Raptors 905, the unfortunately named Raptors D-League affiliate, announced yesterday it will hold an open tryout for a chance to get invited to the team's official training camp. The tryout is happening on September 19 at the Recreation, Athletic & Wellness Centre on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. According to the press release, you can register for the event here.
But before you click that link, let me ask an important question: Should you--yes, you--attempt to tryout for the Raptors 905? Here's a handy guide to help you determine the answer.
Do you own a pair of shoes?
During his visit to Toronto last season, former Raptor Charles Oakley was asked if he could still play basketball. Oakley, 51, remarked, "I'm wearing shoes, aren't I?"
No need to get super specific here just yet. (e.g. What type of shoes? Are they in good condition? Do they offer ankle support? Good grip?) If you can show up to the gym in something other than bare feet, you can play.
Can you move quickly in those shoes?
Raptors 905 General Manager Dan Tolzman has acknowledged, "with this being the only NBA Development League tryout held in Canada this season, we expect a strong turnout."
Forget that last part (you don't need the added pressure) and just keep that first bit in mind. Even though we're in Canada, you can't be showing up in winter boots. I'm sorry, maybe I should have been more specific after all.
Bring sneakers. You will be running.
How exhausted do you get by physical exertion?
You see the sweat coming off NBA players when they're on the bench, right? There's a guy whose job it is just to give them towels. Towels to wipe off all that sweat. These guys are working hard. (There's a whole other person whose job it is to mop up sweat off the floor. Think about that.)
Professional basketball scouts and staff notice if you have to take a few plays off to catch your breath (/make sure your heart doesn't explode). Just something to keep in mind.
Do you understand complex basketball plays?
Speaking of your mind, what kind of capacity are we working with up there? Basketball involves more than just running up and down a panelled rectangle. Yes, you'll also have to throw that ball around, and being able to jump is good, but can you move to the right spot at the right time to pull off an actual basketball play?
The impressive whirring Spurs offence doesn't happen by accident, guys. It involves a lot of practice (more running!) and a lot of concentration and awareness. You'll have to be thinking hard, too.
Are you tall?
Eh, you know what, forget that previous one. Are you a tall dude? I swear, you could make it if you're tall enough. There are guys making millions of dollars right now who, let's be honest, probably approach basketball like the Todd from Scrubs.
(Yes, I just made a Scrubs reference. This is why I will not be going to the tryout.)
Can you shoot?
So you have sneakers, you can run reasonably well, but you're not tall. Don't lose hope just yet! There's always, always, the ability to shoot. Oscar Schmidt, acknowledged as one of the best basketball players in international history, once remarked: "I am not an athlete. I couldn't move fast, I was not flexible, I couldn't even bend all that well. But I wanted to be a basketball player."
He scored 49,737 points in his career.
Do you have $225?
Well then, why didn't you say so? If you submit your application before September 15th you'll be in at the early bird price. It costs just $225 (plus applicable taxes; remember, this is in Canada) to chase your dreams of NBA stardom.
Wait, what? You can't get the money by then?
Fine, do you have $275?
Get it in before September 19th and go with God, young man.