In this post, I'll tell you why I'm so SMRT, and why I'm happy Hedo's in a Raptor jersey.
I thank the NBA scheduling gods this year for what so far has been my most profitable season to date. The NBA season has paid for my family's vacation and then some. As Tom Vu would say, "You can be rich like me! Don't be a losah." (as he stands on his yacht with a boatload of bikini clad girls). The secret? Pretty simple. Two-words.. Par-Lay. Essentially you can get a 3 or 4 pick parlay at odds ranging from 12 - 16 to 1 at any respectable place of wagering minus the juice. And lets just say, there's been some great opportunites this season and me going 4 - 5 has turned a measly $100 into well... something much more. There aren't as many "opportunities" the rest of the season, but if you look carefully, there are a few dates left with some what I call "Jason vs the Stupid Teenage Campers who refuse to run away because they want to get some" (TM). If you don't know what a parlay or juice is, use Google. I don't want to be responsible for your losses.
Anyways... another reason I'm so SMRT. Recall in August 2009 my predictions for the Raps: "December: A lot of home and aways but this is where they need to dominate. This is the softest part of the schedule and if they didn’t get destroyed in November, or even if they did, they need to move huge. If they go on a 6-12 start (which is very realistic if not probable) they may not have the confidence to run December as they need to. But let’s be positive and say they go 9-6 in December". And if you add in my overall prediction, I have them at 17-16.
So what does this all mean? Aside that I'm so SMRT. The Raptors weren't as bad nor as good as what people thought they were at the beggining of the season or now. This team is about as predicatable as Fox News after an Obama press conference. They're a slightly above average team and are exactly what they seem to be on paper.
I know there's been a bunch of hate on for Hedo, and seriously if it wasn't for the Salary would anyone feel the same? "Yeah yeah, but he makes soooo much money! He should be performing like Kobe or LeBron!" I understand you've all suffered from the Hakeem burn once, and the lingering effects are still there. But the reality is, Toronto will never sign a tier 1 or 2 F/A without significantly overpaying for one. Our F/As will NEVER meet fan expectations. Toronto will always have to settle for the minimum/low wage signings and fawn how great they are, and establish a love affair with them: Garbo, Parker, Moon, Calderon, Pops, Voshon Leonard, Dell Curry.
The reality is Hedo is the first significant F/A signing since the sign and trade with Hakeem... Hedo may never play up to his contract (in fact, I'll go on the record and say he won't), but it's also not lost on me that this is only the 2nd time in Raptor history that we've competed for a uppper tier F/A. The other reality is that, the Raptors may NEVER sign another upper tier F/A again. And for what its worth, Hedo is one of the key factors why this Raps team is competitive this year, and enjoyable to watch.
"But we're always going to be mediocre because our cap has maxed and will be sucky blah blah blah, and Hedo is sucky blah blah." Really? Tough. You have a choice. If we want a competitive team, the NBA formulae is fairly simple. Suck for a really long time. I mean pingpong balls for 4 to 5 years if you're lucky! Want a building plan? Check out Portland (years, winning percentages: 2003-07:.50%,.32%,.25%,.39%) , Cleveland (98-2003:.44%,.39%,.36%,.35%,.20%,.40%) , Atlanta (99-2007), Boston (93-2007, minus 2001-2003), Spurs 1986-1990, Dallas 1990 - 2000, Denver 1995-2003. The thing all these teams had in common was they had to hit ROCK BOTTOM and in general stay down there for a while before they became elite. The only exception to the rule has been the Lakers.
Now would I be okay with a bottom feeder for 5 years for a chance to win a Championship? Maybe. Unfortunately there are no guarantees (see Clippers) and in this town where all of our professional sports teams are constantently "rebuilding" (see Blue Jays, Leafs, TFC, Argos, Marlies and even the ROCK now), I couldn't take another losing team. If we had even one other winning franchise, then maybe. But if you want this team to be like the Jays for the last decade, then fine, take a pass on Hedo and don't even try. It's sad to be a Jays fan when you see your team not even trying! Boohoo, we've got the Yanks and RedSox in the same division, let's just give up. What I appreciate about the Raps, is even though I'm not under any delusions of a Championship team, I appreciate that they retool and try. None of this "rebuilding" crap. After last season, it could have been really easy to open up the "rebuilding" umbrella.
Of all the major league teams in Toronto, with Doc Holliday gone, The Raps now have the top 3 or 4 athletes in this city (Bosh, Hedo, Bargnani, maybe Calderon... then it's a long way down to Aaron Hill and Phil Kessel).
So tell me, what would your plans be if we didn't sign Hedo? The Raps would probably be 10-23, and we'd be moaning about Bosh and complaining how BC didn't do anything.
It's funny, how everyone loved Garbo and that he was a "glue" guy.. Yet Hedo is a better version of him. I guess you can only be glue if you make less than $3M a year.
The other reason why I'm not so concerned about Hedo's salary is that BC has had this uncanny ability to get out of contracts. He takes chances, but he's also not afraid to shake things up when it doesn't work. I don't love BC, but he's a magician when it comes to bad contracts, even if he was the cause of them: Hoffa, Dixon, Freddie Jones, Jermaine O'Neal, and every Williams that has been on this team.
And lastly (getting ready to come off my soap box), we should cherish a guy like Bosh. He's the only true All-Star left in this town. The city does a horrible job appreciating it's superstars (re: Doc).
Anyways, that's why I'm so SMRT, I mean SMART.