|"The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I just kept my finger outta there"|
If anyone didn’t see the November 3rd episode of (ugh) Off the Record with (ugh) Michael Landsberg, let me tell you, it was something. That something being a fucking piece of shit. Here’s the 20 minute video for anyone who hasn’t seen it:
First of all, if anyone was capable of respecting Michael Landsberg enough to actually go on his show before, they definitely should not after the disastrous Chael Sonnen interview a few weeks ago. Here is THAT video in case you haven’t seen it:
So basically, Sonnen expressed everything about Michael Landsberg that everyone has been feeling for years. The man cannot conduct an interview. He prides himself on pushing the limits and athletes with personal or borderline offensive questions, hence OFF THE RECORD (oooo!). Well, in reality he asks leading questions that aren’t the least bit controversial, and are often times just fanboy questions that most people who know next to nothing about sports yell in their living rooms when they’re drunk. “OMG GUY, WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU BACKING DOWN SONNEN. YOU TOATS CALLED HIM OUT GUUYYY?!”
He rarely succeeds in pushing any limits other than the talents of his makeup crew (ever seen him in HD? My god...). Not only that, when he starts asking a series of questions they are so scatter-brained that the athlete never has to give an actual substantial answer; or the question is just fluff. “Do you really wear size 14 shoes? And as a follow up, regular or curly laces?”
That brings us to this 20 minute waste-of-my-fucking-time I mentioned earlier. Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Choak together in the same interview; aka every Raptor fan’s wet dream. Like everyone who grew up watching the Raptors living in the Greater Toronto Area, I fucking hate Vince Carter. I can’t say I HATE TMac, but I do find him irritating and take pleasure in his misfortunes. Charles Oakley, on the other hand, should probably be elected the Prime Minister; that man makes you work for it down-low, god damn.
So naturally when I say this interview is a wet dream for Raptors fans I mean that it is a golden opportunity to tell Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady exactly what the fuck they did to the city of Toronto.
When you advertise the show as, FOR THE FIRST TIME TOGETHER SINCE THEY LEFT TORONTO: VINCE CARTER, TRACY MCGRADY AND THE ONLY MAN WHO EVER HELD THEM ACCOUNTABLE... CHARLES OAKLEEEYYY! You better deliver with some solid questions. Guess what, Landsberg didn’t.
I’m not saying to act unprofessionally and call Vince Carter a fucking cocksucker (although that would probably earn Landsberg more respect than he has earned during 20 years on television), but at least give us something. Make them squirm a little. Let Choak be the one to say something regrettable on national television, if he apparently held them accountable during their careers. Instead he asks Oakley a couple bullshit questions and moves on.
The word regret popped up once quickly and it was pushed to the side almost as quickly. Does Vince Carter regret leaving Toronto? Maybe, maybe not. Does he regret the way he left? Yes, anyone who matures enough is going to regret the selfish decisions they made when they were younger, and if Vince says he doesn’t he is truly a gigantic piece of shit.
Why should Vince regret the way he left? It quite simple actually, and if Landsberg could have put two and two together, or he was simply afraid to, he would have hit the nail on the head. It actually comes up naturally in the conversation as well. The fact that these athletes left because of the perceived view that Toronto is not a basketball city. This probably would have made the interview extremely awkward and possibly cut it short, but it would have been better than this talking feint-fest called an interview.
But this is the point at issue here. The Raptors were started in 1996. How is a team supposed to gain notoriety and fan support? Through establishing a legacy of good players, playoffs, and a demand for success. When the team is five years old, and the star player is leaving because “It isn’t a basketball town,” there is something to be said. IT IS THE STAR PLAYER’S JOB TO MAKE IT INTO A FUCKING BASKETBALL TOWN. It’s a young team, give the fans a reason to support you. Coming within one game of the Eastern Finals is pretty good fucking start if you ask me. However, instead, these guys packed their shit up and skipped town. What was it? Was it a misunderstanding of this concept? A dislike for the food? It can’t be the weather since New Jersey isn’t much different. Maybe it’s just pure douche-baggery- douche-baggery to the LBJith degree.
Landsberg also pulled out the gem of, “What if.” Go fuck yourself. As if we didn’t feel shitty enough. If this was his attempt to evoke a reaction of guilt out of these guys, he was sorely mistaken. At this point in their careers, there is no god damn way they are going to sit on a Canadian, Toronto based show and say they regret or feel guilt over leaving the Raptors. They are entitled shit-heads and no one is surprised, which makes me wonder why god damn Michael Landsberg was. What is the point in digging up graves? Either you are a necrophiliac and get off on the corpses of Raptors' playoff dreams or your watch fell into the hole at the funeral. Don’t go digging up the “What ifs” in Raptors history Michael, that is, unless want to call Bosh so you can powder his ass and tell him he's special too.
On the topic of The Boshtrich, that douche could not have been more exposed as the soft player all Raptors fans knew about for years after one year in Miami. But here’s the thing: we cannot blame Bosh without pointing a finger at Carter and McGrady. They are the ones who started the tradition of leaving Toronto when “you become a man,” or whatever the fuck; McGrady to a lesser extent because he was inconsistent as a Raptor and only really bloomed when he left, but Carter was one of the best players in the league and a certified superstar when he left. That has created this culture where these players feel it is OK to leave when THEY feel their time is up. They don’t feel that they owe the fans here any of their respect because we aren’t a basketball city, or we haven’t made moves to help them (see the failed experiments of Turkoglu, Mourning, Ford, and Olajuwon for more details), or the cliche that they have a better shot winning elsewhere. If you consider yourself important enough to demand a trade, you should realize that you are probably important enough to build a team around and with a little patience, make a push. But that would take too long, wouldn't it guys?
Landsberg, you have the obligation under whatever god damn journalistic integrity you may have to hold these guys accountable on your show. Don't flutter around the subject like an asshole. If you want to host a PR firm or a late night show like fucking Jay Leno, don't advertise yourself as someone who is going to ask what questions need to be asked. This isn't the Late Show, Toronto basketball is and has been explicitly fucked up and unstable since these guys set a bitch-slap of a precedent on the city. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.
The fact is, this relationship is a two-way street, but it seems like for the last ten years our car has been going backwards down the street while getting fucked in the face by their car. We don’t need bags of skin like ol’Landsberg to tell us that Vince Carter has a new restaurant, I want to hear that he knows he’s a piece of shit who set Toronto basketball back 15 years. Chances are if any one of Bosh, McGrady, or Carter stayed for the majority of their careers they would have ended up in a basketball town after all, Toronto. Instead we all sit here waiting, each year, to draft the next asshole with a top ten pick, who will eventually leave when he feels it's HIS time. Fuck you Vince.
Just in case they were wondering; we still hate their guts.