This has been a nightmare of a season for the Toronto Raptors in just about every way possible. The team has been displaced in Tampa Bay, Florida all year because of the ongoing pandemic, playing their games far away from one of the most passionate fanbases in the league. The Raptors promptly got out to a 2-8 start, and they’ve never really recovered: after seven straight seasons of winning at least 48 percent of their games — and three straight seasons with a winning percentage better than 70 percent — the Raptors currently sit nine games below .500 and would be out of the play-in tournament if it started today.
The Raptors dealt long-time franchise fixture Norman Powell at the trade deadline, and almost traded Kyle Lowry, the greatest Raptor ever, before deciding to pass on several different potential returns. Suddenly, the Raptors have won four straight games, and will be in a dog fight with the Wizards and Bulls down the stretch for the No. 10 seed and final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
If it’s been a hard year for the Raptors, you’d never know it by watching the video the team published on Friday morning. This is how you do rookie hazing the right way.
The Raptors decided to haze rookies Malachi Flynn and Freddie Gillespie by making them sing, according to Kyle Lowry, “the greatest song in the history of songs.” He isn’t wrong.
Flynn and Gillespie had to get up in front of the team and perform Miley Cyrus’ generational hit “Party in the USA.” Fred VanVleet made sure they were dancing, too. With Chris Boucher and Pascal Siakam leading the celebration, the rest of the Raptors exploded with joy as their rookies belted out the song.
Gillespie in particular seems like he starts out a little shy before fully getting into it. Nothing but respect. This is what true team camaraderie looks like.
Even during a trying year, the Raptors are still enjoying themselves. They’re even on a little hot streak right now as they do it. We’re sure the Raptors miss Toronto, but at the moment they’re finding jubilation by partying in the USA.