Did the Raptors party themselves out of the playoffs?

Trey Kerby
April 21, 2010

Toronto is an excellent city. We can all agree on that. Pleasant weather, Taco Bells that serve french fries with nacho toppings, and the finest NBA video podcast known to man are all hallmarks of Ontario's capitol city. And so is the city's abundant nightlife. As Chris Bosh(notes) told the Wall Street Journal, "People like to come here to party."

But here's the thing about people — they're always people no matter where their basketball team calls home. So if out-of-towners like to go crazy, why wouldn't the other Raptors? We already know Hedo Turkoglu(notes) has been known to throw on a striped shirt and hit the town. He can't be the only one.

According to the Toronto Star, the Raptors might like the nightlife a little too much.

But here's a trickier question: did this team miss the playoffs because it partied too heartily? It's impossible to say for sure, and Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors president and general manager, has declined to comment on the off-court habits of his players. But there are people close to the club who believe those habits ultimately hurt the win-loss record. [...]

Perhaps it's a symptom of the TMZ age, but as one team employee who was granted anonymity opined: "This year, (the partying) was a little too much."

Hey, grown-ups can do what they want, when they want as far as I'm concerned. And I can totally see Andrea Bargnani(notes) and Jose Calderon(notes) splitting a C't Mang pizza at Terroni then hitting the clubs. But if it's really the case that this is a team full of party animals, that's too bad. Raptors fans are nutso about their team, and they deserve better.

That being said, if hard-partying Raptors means we get more Tas Melas dancing videos, I'm all for it.