LeBron James questions Raptors desire to make playoffs, takes shots at Raptors
“We knew this team would push us,” James said. “That’s not taking anything away from Toronto, but with [Chris] Bosh being out for the rest of the season and all those injuries, it just didn’t seem like they even wanted to make the playoffs at the end of the season. So it probably would’ve ended up in that same way if we had played Toronto like it was last year.
“But when Chicago made the eighth seed, we were excited about that because we knew we had to be in tune every possession and every game because that team plays hard no matter the score, no matter the time and no matter what the series is.”
What we can take from his comments is that the Raptors are looked at as a basement type team that gives inconsistent efforts and tends to get down on itself and give up when the going gets tough. Obviously this is not always true, but there is some validity to the Kings assertions. The Raptors, as we all know, are a ‘soft’ team and being stacked with European players is not helping us in that department.
LeBron James in pointing out why he would rather play the Bulls, took veiled shots at the Raptors in questioning their desire and heart; something hardcore Raptor fans did for more than 50 games this season.
As for his assertion that we were possibly tanking…I don’t buy it, the Raptors were playing hard and battled it out in some close games, the Sunday loss to the Bulls effectively ended our season.
With Chris Bosh being out the rest of the season, I was a strong supporter of not making the playoffs, as making the playoffs meant giving up our 1st round draft pick to Miami (which we dealt to acquire Shawn Marion/get rid of Jermaine O’neal). Now that the season is over for the Raptors, Raptors fans all agree that having this draft pick with Chris Bosh possibly on his way out is an invaluable resource which will help us to develop internally; before the season was over missing the playoffs equated in many peoples minds to Chris Bosh bolting. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: the way Chris Bosh season ended may have been a best-case scenario for the Raptors…he knows we would have likely made the playoffs if he was healthy, we get another prospect to add to our roster to hopefully help entice him to stay and if he leaves we have another lottery pick to hopefully build around alongside Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan.
See the LBJ video here: