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Sports: Young Gunz – Raptors Preview

When you think of the Toronto Raptors what is your favorite moment in franchise history?  For me it will forever and always be this!  It hearkens back to a time in Raptors’ history when there was still hope.  Back then they were a great young team with  good coaching.  Unfortunately it correlated into a heart-breaking slash season-ending shot by Vince Carter.  While the Raptors have had some success since then (an Atlantic division title in the 2006-07 season) for the most part they’ve been a disappointment.  Now with Chris Bosh signing to the Miami Heat, (see my critique here,) the Raptors have once again been left without a face or future…

Enter the Young Gunz:

(The New Class)

Amir Johnson: The Class Clown
At 23 years old he has already been in the league over 6 years.  Amir has the distinction of being the last player drafted straight out of high-school into the NBA. Since joining the Raptors he has become a fan favorite for his hustle play and intangibles.  I would argue though that he is better known for his humor!

Sonny Weems: The Jock
The 24 year old is entering his third year in the NBA (second with the Raptors) and is by far the most athletic and well rounded member of the Young Gunz.  With a solid mid-range jumper and aerial skills to boot, this high-flier looks poised to elevate to the next level.

DeMar DeRozan: The  “new kid on the block” that steals all the girls
At only 21 years old DeMar has the most potential.  As a rookie his electrifying attack of the basket has entered him into the hearts of all Raptors’ fans.

This past summer we’ve seen these young men wage an all out war on our viral senses.  From Dunk-Offs, to unexpected visits, and high-flying Summer-league performances these guys have served notice that the T-Dot is theirs.  It’s been many years since athletes have wanted to grab the reins of this city.  Unfortunately this is because most NBA athletes feel Canada does not have what it takes to peak their curiosity.

These gentlemen feel otherwise.

They remind of that Vince Carter All-Star game dunk-off.  They remind of a time when an exuberant youth took this town and put it on the NBA map.  When the Young Gunz Summer Slam Dunk-Off dropped I felt that ‘swag meter‘ turn back up in this city.  Finally, we have talented and hip young athletes that are willing to bring us success.  With the Raptors in transition the experts have prognosticated a high Lottery Pick in our future. Instead of wondering whether Andrea Barnagni can replace Chris Bosh, if Jarrett Jack can lead, or if Jose Calderon will be traded for someone serviceable I’ll be rooting for the Young Gunz!  And so should you!

That vaguely familiar emotion is back; hope!


  • Sharlene

    I really hope these guys find their groove on the court when the pressure is on and lead us to winning season! (okay, I’d settle for a spot in the semi-finals)

  • Adam

    This will be an interesting sports season for this team and city – the league has and will change so much over the next few season with so many “Franchise Players” teaming up.
    This is the opportunity for underdogs to become wondrous gods … very exciting piece, I’m officially ready for 2010/11 season ~ Thanks Johnny!!

  • Jonathan-Lee

    Amazing Johnny! Officially pumped for the new season. Win or lose, at least these guys promise to be entertaining! PS: You are killin it with those links.. Schooling me to vids I didn’t even have a clue existed!

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