Dear Toronto Raptors,
I like you. I’m writing to you because I know you have been going through a rough patch over the last week or so and I thought I would offer some words of encouragement. I’m not writing to offer you advice on how to improve your game or to tell you how ‘we’ need to play better defence because I am neither so bold nor so knowledgeable as to think you would benefit from my advice. I wasn’t even bold enough to offer advice to the guy taking shots in Coopers’ Park in Vancouver the other day and he would have benefitted from it because he was throwing up some serious bricks. You are a part of a franchise that matters to Torontonians and to Canadians. You are the team that makes it possible for us to say We The North and gather together in Jurassic Park. I say – and you likely agree – that basketball is the greatest sport, and I think your team has made a lot of people feel the same way.
You have had a great season so far. You play team basketball, you have a positive dynamic on and off the court and you all seem like really cool guys. I hope you feel that way on good days and bad days. As far as the way the last few games have gone, it must be hard to accept losing when you have played so many great games together.
In a way, I know what you’re going through right now. I am currently working on a Master’s in English Literature, which is in no way as remarkable as playing in the National Basketball Association but stands as some kind of an achievement. Like you, I am surrounded by people who are really good at what they do. Even though I know I’m capable of doing what I need to do, there are some days when it feels like – maybe this is a good comparison – I’m doing well, I’m in a groove and aw shit, I have to play against Tim Duncan now? (Your recent win against the Spurs was awesome, by the way. I worship at the altar of Tim Duncan and I loved that you denied Coach Pop his 1000th career win in Toronto.) It’s hard to consistently do great things when you are surrounded by people who are also trying to do great things. I also know what it’s like to be far away from home. Toronto is my home and living in Vancouver isn’t working out for me. Shout out to JV and Bebe who are my age and are even further from home than I am.
To turn to the last week or so, I too have been going through a losing streak. If your success and my success are tied together, it’s no wonder you lost to the Knicks the other day. I was even losing to people who weren’t in the competition. Some days and some games just suck, but don’t let it get you down. Know that you have a city that stands behind you, a rapper writing songs about you and me wearing my Raptors snapback over on the West Coast.
I just wanted to say, we can do this. No, not, ‘Pass me the ball, Kyle, I’ve got this!’ I’ll leave the coaching and playing to you. You can and will compete at a high level and show everyone how great your team, my favourite team, is. I can and will write really long, complex essays and show everyone that I am capable of producing creative work with very few grammatical errors. You’re awesome. Like I said, we can do it.
Love and We The North,
Song of the day: 6 Man by Drake because I want to be as cool as LouWill
OR Leather Jacket by Arkells because they know what it’s like to have some shaky landings