The road trip! Who doesn’t love a good road trip? It’s never not been funny to me that in almost all things a road trip is grand and fun — except for the world of professional sports (and, uh, the military). In sports, road trips are grim, generally not happy experiences. Case in point: the Raptors have ground their way to 2-2 on their current road trip after listing for most of it like a car with a flat tire.
Nevertheless, a road trip allows you to see so much and experience life in other parts of the nearby world. My last trip, undertaken the previous summer, was a day’s journey to New York City for the August long weekend. So set was I on this idea that I awoke before the literal crack of dawn to get started, beat the traffic, and make it across the border before noon. That was the easy part.
And so dedicated was I to the idea of having a good road trip experience, and a fruitful trip in general, I did not let myself get down when, somewhere in upstate New York, I was stopped for speeding.
Now, we don’t have to split hairs here and discuss how fast I was going. That’s between me, the officer who stopped me, and the nice and kind State of New York. And we don’t have to discuss how much my fine was, which is between me, my bank account, and, again, the lovely, totally non-frustrating State of New York. The important part here is that I dealt with the situation, promised to pay the fine, and rolled on to NYC.
I was determined to have a good trip, even after taking such an L. (And gotdamn, it was a costly L.) By philosophical extension (or stretch), the Raptors, with one game left on a five-game road trip that has them criss-crossing the country, still have time to bounce back.
But all of that is burying the lede — Lucas Nogueira had his baby daughter this week! In case you missed it, that’s why he sat out the game in Denver. (Not due to injury, which, admit it, was the first thing you thought had happened.)
I won’t pretend to have additional information about this right now, as the team’s been on the road for the past week. Suffice to say, I assume Nogueira is somewhere right now just beaming with pride.
I don’t need to make the case here for why babies, particularly when, you know, they belong to you, would make a person happy. The fact that Bebe now has a baby of his own offers up some kind of perfect poetry though. Godspeed and good luck in fatherhood, Lucas.
It’s hard to get too sad about Bebe’s play this week — even as the raucous good times on the court have quieted somewhat. Nogueira logged 41 minutes total in three games, took three shots (missing all of them), put in two points, grabbed two rebounds, added two assists, and four blocks. And most of these stats came in last night’s game against the Rockets. Oof.
Still, I don’t want to get bummed out here, so let’s end this section on this: Bebe talking about music, professional wrestling, and his video game rating in NBA 2K.
This is a clip, posted recently, that I saw Sportsnet filming on Media Day. There’s one for every Raptor and I encourage you to give some of them a watch. Highlights include: Jonas Valanciunas’ smile when he realizes he’ll get to do his Borat impression, Dwane Casey talking about doughnuts and Luther Vandross, and, my personal favourite, the inflection in Delon Wright’s voice when he says “I’m not a baby.”
Chin up, everyone.
Level of High Level
High Level Result: 10 out of 10 — The Raptors had a bad week, Nogueira didn’t do much to distinguish himself, but come on, he’s a first time father! I’m giving him a 10 and a cigar. Let’s roll.