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Five Daily Thoughts: Kyrie, Thanksgiving and more

Welcome to the brand-new, all-different (but kinda the same) Five Thoughts!

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Welcome to the new Five Thoughts! As noted last month, SB Nation has somehow seen fit to promote yours truly to Editor in Chief of this here site, which I knew would keep me too busy to write five thoughts on every single Toronto Raptors game, as I’ve done for the past four years.

So I somehow thought it’d be easier to write five thoughts every single day.

I might need professional help.

But writing about the specific games is hard, especially when I’m also doing my share of previews and recaps, and live tweeting and editing and all the dozens of other time-consuming things that Reynolds somehow never told me about.

Whereas just putting together five random thoughts, that I can jot down throughout the day and then publish each morning, should be easier. And I don’t intend to do especially deep dives here, just quick notes on whatever catches my interest, a bit of a smorgasbord of NBA news, Raptors-specific news, and general randomness.

At least that’s how it looks in my head. We’ll see!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, which is great because I get a three-day break from the day job. What’s not so great is having two Raptors games in the three days, which means I don’t really get a break from working at all! I did get to see some gamily on Saturday night that I haven’t seen since The Before Times, so that was nice at least (though it meant I missed the Raptors loss against the Boston Celtics, and had to get up early to recap it)!

Fingers crossed that next year the NBA has a little more mercy to Canadian sportswriters on our long weekend! In happier Thanksgiving news, Nick Nurse has filled the void left by Kyle Lowry, who has organized a Thanksgiving turkey drive the past several years.

Full capacity

The Ontario Government last week announced that it had amended capacity restrictions for movie theatres, concert venues, and stadiums — including Scotiabank Arena. That means that the Raptors, Maple Leafs and Senators can welcome full capacity crowds. MLSE has indicated that Wednesday’s Maple Leafs opener would be the first full capacity game, meaning we should expect a smaller crowd at tonight’s Raptors preseason game against the Houston Rockets.

I’m still not sure this is a great idea — a few weeks of 50% capacity crowds, plus some allowance to see if community cases were spreading, seemed to me a wiser course of action. If we’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that rushing back to re-open leads to a spike in cases... which tells me that we have in fact learned nothing. I at least would have liked them to wait until a proper vaccine passport system had been rolled out! Alas. I hope everyone attending is indeed vaccinated and uses proper mask discipline. It would be awful to start this thing at full capacity and then have to shut it down in six weeks.

Speaking of vaccines...

All this hand-wringing over Kyrie Irving and whether or not he’ll play in Nets home games seems a bit silly to me. I guess I’m a bit of a cynic, but I find it hard to believe that the NBA won’t be able to convince New York and California to make exceptions for them. They’ve already strong-armed New York into allowing Irving to practice; I don’t imagine he’ll end up missing many games before they're able to do the same.

Obviously I’d prefer it if he’d just get himself vaccinated, to ensure the safety of his teammates and peers and everyone around him. Alas.

75 for 75

Everyone is making their all-time greatest 75 players lists for the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, and I... am not going to do the same. But I do enjoy reading them! The discourse around the NBA moves so fast it’s very easy to forgot who was in the league and excelling even five or six years ago, let alone 50 or 60.

It will be curious to see where some of our modern stars land. I think most people will have LeBron James in the top two, which I agree with (I don’t really care if you have him or Michael Jordan first), but where does Kevin Durant land? Giannis Antetokounmpo? Steph Curry?

Jason Kidd: In on the joke or no?

Do you think Jason Kidd knew how ridiculous he looked here, before it became a meme?

And do you think he’s enjoying it now... or is he royally pissed off?

If you haven’t seen this thread yet, do yourself a favour and click through:

And did you know... there are even more photos?!

If I am thankful for anything this weekend, besides seeing my family, it’s that shirt, no doubt about it.