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Who's Ready for Some Raptors' Basketball?

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Yesterday in my recap of Basketball Prospectus' "Sim Season" results for the Toronto Raptors, I ended my article by saying that I was hoping recent NBA talks ended this lockout once and for all so we could discuss some REAL games. Well... Christmas seems to have come about a month early. As reported by numerous folks now, the lockout is over and the season will tip-off...yes, on Christmas Day. What happens next? SB Nation's Tom Ziller has a great breakdown here on the immediate and further off "next steps" but the bottom line for us is that we will get to see the Toronto Raptors play a 2011-12 season, albeit a 66 gamer. On Monday we'll start digging into just what this means for the Dinos, and the implications of a shortened season, but for now, let's just savour this moment considering the ridiculousness of the past five months or so. The NBA is back...yes, the NBA is back at last.

Raptors' DeMar DeRozan likes his pre-game Bieber

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Unless you're a legal scholar or one of the 47,000 who go bananas over live lockout updates, there's just not a lot to get excited about right now regarding the NBA. Sure, there are lots of rumours about players potentially playing overseas, but does anyone REALLY care if TJ Ford plays in Croatia during the lockout? That's why the current "No Season Required" tour that the Basketball Jones' crew is on, is a bit like finding a Gatorade stand after three days of wandering through the Sahara desert. If you haven't been following their epic adventures, the TBJ sextet has been travelling across the US, stopping off at various NBA cities to do podcasts and shoot footage of their adventures, all the while making fun of Matt. They're on Day 24 of the trip right now but on Day 23, they stopped to chat with one of the Toronto Raptors' own players, Mr. DeMar DeRozan. DeMar is his usual exuberant self but Tas does manage to coax a few gems out of him...including the possibility of DD bumpin' a little Justin Bieber pre-game next season...

A little CBA tutorial courtesy of an HQ reader...

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I debated writing a tirade this morning. A big one. The fact that we're now facing the very real possibility that there is no 2011-12 NBA season is ridiculous. Both sides here are at fault, and mostly thanks to some of the most deplorable leadership we've ever seen. But this article from SI.com's Ian Thomsen is really all you need to read, and having read it, my feeling for a major rant subsided. Instead, recognizing that we might be in for an extended work stoppage, I thought this week we'd focus on the lockout in a non-negative way, including a primer on the CBA, some alternatives to an NBA season, and later this week, a look at how all of this may impact the Toronto Raptors. We'll kick things off with some reading from one of our HQ community members, dhackett1565, who did an exceptional series on the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement over at Raptors' Forum. I've linked to the five parts in the series below, and then on Friday, dhackett is going to give us his take on what the owners' last proposal would have meant for our Dinos. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Meanwhile, I'm going to try and think about what the hell we're going to discuss come February...

RaptorsHQ - Redbull Thre3style Contest!

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We've been doing a lot of "lockout linking" and "simulated game recapping" on the site of late, so thought we'd take a Friday afternoon break to announce a little contest for our readers. Redbull is giving away two pairs of tickets to tomorrow night's Red Bull Thre3style Canadian DJ Final at Toronto's The Sound Academy. The event features a showdown between 10 DJ finalists from across Canada, and features a performance by producer and DJ extraordinaire, Just Blaze! How do you win? Simple. Just email us before noon tomorrow (12 PM Saturday November 12, 2011) at raptorshq@gmail.com, and tell us what the Toronto Raptors' record was during the lockout shortened 1998-99 season. First two replies with the correct answer will win a pair of tickets each!

Julian Wright Tweets About Racism On His Twitter Account

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Julian Wright: Being an "athlete" and a nice/cool dude sucks.. You get targeted as an ATM and when you say no to an opportunist.. you are the bad guy smh I understand I get stereotyped by millions of people but it's an OCCUPATION not a WAY OF LIFE.. It's what I do. Not who I am. I apologize to any and everybody that is offended that a BLACK athlete like myself has a CONSCIOUS and can't be fooled or walked on #wisdom Twitter ================== He tweeted a lot more about this on his Twitter Account last night. See link above.

RaptorsHQ and CanBall Report on CBC's "The National," Tonight!

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Hey folks, exciting news for us here at the HQ as the site was asked to be part of a story regarding the NBA lockout that airs tonight on CBC's "The National." The story will cover the lockout from a Toronto-perspective mainly, including impact on local business etc, but will contain some footage of myself, our Canball writer Ray Bala and one of our readers, Jamie Bennett, watching some vintage NBA games and discussing the lockout situation. The National airs at 10 PM EST on CBC TV, and 9 PM EST on CBC Newsworld.

Charles Oakley, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady on "Off the Record" Today

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We discussed this a bit in the comments section of the site but just a reminder that Oak, VC and T-Mac are being reunited today via TSN, on their "Off The Record" program, hosted by Michael Landsberg. Could be an interesting chat, and I'm hoping Michael touches on not only those "glory years," but also on a myriad of other things, from how the trio views Toronto as a sports' town, to any regrets they have about how that short era ended. The episode airs in a few hours at 5 PM EST and if you miss it due to work, it gets replayed at 6:30 on TSN2.

He doesn't look out of shape to me. IamAmirJohnson RT @hadisworld: Great workout session with...

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He doesn't look out of shape to me. IamAmirJohnson RT @hadisworld: Great workout session with @jonnyroxxmusic @iamamirjohnson @thisisveezy247 #lockedin http://t.co/XA9BmORj About 6 hours ago by Amir Johnson Toronto Raptors - Forward

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