Trash-talk Toronto Raptors: Updates on the NBA season

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Welcome back to another edition of Trash-talk Toronto Raptors! Here we will discuss everything that happened with the Toronto Raptors except… basketball.

It’s been three weeks since the dissolution of basketball. Fans are clinging to their League Pass accounts as if they’re NBA gold. Content media machines have devolved into faux fictitious awards and the common, shoulder-shrug emoji is strewn about reluctantly. There is a quiet among the NBA now, as things only worsen in the United States.

These are dark times, indeed.

And yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. ESPN moved up its Michael Jordan documentary to air on April 19th. The ten-part series will be about the final season of Jordan’s Bulls in 1997-98. Additionally, it will air on Netflix for those that are outside of the United States.

Still, the NBA outlook remains bleak — and further news from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) only quiets our hopes further (more on that later).

The hope that is often associated with the NBA and the exuberance and inspiration is diminishing, unfortunately. But, in these dark times, our beloved Toronto Raptors have kept their positive and ferocious game faces available for all to see.

In turn, this week we are going to update you all on Serge Ibaka and his antics, the unfortunate news about the restart of the CBA, and lastly a check-in on our former star DeMar DeRozan.

All we ask from you, the readers, is that you reach out to us if you want to share anything. We can only tackle this together. Reach out to us on Twitter at either @RaptorsRapture or @HughesWithMe.

Without further ado, onto this week’s edition of Trash-talk…

Serge Ibaka keeps us entertained

As we’ve covered over the season, and especially the last few weeks, Serge Ibaka is leaning more and more into himself during this quarantine time. He’s talked to Kyle Lowry, shared his workout, and even offered up a video of him doing the dishes.

Now, he’s taking everything a little bit further by reaching out to folks in the medical field.

Obviously, it’s a very sincere gesture from a very sincere player in Ibaka. This promotion only helps make people more aware of what is happening and how it’s being tackled. A promising promotion from a thoughtful player.

Additionally, Ibaka reverted to the chef’s hat and hosted an Instagram live event for a lesson in cooking.

Apparently, Ibaka also doesn’t cook — he only designs food. Add another quote to the ever-expanding book of Ibaka sayings.

Lastly, a new “art” show with Marc Gasol is up on YouTube. There Ibaka explains to Gasol how Drake teased him about his shoes. Take a look below:

You can watch the full video on YouTube, but during this time when we need a bit more connection, then there’s no better Raptor than Serge Ibaka.

A Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) update

The CBA had recently been working to reconvene in the coming weeks as we discuss last week on Trash-talk. Now, though, those talks have indefinitely stalled as the Chinese government halted any plans to come back together and play, as Brian Windhorst reported for ESPN.

Specifically, Windhorst reported that this restart for a professional league was seen as a stepping stone to look towards for other professional leagues — especially the NBA — that have since shut down because of the virus. Additionally, Windhorst explained, the Chinese are being very cautious because if they were to restart and then suffer a setback, it could be seen as a failure on their part to properly set this in motion.

As it stands, the players — international players, specifically — have come back to China and are undergoing a mandatory two-week quarantine like most countries have administered when coming home from international areas. Now, though, they are not sure of when the league will start back up, but it is almost certain that it will be more than four months since the outbreak.

If the NBA was on a similar timeline, for reference, that would be approximately a mid-July return to play. How that would look is still up in the air.

Last week on Trash-talk, we covered some optimism going around the league about an end of May or mid-June return for the NBA. The CBA’s reluctance to get going — especially considering how China has flattened the curve of the virus — is notable. While the teams had believed they had a way to make this happen, nothing will happen until people outside of basketball give the okay.

Until we start seeing things lighten up in our countries, basketball will likely go unplayed. An unfortunate side effect of the virus, but an important one nonetheless. As we learn more about various leagues around the world, we will continue to give you updates as they come.

Our man, DeMar DeRozan, has nothing but praise for the Toronto Raptors

DeMar DeRozan was the lifeblood alongside Kyle Lowry for many seasons. Of course, we know how the story goes: DeRozan swapped with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, the Raptors won the NBA Finals, and the rest, as they say, is history. But, now, since all these players are outside of competitive mode, we got to see a familiar face talking it all out with our players.

First, DeRozan got to praise Pascal Siakam on his growth and his shared excitement.

And, next, we got to see Fred VanVleet and DeRozan share a story about Kyle Lowry.

Apparently, Kyle Lowry wasn’t feeling practice one day, so here’s how he responded if you can’t tell through the muddled laughs.

The wholesome storytelling and reminiscing actually make me miss DeRozan far more than I thought I would. Although there were playoff letdowns, there were a lot more moments like these that took place behind the scenes. These, I’d argue, are just as valuable as the championship.

And, really, this is all that matters:

Thanks for tuning into this week’s edition of Trash-talk. As more stories unfold, we’ll do our best to keep you posted. For now, stay safe and listen to your health officials. They have the best advice and the solutions to get us out of this mess.

Next. Top three Kyle Lowry games of 2019-20. dark

From everyone at Raptors Rapture, we hope all is well.