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That’s A Rap #136: Welcoming the new kids on the block

Gary Trent Jr. is already a fan fave. Khem Birch may soon be one too for different reasons. The Raptors are doing their best in a bad situation and that’s made podcast recordings much more positive!

Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images

What an eventful week it’s been for the Raptors!

A plethora of records was set during last week’s annihilation of the Golden State Warriors. The good vibes continued with a buzzer-beater by Toronto’s newest favourite Raptor. But if we’ve learned anything about this season, it’s that the Raptors are not allowed to have good things. One blowout loss and two suspensions later, Toronto was left with a skeleton crew to battle the frisky Bulls.

Things predictably didn’t end well but that didn’t keep our spirits down. Between the emergence of Gary Trent Jr., the hopeful arrival of Khem Birch, and the jaw-dropping beauty of the new WNBA gear, the latest episode of That’s A Rap was filled with positivity. Enjoy!

In This Episode:

4:45 — New kid on the block

How high is GTJ on your all-time favourite Raptors’ list? His solid play, budding friendship with OG Anunoby, and love for Toronto has quickly endeared himself to all Raptors fans. Even in a lost season, he’s managed to keep hopes high for the Raptors’ future and already engrained his name alongside the team’s core of Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG.

11:40 — Scuffling vs Peace-making

Speaking of Fred and OG, their involvement in Tuesday’s scuffle with the Lakers had quite the domino effect. Despite playing the role of peacemaker, FVV was suspended for leaving the bench. Anunoby getting ejected in the first half of the critical game didn’t help either.

23:30 — Canadian Birch

Have Raptors fans ever been this excited to bring in a player averaging around five points and five rebounds? The team has fallen on hard times, especially in the centre position, that anybody (any body?) would help. He was rumoured as a trade target and the team landed him without giving up any players. Sounds like a win to me!

30:00 — Vulturing

I introduced the “vulturing” term in Monday’s Rap-Up. Basically, the Raptors have an opportunity to swoop down and grab a high draft pick before rising to 50+ win territory next season. Losing may not be in their DNA (at least not actively trying to lose), but after losing out on the Giannis sweepstakes (and a number of other top free agents dropping from the 2021 market), a lottery pick may be the quickest fix for a franchise that’s grown very used to winning a playoff contention.

37:45 — New WNBA gear: Take all our money

Chicago? Los Angeles? Indiana? Las Vegas? Honestly, Nike and the WNBA did a masterful job with the latest designs. The hardest part will be deciding which jersey or ‘game theatre set’ to buy!

42:24 — Jamming in Space

Did you grow up watching Space Jam? What are your initial thoughts on the new Space Jam 2 trailer? The Good Squad has replaced the Tune Squad and the Goon Squad has replaced the Monstars. Lebron James continues his quest of trying to surpass Michael Jordan by... all right, that’s as much of a stretch as Jordan’s game-winner in the original!