When we last saw T.J Ford in Toronto
That was the last time we would see T.J Ford as a Raptor. Many people have anger for T.J Ford and blame him for what went wrong last season. But a new season and still problems in Raptorland. I respectfully say to you T.J was not the problem. It is just that he was deemed to be not as good as Jose Calderon. I dispute that, and I am willing to bet T.J Ford does as well. If not for his injury in Atlanta the entire story could be very different. Ford prior to that injury, what often gets forgotten is that he was playing some of the best basketball of his NBA Career.
I am heading down to the A.C.C to welcome back T.J Ford. I will cheer when his name gets announced. I think T.J Ford put his body on the line for this team. The strength of T.J Ford to come back from 2 injuries that many felt could have ended his career should tell you all you need to know about T.J Ford. He is not some evil figure like Vince Carter. He never asked to leave Toronto. He wanted to play in Toronto the problem was he wanted to play as the starter. He felt it was his job and that he never did anything beyond getting injured in trying hard to win. Jose Calderon was able to take the injury of Ford and turn it into a huge step for him in his NBA Career. Calderon made the same feeling be known that he wanted to be the starter.
So Bryan Colangelo made a choice and Ford would end up in Indiana as a Pacer.Many point to the fact Jose is more of a team player than Ford. But T.J is a team player as well he just goes about it in a very different way. He feels he can be a team player by doing what he can on the floor to help his team win. He is not getting Gatorade for his team mates and in a comparison of who is the better guy he could never win. That is not to say T.J is not a great person as well. He is and just head down to Charlotte and find D.J Augustin he will tell you. Ford worked with Augustin and got him ready for the NBA draft which would see the fellow Texas point guard end up in Charlotte. He has had a great start to his rookie year and T.J is part of that through his help and work with D.J.
Looking at the game tonight. T.J Ford will no doubt be fired up and take this a personal challenge. The danger for Ford will be to play under control and not forget about his team. If Calderon is smart he will try to get Ford to get engaged in a battle between the two. But the key problem for Calderon will be very simple. Ford is to many the fastest point guard in the NBA and I think will have a huge advantage in a match-up with Calderon. So Jose may be in trouble like he has been against Rajon Rondo and Devin Harris recently. They were not motivated to kick his butt on any personal level. Ford will be.
In the end T.J Ford was a huge part of this team's only every division title and he did nothing but try as hard as he could to be the best player he could be in his time hear. He almost gave his basketball life for the Toronto Raptors. I respect that and respect him. Anyone that even puts T.J Ford and Vince Carter in the same sentence is dead wrong. Ford is not a guy who never gave all he had. Would he get frustrated and moody. Yeah he would. But he never quit on Toronto. Vince Carter did. That is why people boo Vince Carter. It is also why you should cheer T.J and Rasho as well. Both guys gave a good effort in the time they spent here and gave all they had. So I am going to cheer T.J when he returns and any time in the future I will do the same. You can have your say in the poll.
Speaking of your say. I want your question and comments for the Nation Speaks. It is your chance to ask questions of me or just let us know your 2 cents on any issue. It is all good to me. Just make sure it is something I can publish. PG-13 level language please. Beyond that it is all good. So seen an e-mail titled NATION SPEAKS to me at the blog's email address.
That is it for me till tomorrow. No Raptor Rewind but lots of thoughts on what should be an interesting night at the A.C.C. I am going to be hosting are contest winner Brett and making sure he has a great time. Hopefully will have some photo to share from the experience for you all to check out. Last time I was at A.C.C my camera was not being good. But I figured out the problem so I will try to take some photos of the experience.