Join the Feminists

I begin by advising you all to take a moment to watch Emma Watson’s remarkable speech on Feminism at the United Nations. I must say, the powerful young lady is fulfilling her newly proclaimed title as United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador … Continue reading

#WeStillTheNorth

Dedication.

One word that sums up the entire season for the Toronto Raptors. Dedication. Back in October, we were all witnesses of the improvement shown by the underdogs after a 97-89 win over the Boston Celtics. The coaching staff, team members, fans, and training facilities were all committed to proving the doubters wrong – and they did. What an incredible 2013/14 season it was.

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Despite the heartbreaking 104-103 loss against the Brooklyn Nets – the Raptors put in every bit of effort they could the entire series (4-3). With 6.3 seconds left in the 4th quarter and the game in Kyle Lowry’s hands, all of Toronto was silent but hopeful. However, with that missed shot and no calls, the ball was in the right hands at the right time. Lowry’s dedication and fight throughout the season was endless. These men, over a course of eight months have grown to become a team – and to work together in order to get results.

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After many changes throughout the season – significantly the Rudy Gay trade, the team was able to build on what they had and make the most of it. Eventually, the Raptors found what they were comfortable with and went from there; ending their regular season 48-34. An outstanding franchise record alongside several other broken records and accomplishments – including the Raptors participation in the NBA all star game.

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The devastating loss in the first round of the playoffs that ended the Raptors season ultimately ended the doubt many fans held. The Toronto Raptors are a strong team. And there’s no doubt about it. Game in and game out, the fight never ends.

See you back in October boys!

Well well well, look who’s back!

Hey, hey, hey! Haven’t seen you all in a little while eh? Can you blame me, school’s my life now.
Anyways, I’d like to re-introduce myself before I get into the more important stuff – Aish Abid, nice to meet you all and come across some familiar names and faces. Super crazy NBA fan. But lets be real, HUGE Raptors fan.

Alright folks, lets talk Toronto Raptors. Can someone say best team, fans, atmosphere in the league? These men have come a long, long way. Win or lose, the guys put out their heart and soul in every game, and it shows. But, come on though – it’s playoffs baby! The Raptors went from sweet and innocent to lets rip these guys apart kinda boys in a matter of 0.4 seconds [in the current series against the Brooklyn Nets].  How crazy was game 5, above any other game though? I’d say beyond crazy. Even after losing that built up 24 pt lead, I mean give the guys some credit – keeping it entertaining for the viewers! That’s playoff basketball for you.

Let me break it down for you – DeMar DeRozan, although had a rough game 1, showed his all star side in game 5 with 23 pts 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Improvements, improvements. Greivis Vasquez? Is this guard stealing anyone else’s heart? 15 pts in game 5, and those crazy shots. Moving on to the guy everyone’s obsessing about, Kyle Lowry. Am I right? The man is a hardwood genius. Scored 36 career-high points. Lowry constantly gives up his body game in and game out, helps the Raptors in the final minutes, shoots those buzzer beaters, I mean this guy is an all star at heart.

The edge of the seat moment however in the last couple minutes when the Nets brought the game to a tie – the Toronto Raptors still hung on, played hard and worked through it to beat the Brooklyn Nets 115-113.

Leading the series 3-2, the Toronto Raptors take the show to Brooklyn at the Barclays Centre May 2nd. [Lets get this game and move on up!]

PS; happy birthday to my homeboy, Amir Johnson!

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Watch Out Boys, He’s Back!

Yesterday was one of the happiest days for this little girl. Why? Because her favourite NBA player ever [Ricky Rubio] has officially been cleared to participate in practices. We all know what that means, he’s ready to get back onto the court and amaze us all once again.

I remember March 9th like it was last week. As did Rubio, I’m sure. [Check out my countless Rubio Blogs below to follow his journey.] I know I wasn’t the only one freaking out about how the Timberwolves lost one of their potential all stars. [Nightmares, nightmares, nightmares.] All of Minnesota was freaking out. That was Minnesota’s year, they were making playoffs. Instead, Minnesota’s heartthrob was injured on court versus the Lakers. [Cough, Kobe.]

After numerous doctor visits and trips to rehab, Rubio did it. He made it through those months without basketball. Practice after practice, he worked to heal his torn ACL. He did nothing without his positivity that ultimately kept the fans involved with his journey and thrilled for his return. [#BePositive.] The man worked hard to get his talent back. “We’ve missed him a lot. Once we lost him we saw the impact he had on our group because of his leadership — and not just at the offensive end. He defended people better than most point guards.” Coach Rick Adelman on his point guard.

Clearly, he’s the best. And just knowing that he’s coming back on court is getting everyone hyped, especially me.

