What if the Toronto Raptors didn’t play basketball?

Photo credit: Toronto Raptors/YouTube (effects by Hugh McLarty)

One of the hardest professions in the world to get into is that of a professional basketball player. Millions of people around the world wake up each morning with dreams of making it to the NBA – and with only 450 rosters spots available in a given year – it seems virtually impossible.

To put it into a little bit more context – If you can manage to make a D1 roster in the NCAA, the odds of you playing in the NBA are a measly .03%.

So it’s suffice to say, making the NBA is statistically one of the hardest things to do, and a lot of variables have to go your way on top of having an inhuman work ethic and level of determination.

So when you watch the Toronto Raptors play, even Aron Baynes, understand that these men defied all odds to get there and could have easily ended up working a regular job just like you and me.

If Not Basketball, Then What?!

Taking that sentiment to heart, I decided to do a little brainstorm session and ask the question: if they didn’t make the NBA what would the Toronto Raptors be doing with their lives?


I have done absolutely no research in the players interests, education history and overall applicable skills they have unrelated to basketball.

Aron Baynes – Farmer

This guy just screams “manual labour” to me. He’s a work horse, well fed and does the dirty stuff no one really likes to do anyway. Also, from what I understand about farming, unless you’re milking cows, you don’t need a coordinated, soft set of hands to get the job done.

Pascal Siakam – Nursing Home Attendant

Pascal has a lot of things going for him, other than being good at basketball. He is personable, funny and seems like a pretty approachable guy so you have to assume that would translate over to a nursing home seamlessly. Spicy P would be the geriatrics best part of the day, with a smile that could charm even the grumpiest of grandpas.

Fred VanVleet – Ecommerce Aficionado

A man who’s personal mantra is “bet on yourself” wouldn’t be caught dead working for someone else. If basketball wasn’t his calling, this man would have his own online marketplace by 18 selling cutting boards through Amazon or whatever those people do.

OG Anunoby – Spy

Honestly… I think he actually is a spy working with British intelligence as we speak. If this is the last article you read of mine, please don’t assume that’s a coincidence.

Gary Trent Jr. – Unemployed

I just get that vibe. No shot at GTJ but… I can’t help the thoughts that I think sometimes, you know?

Yuta Watanabe – Teacher

I picture Yuta Watanabe in a classroom, squatted down next to the “troubled kid” offering words of encouragement, and support that other teachers don’t bother to give. One day that child will become rich an famous and credit their success to the kind hearted 5th grade teacher that was the only one who saw him for the smart, talented child they were.

Khem Birch & Chris Boucher – Novelty T-Shirt Vendors

If you have ever been to Montreal or Quebec City then you know what I’m talking about. These two would go halfsies on the shop and become the most profitable novelty T-shirt vendors their neighbourhood has ever seen.

Freddie Gillespie – Door to Door Salesman

I think out of all of the professions chosen by me, this is the one I feel most confident about (other than OG being a spy because that’s real). Freddie G’s energy would be a perfect fit for this kind of gig and would be one of the few success stories out of the thousands of people who thought they could get rich selling knives door to door.

Malachi Flynn – Whatever His Dad Does

I’m not sure what Eric Flynn does or did for a living, all I know is that Malachi would be doing the same.

Kyle Lowry – Exotic Dancer

No explanation needed for this one.

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