blown out by every team especially in west and are seen as a joke to the NBA world also American Superstars. Toronto fans i feel have no knowledge on the game of basketball because the Toronto Raptors have sucked for many years but they continue to attend there games. They should realize Bryan Colangelo (so called good GM) is using them for there money by getting all these players that resemble the crowd but suck and are not taking Toronto anywhere in standings. In Conclusion TEAM USA! World Champs! KOBE!

    • I get what your getting at and maybe this is why american players are not attracted to Canada and the Toronto Raptors

  15. charming post. upright one decimal where I contest with it. I am emailing you in detail.

  16. imagine if we got roy or even rondo in 06 instead of this giant retard

  17. your all fucking retarded…

  18. Bringing european players to Toronto will sell out games, after all the NBA is a business.

  19. I love you guys are great

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