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Culture Watch: So maybe not everyone loves the Raptors?

The Raptors’ young guns got no love from the NBA, but we still love everything about them.

Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyle Lowry is an All-Star for the fourth time, which comes as a surprise to absolutely no one. It could be merely the recognition due to both Lowry and DeMar DeRozan finally getting around the league (or it could have been potential bribery?), but somehow or another, the duo ended up on Team Steph for the 2018 All-Star game.

Or maybe it was the sweaters.

What is surprising, however, is that a bench for the team currently sitting second in the Eastern Conference, and so rich in diversity, could be completely snubbed from the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend. Out of OG Anunoby from England, Pascal Siakam from Cameroon, and Jakob Poeltl, the first and only player from Austria, not a single member of the Raptors was selected to represent Team World.

Fred VanVleet, who was eligible to play for Team USA, was disappointed too in the selections for both sides of the court. While Fred didn’t expect to be selected personally, he was dumbfounded that none of his qualified teammates were chosen to represent Team World. Coach Dwane Casey shared Fred’s disapproval, stating that he was both shocked and disappointed in the lack of recognition for his players. Coach Casey himself, however, has an All-Star opportunity of his own. With Brad Stevens ineligible to coach the Eastern All-Stars, Dwane Casey is next in line to be called up.

But we are not going to sulk over yet another snub from the NBA. Instead, we are going to take a look at all the things these boys love off the court, and all the reasons we love them.

OG Anunoby loves Demi Lovato. If you look at any picture posted by the singer, it is almost a guarantee that OG has looked at it and liked it as well. Demi if you’re reading this there is a lovely professional basketball player in Canada who would love to take you out.

OG also loves short shorts. When he entered the league, he gained a bit of notoriety as “the rookie in the short shorts.” His teammates may not agree with his choice of style, but OG, a man of few words, made it clear he has no plans to change them.

Meanwhile, VanVleet loves taking care of FVV. It is well documented now that he needs his hair cut a minimum of three times per week. And in case you didn’t know, Fred also runs an online store that sells clothing and accessories with his FVV logo and slogan “Bet On Yourself.” Fred appears to put the same effort into his designs as he does on the court, with the end result being a product almost as pretty as him.

Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl love Gilmore Girls — apparently. Maybe this was just for an ad, but the idea of Yak and Skills sharing a bedroom and matching pyjamas is one that is entirely plausible.

Bottom line: the NBA may not totally love the Raptors’ bench. But really, how you could not love them?