ESPN’s blatant anti-Raptors, anti-Canada bias is showing again

Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith speaks during a live taping of ESPN's "First Take"
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith speaks during a live taping of ESPN's "First Take" /

The Toronto Raptors are back at the center of the basketball world (for the time being), as they have emerged as a viable contender to steal Damian Lillard away from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Miami Heat were in front, but Toronto might be the new leaders in the clubhouse.

Trading for a future Hall of Famer who is disgruntled with his current situation, yet seemingly less than thrilled with the prospect of playing in Toronto, is nothing new for the Raptors. They tried this once with Kawhi Leonard, and he had as good a one-season tenure as possible.

The idea of Toronto being good again seems to be getting under the skin of many of the talking heads over at ESPN and on American airwaves. Some of the more loudmouth talking heads are irate over the possibility of Lillard suiting up in Raptors red.

Stephen A. Smith said that Lillard should stay in Portland instead of going to Toronto, saying that he wants to compete for a championship. Ignoring the fact he could compete for a ring in Toronto, Smith called the idea of thinking about the league’s lone Canadian team a “waste of time.”

New York radio legend and ESPN contributor Chris “Mad Dog” Russo made a hilarious geographical error in his dismissal of Lillard going to the Raptors, saying that Toronto is “the last place in America” Lillard would want to play. Someone get Mad Dog an atlas ASAP!

Stephen A. Smith, ESPN hate the Toronto Raptors pursuing Damian Lillard

Smith has been very open about his dislike for the Raptors and Canadian basketball in the past, as he wanted Leonard to leave so that he wouldn’t have to see a Canadian team win a championship. A noted Knicks fan, Smith might be a bit upset that a division rival is this close to getting Lillard.

Smith’s analysis went from ridiculous to disqualifying later in the segment, as he said he would like to see Lillard traded to the Knicks (of course), Celtics (who don’t have the assets needed to entice Portland), or Lakers (not even worth dignifying that with a response).

As for Russo, his concerns about Lillard not warning to play in Toronto are undercut by the fact that he didn’t even know which country Toronto is in. Maybe someday, ESPN will realize how foolish they look going after Canada so frequently.