The Toronto Raptors must move forward this season without the services of one of their most consistent and durable components.
The team confirmed the fan base's fear Wednesday, announcing that The Raptor would be sidelined for the entire 2013-2014 season due to a torn Achilles suffered while the Raptors were in Halifax for training camp.
The Raptor is one of the NBA's most recognizable mascots. His acrobatic slam dunks and playful nature entertained the crowd during long stretches when the team didn't. An employee since the franchise's first days, Raptors games won't be the same this season without his presence on the court.
Head coach Dwane Casey addressed the status of The Raptor at the end of his post-game press conference following the Raptors' 101-89 pre-season loss to the Timberwolves (3:00 mark).
"The Raptor will be back," proclaimed Casey.
We sure hope so. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
No word yet on whether or not Drake's title as the team's "global ambassador" includes suiting up as the mascot for a handful of games.
God speed to the Raptor....
EDIT - http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba...torn-achilles/
Found exactly what got hurt:
The season is off to an ominous start in Toronto — “The Raptor” blew out his Achilles during a school visit in Halifax over the weekend. The universally beloved mascot will undergo season-ending surgery. Per the Toronto Star: “There have been nights — oh God, so many nights — when the only reason to stick around past the third quarter was to see the Inflatable Raptor ‘eat’ security guards on the sideline. We’re not sure what he’s paid. We’re sure it’s not enough. ‘My daughter cried,’ coach Dwane Casey said of the news. She’s won’t be the last one. The Raptor has never been named in this publication. In the spirit of streaks and good wishes, we won’t do so today. But send him some anonymous love. Unlike so many others involved in this organization, he’s never let you down. [...] What’s required now is some unexpected luck. Losing a mascot that was — quietly, and behind the scenes — a central member of the Raptors family was not the way to start things. ‘The Raptor will be back. We need his spirit,’ Casey said. ‘We’ll miss him.’”