Dear Raptors fans: please stop complaining about the media, no one cares

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 23: Kyle Lowry /

In a season full of pleasant surprises, Toronto Raptors’ fans seem to be quick to complain about the media’s lack of attention. Dear fans, please stop.

If you have any friends who are Toronto Raptors‘ fans or follow any on Twitter, you likely have heard how little respect the Raptors have received from the United States media. Fans quick to point out the team’s success this season and argue they should be among the most discussed in the league.

Unfortunately, Toronto fans that is not how media coverage works. Yes, the Toronto Raptors are among the best teams in the NBA, but that doesn’t make them the most interesting.

Roster Continuity

This off-season General Manager, Masai Ujiri decided to re-sign Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, making a conscience bet on the team’s core and continuity, rather than splashy off-season move.

That decision has paid large dividends for Toronto this season.  The team’s young talent has made major strides in development, and team is on pace for the most wins in franchise history. However, the moves were not interesting. NBA fans love trades and roster overhaul, something the Raptors wisely avoided.

This is a large factor in the Raptors’ lack of media attention. The Houston Rockets’ added a Hall-of-Fame point guard, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded away a potential Hall-of-Fame point guard, and the Golden State Warriors are one of the greatest teams ever assembled. All of those things deserve more attention than a team that remained largely in-tact, whether Toronto fans want to admit it or not.

Playoff Woes

Another reason for the team’s lack of media attention is the franchises’ past failures. With a roster that has remained largely the same from previous seasons, pundits are going to question what makes this team different.

Fans will be quick to point out that the team has changed its playing style and has never been this dominant. Both of those facts are true. However, the public is always slow to change their opinion regarding teams with previous high stakes failures.

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Previous teams such as the early 2000’s Sacramento Kings, the seven-seconds-or-less Phoenix Suns, and the Chris Paul Clippers were never given the benefit of the doubt either.  Heck, even this years Rockets’ squad, which has the best record in the entire NBA, is receiving the same questions. This doesn’t mean the Raptors can’t overcome a stretch of post-season failures. Dirk Nowitzki‘s Dallas Mavericks squad won the title in 2011, it just means they won’t be given the benefit of the doubt.

Pre-season expectations

Another common gripe from Raptors’ fans is lack of confidence the media had in Toronto to start the season. Many argued the United States media disrespected the Raptors by picking them to finish somewhere in the four-to-five seed range.

While yes, of course those predictions feel foolish now. At the time, many of those predictions were very reasonable. No one knew the bench would develop into the best bench in the NBA, and an aging core that won 51 games the season prior is not supposed to jump to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Even totally objective math-based models, projected Toronto to finish worse off than last season. I doubt those models were given a set of Canadian numbers and a set of American ones. Sometimes teams just outperform reasonable expectations.

Right now you might be yelling “I knew the team was going to be better than this!”. Of course you did, you’re a fan. But for every Raptors’ fan there is gleaming with joy about their team’s performance this year, there is a disappointed Milwaukee Bucks’ fan arguing how their team should have been better.

Final Thoughts

Every fan base believes that their team is getting the short end of the stick. Toronto is no different from every fanbase around the NBA who believes that their team is overlooked.

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But stop and ask yourself, “Do you ever believe the media is purposefully ignoring or disrespecting other franchises around the league?”. If the answer is no, than it is likely your bias that is impacting your feelings, not the other way around.