Rivalries are what make sports great. Federer has Nadal. Nicklaus had Palmer. The Lakers had the Celtics. Tiger has…hey can we find someone for Tiger?
For fans, seeing the same two teams or athletes go up against each other time and time again is what makes sports memorable.
For the Raptors this year, they don’t yet have a deep and long-standing rival, but it seems to me like it will be the Orlando Magic in years to come. It has all the ingredients.
Both teams are young with outstanding big men in Bosh and Howard. They already have some history ever since the Magic dusted off the Raptors rather easily in five games a couple of years ago. They are both up-and-coming teams (more so the Magic of course) with long and bright futures ahead of them. Clashing in the playoffs at some point is inevitable.
These reasons alone could be enough to argue for a rivalry of sorts. But with the moves bringing Carter to Orlando and Turkoglu to Toronto a month or so back, the heat has been turned up at least a few notches. Toronto fans have haven’t yet forgiven Carter for abandoning their team, and likely never will. The level of disdain in the form of boos, cat-calls, “Carter sucks” chants, and anything else they can think of (including going after his mother) have been a given anytime Carter takes the floor in Toronto. We love to hate him. We are in awe of his physical gifts and respect them to be sure, but the fact that he’s using them now to help another team pushes us over the edge.
With the swap of these two young franchise players (by the way, I would take Turkoglu), the already heated rivalry is destined to be intensified.