Illustration by Matthew Daley/Torontoist.
Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains—Toronto’s very best and very worst people, places, and things over the past twelve months. From December 13–17: the Villains! From December 20–24, the Heroes! And, from December 27–30, you can vote for Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year.
Sure, us Raptors fans are used to getting dumped by flighty franchise players. Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter—they all eventually kicked us to the curb for hotter, ESPN-ier American cities we just couldn’t compete with. But you were supposed to be different, Chris. You were the nice guy, the one who kept in touch with fans on Facebook and Twitter, made yourself available to reporters, stayed hip with the young folks via MuchMusic and MTV Canada, and became our local hero. You invited us to play in your fantasy football league. You even made us look cool stateside. Held the door for us. Kissed us without our makeup on. Got to know mom.
For seven seasons, we had something really special going. And then one day, that really shitty thing we prayed would never happen finally happened: you stopped looking at us the same way. Your eye began to wander. Suddenly, we were catching you in other teams’ locker rooms. Before we knew it, you’d reduced us to obsessive freaks, stalking your Twitter account with masochistic desperation, for each hint of impending Splitsville—“Where should I go next season and why?”; “Should I stay or should I go?”; “I wonder if that MVP trophy is heavy?”—like a rusty dagger to the heart.
We’d seen this coming. We begged and pleaded for you to stay—or, you know, at least play a little, especially during that final push for a playoff spot. But it was no use. As GM Bryan Colangelo would later point out, you’d already checked out for Miami a looooong time ago.
It would’ve been fine if you left us alone to mend our gaping wound. But you couldn’t just quietly move on, could you? No, not CB4—the guy who needs a film crew to follow him everywhere, even to get a freakin’ tattoo. You just had to twist the knife for all to see. We know checking an ex’s Twitter account is always a no-no, but were those immediate post-split tweets really necessary? And don’t get us started on what you told people after the breakup: You left us because you wanted more TV time? Living here was a drag because you “couldn’t get the good cable”? You were just playing with our emotions for “fun”?
You no-good dog. We were (half-heartedly) considering giving you the Order of Canada.
People said we’d be a wreck without you. And for a while, we felt like one—or at least a city most beat writers and players (including ones who’ve played for us)—consider a peripheral, second-rate NBA market.
But you know what? We’ll be fine. After watching you come under wide scrutiny for being the Heat’s weak third banana, we can’t help but think: “Ugh, what did we ever see in that guy?” Now that the magic’s gone, we can finally see you for what you really are: a slow-rotating, one-dimensional jump-shooter who promises a lot, but delivers little. Like a Bosh.