Raptors Cage

#NorthernNostalgia Week 10: The Greatest Toronto Raptor Soundbites

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By: Fouad Suleiman

In lieu of the recent less then friendly soundbite given by Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel to Toronto Star reporter Dave Feschuk, the latest instalment of Raptors Cage’s original series Northern Nostalgia will look at the most memorable player/coach interview moments in franchise history.

The pre and post game bites and the shoot-around scrums are pretty much a contrived formulaic practice. “The effort wasn’t there last night”…. “we just couldn’t execute”…. “gotta play a full 48″… you’ve heard them all before, all excerpts from the almanac of safe, PC, stock answers for the NBA media. Every so often, however, amongst this painfully uniform formula, the real personalities creep through.

When these instances occurred in Raptorland, they have left us with some truly timeless classics. From the  the seven minute rant of a certain shot happy “point” guard, to the character flip of a certain superstar, Raptors Cage will both relive and rank these moments in time.


Since this great moment occurred less that a year ago, it would be disingenuous to include this in a list for Northern Nostalgia. We would be remisced however if we didn’t recognize this amazing moment that could very easily be number one. Everything about this moment was perfect. The frenetic energy of the crowd. The unexpectedness of such bravado and profanity from a General Manager. The little grin of Tim Leiweke. Jason Kidd retort of “I can’t believe Bryan Colangelo would say that. The angry letter by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Everything.


It was one of the first games of what would be a LONG season for Jay Triano‘s Raptors, the team was routed in Utah 125-108. The Jazz at the time were led by then premier floor general Deron Williams, who at the time was neck and neck with Chris Paul in the national conversation for the league’s best point guard. Williams had a masterful performance in this game to the great dismay of Triano, whose tone of utter dismay while uttering the expletive would truly represent the state of the team under his tenure.



With the ticker on the bottom summarizing Mike James‘ mind boggling 5-25 shooting performance, the Toronto media was looking for answers. What they would get was a highly entertaining “shoot first ask questions last” manifesto that sounded eerily similar to Kanye West’s patented rants on his Yeezus tour. James spent a lone season as a Raptor after being traded from Houston for Rafer Alston averaging 20 points and 6 assists in that time. For those not willing to sit through the seven minute sermon, I have taken the liberty of presenting the quotable gems listed below. Be inspired.

I’m sorry I can put the ball in the hole at a very high rate.”

If I miss five, 10 in a row, I’m not afraid take 15 to 20.”

What I do I gotta do to be called a point guard? Average 20 assists per game?”

“I believe I’m like wine, the older I get the better I’m gon’ get”

You miss 100% of the shots you take.”

– Obviously James tried to recite the famous Wayne Gretzky quote seen in almost every 5th grade classroom, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take but misspoke. The mistake did provide some hilarious irony, however, considering the context.

If they (Raptors) did their research on me, I’ve been jacking my entire career. If you didn’t like my style of play you should’ve never traded for me.”

Y’all thought you saw something this year, wherever I go, if it’s Toronto or anywhere else, I’m going to be a terror in this NBA for at least the next five years.” – Upon leaving Toronto, James would make five different NBA stops and also would make appearances in China, Turkey, and the D-League, where he is currently playing for the Texas Legends at the age of 39.




Deep within the cavernous confines of the Raptors first home, the SkyDome, the teams first ever NBA draft pick would do the unthinkable and completely tear apart General Manager Glen Grunwald to the media. After Grunwald pulled on a deal that would have sent the disgruntled guard to the Houston Rockets, Damon Stoudamire was left in the precarious position of being “one foot in, one foot out.” Very rarely does a feud between the front office and a star player become so ugly and so public. Matters were also made worse as head coach Darrell Walker was in the same position. The turmoil would reach its end when Stoudamire was shipped to the Portland Trail Blazers with Walker resigning simultaneously in the middle of the 1998 season.


(unfortunatly we could not locate a direct YouTube link, but you can see the video here;)


Keeping with the theme of disgruntled superstars, this soundbite sent shockwaves throughout the league as it signalled the beginning of the end of the Vince Carter era. In this interview, Carter indicated that he was prepared to turn his back on what allowed him to take the league by storm and help put the Raptors franchise on the map. That, coupled with his dry and sarcastic tone towards the subject was reminiscent of Hulk Hogan trading in his patented heroic red and yellow for the black and white of the NWO. Reminiscent of fan favourite rebel Stone Cold Steve Austin shaking the hand of his arch nemesis and tyrannical boss, Vince McMahon. If you haven’t caught the pro wrestling analogies, the situation was bad. The greatest dunker of all time decided he was giving up the dunk for good. So it seemed.

Of course, after being traded to the New Jersey Nets and continuing to do things like this…


didn’t exactly help endear him to Toronto fans.



Long before Seattle Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch set off a firestorm of ire for his one word answer trolling of the media, there was a man ahead of his time in the realm of media relations. This man was the man once affectionately referred to as the “Michael Jordan of Turkey.” This man was Hedo Turkoglu. After giving a perfectly pedestrian answer to poor Jack Armstrong’s question of what was crucial in the comeback, when asked about his personal performance all he needed was one glorious syllable. For better or for worse, this moment came to be the most memorable moment in the single season tenure of the current Los Angeles Clippers. In the words of this great man, we conclude by saying…”we got nothing else to say.”



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