There is no doubt that Rubio will instantly make the Timberwolves better. Even with his presence in the stadium, I find myself smiling like a weirdo at my television set. [Did I really just admit that? Yes, yes I did.]

“Life is good!” Rubio tweeted, and of course I retweeted, favourited and replied. [We all did!]

Yes, Rubio, life is good. 

Slow and Steady Wins a Ring?

Yes, I know what I said; the Raptors will be phenomenal this year. As did many of you fans. But don’t lose those hopes just yet, it’s only been a month into the season and we’re still waiting for the team we saw during pre-season, but rest assure, they will come soon. With any team, be it Chicago, Miami and now the Lakers, with great players comes great responsibility. No, I’m kidding, with great players comes time and effort to learn how to play the right kind of basketball with the right guys. See where I’m headed? Half the roaster in Toronto this year are new guys! There’s no way you can throw a bunch of tall guys onto a court and expect them to win a championship. Unless of course this is Space Jam, then yes you can. So please, give our boys some time to adjust and just be the friendly Toronto people that I know you are and just cheer on. And soon enough, we will be winning.

Okay so, Mister Bargnani; I have to start with him only because he is basically Toronto’s face [no arguing, please.] He’s off to a slow start, but then again anyone in his position would be just as confused as he is. Especially with the new Euro boy, Jonas V stealing the spot light. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but Bargnani is having a hard time finding his place on the team. Don’t worry just yet, they’ll all find their roles.

The new guys in red, lets talk. Was I the only one who was overly thrilled to get Landry, Lowry, Ross, Acy, JV and all the new Raptors in Toronto? I highly doubt it. I’m keeping my high hopes and expectations for these boys, because from what I’ve seen so far, they’ve really been putting in their best to help the Raps go far. [And by far I mean, win more than 20 games.] Really though, the new guys have had some good moments in the NBA with the team so far; Lowry before his injury, Ross with those threes, Landry Fields, I’m still waiting for his moment. And, JV, well, he’s just JV. Everyone loves him. Jonas is definitely living up to what we’ve been anticipating since the 2011 NBA Draft. [New Toronto heartthrob?]

Back to our golden Toronto Faces. No more hating on Jose Calderon. [This needs to stop.] I can go on and on about how furious I was about “fans” telling Jose he can’t ball. Clearly, he can; he’s in the NBA. He may not be the starting point guard, but he’s done a whole lot for the team since 2005. [Show some respect for the man.] Now that that’s been cleared up, let’s move on to DeMar DeRozan. DeMar agreed to a four-year contract earlier, which means Toronto’s love story with him isn’t coming to an end anytime soon, thank god. As always, he’s playing his heart out on the court every game. Finally, our favourite NBA friend, Amir Johnson, what could he be doing wrong? Nothing. This guy doesn’t always shoot threes, but when he does it’s always at the right time and he just happens to be in the right place. “I think Jose’s probably the only one who would actually pass it to me on the three-point line, so kudos to him!” [Kudos to all my boys working hard to make us happy!]

So, if you haven’t caught on to what I’ve been trying to say, let me sum it up for you; Give the Raptors time. That’s all they need. 

 

 

Back In Action

Today is a special special special day for Toronto Raptors fans; the boys are back on TO grounds and there is only eight days left until they hit the court in Halifax to begin preseason training camp.

Excited? YES.YES.YES.

We all suffered the NBA-less three months but in eight days, we’ll all be sitting on the couch watching the TO boys working towards the playoffs. Did I just say playoffs? Yeah, playoffs. There is no doubt in my mind that the new guys won’t help make the Raptors better and stronger, [and hopefully on their way to the 2012-2013 Playoffs]. Landry Fields, master of creating offense. Kyle Lowry, we’ll see him at the free throw line often this season. And, Jonas Valanciunus, well, let’s just pray for a quick recovery on that calf strain. Can’t forget about our rookies, Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy; yeah, we’re making playoffs.

Raptor fans, this is our big year.

Bryan Colangelo, I must say, you have done well with the roster this season. The boys all have their own talents  and skills, and together they can become a better team. Better than some past seasons. But that’s the past, no more slow and steady development, [we are ready for this]. Is this sounding too much like the Avengers? I nominate Jonas V as Captain America. [Although he has nothing to do with America, Captain Toronto]

If you think otherwise of the TO Raptors, I officially consider you not a fan. The fan support is huge, so guys, keep on cheering.

The boys are back. 

New Guy in Toronto: Jonas Valanciunas

I don’t even know where to start off with this guy. How about the 2011 NBA Draft? Let’s be honest when David Stern called up the 5th pick, no one knew who Jonas Valanciunas was. [Unless of course you keep up with the Euro league] So, anyone guilty of Google-ing Jonas V on Draft day? I admit, I’m guilty. But once I did my research on the Lithuanian center, I instantly fell in love. Not only because of his good looks but because of his skill and “fighter” approach. After a few more hours of researching and youtube-ing, I finally approved that this 20 year old is a perfect fit for the developing Toronto Raptors. He just has that perfect style of game to help the Raptors improve. He kind of reminds me of Andrea Bargnani, actually a lot. Bargnani has done a lot for the team, so no doubt that JV will do the same.

