TORONTO, ON – MAY 07: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors reacts after being fouled in the first half of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

TORONTO – Friends of the Toronto Raptors don’t want to say they told them so, but they told them.

“I always wanted to be nice and support what they do,” said one longtime friend of the team. “But I’m not at all surprised that they’re back in Toronto again after getting beaten down in the States. It’s just … different down there. I don’t know why the Raptors couldn’t be okay with just being good here in Canada.”

Another friend of the Raptors said she told them years ago this exact scenario of repeated playoff humiliations could occur. The Toronto Raptors odds never have been very good to win a championship.

“Everyone thinks they’re the next Bieber or Drake or 1992 and ’93 Blue Jays,” she said. “But those were special cases. Did they really think they could ever compete with the LeBrons of the world? I mean come on. I told them that it was a real risk they were going to be the Vancouver Grizzlies or Jay and Dan or Taylor Kitsch. It’s not that those things are bad, they’re just not, you know … breakthrough American stars. They should have stayed in Canada. And there’s nothing wrong with that. People like the Argonauts just fine. But now that the Raptors tried and failed to crossover, I think they’re disappointed in themselves. I hate to see that.”

Despite the complete and total failure in the States, the Raptors say they couldn’t have lived with themselves if they hadn’t tried.

“There’s just a bigger world out there beyond Canada,” said Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. “I’m sure I could have averaged 40 points a game or whatever in the Canadian league. But I always would have wondered if I could have made it in the NBA. Now I know I can’t. And I’m at peace with that.”

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