It’s actually not the first time Kevin Durant has talked about his childhood love for the Raptors, but Durant admitted on a pretty big public scale today (the Dan Patrick Show) that he “wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors” as a kid for a couple of reasons, namely their unique jerseys and Vince Carter’s Vinsanity.
Durant has talked about his love for Carter and VC’s early 2000′s Raptors teams in the past and has always spoken fondly about Toronto, but this public proclamation despite the obvious disbelief and laughter of people like Patrick (Dan’s “Why?!” at 4:20 is pretty hilarious) should remind Raptors fans that this franchise’s irrelevance for the better part of the last decade has a hell of a lot more to do with a lack of star power and overall team success than it does to do with players and fans ignoring us because we’re based in Canada.
As I’ve said before, if the Raptors can eventually build a winner or find their way to another superstar some time in the future via the draft or trade, then Toronto will become the free agent destination that it should be in the NBA and will once again attract eyeballs South of the border, the way they did when Vince Carter’s Raptors were arguably the league’s most must-watch team.
And for those of you who point to Chris Bosh’s Raptors teams as evidence that a star and success won’t do anything for Toronto’s reputation league wide, I’ll simply remind you that while Bosh was a fantastic talent in Toronto and a legitimate perennial All Star (his best seasons were comparable to Vince’s), he was never an exciting, attention grabbing superstar like Carter was, not to mention that the Raptors won just three total playoff games under Bosh’s watch.
But anyway, Durant is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016…let the salary cap clearing begin!