As we reported a couple weeks back, the noteworthy electronic basketball video game NBA 2K18 is set to feature a league of what’s being referred to as All-Time teams. That is to say, rosters made up of each franchise’s best players in history.
For the Raptors, the names to be included here are obvious. So obvious, in fact, I can rhyme of initials and you’ll get the jist — VC, T-Mac, CB, etc. I still feel my assembled 15-man roster featuring the apex players from the peak eras of the Raptors is an open and shut case. But now we have the actual All-Time roster, and there are some interesting divergences of which to take note.
Have a look:
The starters are as most would have predicted — Lowry, DeRozan, Carter, Bosh and Davis are the best players at each position in the history of the Raptors. There’s very little room to argue there (even if you’re, let’s say, part of the JV Hive).
The bench provides the opportunity for some discord though. The first few names all make sense: Stoudamire, the Raps’ first star; T-Mac, the first success story (I had him in the starting lineup, but definitely understand the case to put DeRozan in that spot); Peterson the long-tenured man; Calderon the fan favourite; Valanciunas, talented enough; Louis Williams, the—wait what?
Here’s where things get screwy. Lou Williams, the guy who won the Sixth Man of the Year award while playing for a Toronto team riding high on his hollow stats, was only in Toronto for one year. He had a hell of an individual year, yes, but I think there’s a case to be made, in the long view, he did more harm than good to the Raptors franchise. The trade to get him made sense (turning the corpse of John Salmons into anything useable is always a good deal), but believe me, the Raptors as an organization were fine with letting him go. They only went on to have their best season in franchise history.
Now, the bounce back 2015-16 Raptors season is not solely because of the departure of Lou Williams. It’s unfair to put it all on him. But I think you’d be hard pressed to find a Raptors fan who would want him on this made up All-Time team over the likes of Charles Oakley (if you’re me), Anthony Parker (if you’re Eric Koreen), or even Serge Ibaka (if you’ve just become a fan in the last two years). I mean, the roster also includes Terrence Ross, who is basically a younger version of Lou Will as it is, and who also played for the Raptors for five years. I didn’t include Ross on my squad, but I can see why somebody would (if you’re Sean Woodley, for example). The case there makes sense.
But no such reasoning exists for Lou Will, a hired gun who came and went from Toronto with only a memorable Drake lyric and an empty Sixth Man award to his name. This is not the All-Time Toronto team I envision. And I suspect I’m not alone in this feeling.
UPDATE: LOU IS AWARE
Only 6 man award winner u ever had ♂️ lol https://t.co/XXvWmWtC50— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) August 24, 2017
Damn, he got us.