Although Mister Valanciunas made us wait a year before he decided to join the big league, he has really proved to all Toronto fans, and basically everyone else that he is ready for the NBA. During that time, and the off-season, Valanciunas was a named FIBA European Young Player of the Year and MVP in the VTB United League in February 2012. He won MVP again in the LKL All-Star game and also won the Eurocup Rising Star award in the All-Eurocup squad. And, he participated in the 2012 Olympics. [I know you’re all getting hyped to get him in Toronto already]

This young guy has the ability to help the Raptors and make the team stronger. I know I for one am more than thrilled to have October come faster so I can finally see Jonas in a Raptors jersey. If you’re late hopping the JV bandwagon, please do you’re research before he comes!

Basketball is like a “second religion” in Lithuania.

Behind #HELLOAISH

Hello readers, I’d like to start off by thanking everyone for reading my blogs!

I’m writing this blog especially for those of you asking what #HELLOAISH means and how I came up with it. It is quite evident from my blogs, Twitter and Facebook that basketball is my life. And, I’m assuming that if you are reading this, you’re a crazy basketball fanatic as well.

Anyone heard of #HelloBrooklyn? Yes, it started with the Nets. I tweeted #HelloBrooklyn a few months back, and got a reply from a follower. Can you guess what it said? #HELLOAISH. That’s right, it hit me right then, that that was a fantastic name for a blog.

I started planning out my blogging site and realized that every time some one comes up to me, I get a “Hey, Hi, Hello, Whats up Aish?” If you have ever talked to me, you would know that our conversations always end up with something basketball related. #HELLOAISH consists of my thoughts and opinions on basketball. In a way, I’m replying to a simple “Hello, Aish” with another basketball story.

There you have it folks, the story behind #HELLOAISH.

Must See: Kevin Garnett

If you’re a Boston Celtics fan; scratch that, if you’re an NBA fan, you have to watch Kevin Garnett – KG. I must say, KG’s journey to the NBA has been the greatest of all time. [So great, that I have deemed it my favourite NBA story] He has been a tremendous basketball player and athlete; 11 time all-star, Olympic gold medalist and of course, NBA champ. And, we all know he’s not done yet. I know for a fact that Mr. Garnett is one of the best in the league, maybe THE best. So, we know he’s great and that is why you should watch this documentary. Not only that, it’s filled with motivation and inspiration. Every step KG took brought him to where he is today. You need to see his journey as a teen athlete; it’ll make you realize how much talent you don’t have. No, I’m totally kidding. It’ll inspire you, and make you get off your lazy butt. That tall lanky teen crossing the draft stage in 1995 is just the beginning of a phenomenon. Follow his journey through his childhood, Chicago, Minnesota and Boston. I can assure you, if you love KG you are going to LOVE this movie. Go watch it now.

Posted in NBA

Hello 2012/2013 NBA Season

Hello 2012/2013 NBA Season

By Aish Abid

The NBA schedule was released just a few days back, and we all know what that means; the season is coming closer. The league faced many changes with teams, players and even coaches. Because of these changes, this season is going to be a thriller. In this post, I am going to note some upcoming games and teams that will be must sees this year [according to my preferences]. At number 1, the 2011/12 champs, Miami Heat take on the Celts. Ofcourse, the famous Big 3 will be there, only this time, Ray Allen will be playing with LeBron and the Heat. Next, at number 2, I know everyone is curious to see where Dwight Howard goes, but wherever he ends up, I want to see him take on the Magic with their new head coach, Jacque Vaughn. This off-season, the Dwightmare has been the center of attention, and it would be nice to finally see what Dwight chooses. Number 3, the new and improved Hornets begin this year with 2 of the biggest names in the 2012/13 Draft; Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. [This one is completely biased] Hornets v. Raptors. If you know me well enough, you would know that I was dying for Rivers to come to Toronto. But, since he didn’t, I want to see him play against our own improved team, the Raptors. With our newest members; Landry Fields, Kyle Lowry, Terrance Ross and Quincy Acy, we are sure to see a difference in this team. Here’s a new one, number 4, the NBA welcomes the newest team in the league, the Brooklyn Nets. Their home opener should be broadcasted everywhere! Lastly, Number 5 is a big one, and I can bet anything that all NBA fans are looking forward to this game. Heat v. OKC [flashback to the 2011/12 Finals].

I will continue to add more games to my “Must-see List” as more changes occur in the big league. Feel free to throw some comments on games you are most excited to see.