Maybe it is too much to expect that Sam Mitchell’s Toronto Raptors will provide us with nearly as much crazy entertainment in ’05/06 as they did last season. GM Pete Babcock is already trying to lower expectations. From the Toronto Sun :

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock still is reeling from an article which ran in last Wednesday’s Toronto Sun.

Babcock(above) told the Sun that, given the youthful nature of this year’s team, the club will be hard-pressed to match last season’s record of 33-49, a mark that kept the Raps out of the playoffs for the third straight season.

Those comments created a firestorm of controversy.

Although Babcock did not deny making the statements, he took issue of a headline over the story, which read: ‘We’ve got no chance: GM.’

“It created a lot of problems,” Babcock said yesterday. “Players, like everybody else, read the internet, but they don’t see the whole picture. That (item) created a lot of extra work hours for me, contacting the players.”

One player he hadn’t been able to reach, as of yesterday, was veteran swingman Jalen Rose, who was not impressed with his GM’s words last week.

“I’ve never been part of a situation like that — and I’m sure I’ve never heard anybody in professional sports make a comment so negative that early in the season,” Rose said on the Best Damn Sports Show Period.

“Even bad teams have optimism. You don’t want to take away the optimism so early in the season. The Bad News Bears coach wouldn’t even tell (his team) that.”