Title: He Stay Index: A look at which Raptors could be back and which could go this summer
Date: June 19, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the likelihood of each championship Raptor remaining a Raptor.
There are very few times I will complain about being reminded of The Wonder Years. Not only was the Philadelphia-area group a frequent reference in the Recalibration during the 76ers series, they’re one of my favourite bands. The unlikely Kawhi Leonard tie-in has been unexpected.
To explain: On their 2013 album “The Greatest Generation,” The Wonder Years have a track called “Passing Through a Screen Door.” It is a painful snapshot of life for someone who chose other things as their friends progressed with small-town life as planned. It’s a little too relatable. It also builds through regret and anxiety to eventually plead, “And I was kinda hoping you’d stay.” It’s better not alone, and all. The album concludes with “I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral,” a lyrical medley of all the tracks before it. Here, the pleas grow more guttural. “But I was kinda hoping you’d stay, I need you to stay, oh god could you stay?”
Raptors fans aren’t quite that desperate, at least not after celebrating the 2019 NBA championship over the last few days. I will say, however, that people wasted no time getting right back into please-stay mode. It’s entirely understandable. Leonard just led the Raptors to a title, he’s about to become a free agent, he’s asking what it do (baybeeee) and is eager to drink alcohol and eat desserts and is playing to the crowd as they ask for one – or five – more years. Him coming back would be an even better bookend on the year than him sarcastically repeating his media day laugh at the parade. And so within our playoff coverage, parade coverage, season-wrap coverage, random tweets about Bray Wyatt and more, there’s been a common “but I was kinda hoping he’d stay … will he stay?” refrain.
Well, luckily, we do this annual column trying to rank who is most and least likely to remain a Raptor.