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Update: A reader e-mail alerted us to NBA bylaws that compensate for the tax difference in Canada. The rule limits taxation on signing bonuses American players earn from Canadian teams.Earlier: Shaquille O’Neal had this to say on U.S.-born players not wanting to play in the one NBA city north of the border, in an interview with AskMen.com:
It’s not that. It’s the double taxes that deter players from going there. Also Bosh obviously couldn’t handle the pressure, so he had to go join two other people to help him out. Listen to what I tell you Toronto is in the top three NBA cities for every NBA player. Trust me on that, brother.
That’s good news for the Raptors, who are used to hearing that NBA stars don’t want any part of Toronto. Now they just have to find away around Canada’s tax laws.
However, we’re still waiting for a player willing to back up Shaq’s talk with an actual commitment to the city. The three biggest stars in Raptors history – Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Chris Bosh – all bolted for U.S. cities before leading the team to a title.
Then again, Bosh “couldn’t handle the pressure” so maybe Toronto will be all the better for his exit.
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