I admit I did not get a chance to see the game last night. I saw the part that mattered which was the end. I can not thank Caron Butler enough. Seriously I may take cheap shots at Gilbert Arenas whenever I get a chance. Think it is because I am bitter that he is the world's highest paid blogger at 111 million. He plays the odd NBA game as well I am told. But regardless of that Caron Butler deserved to be cheered off the court as he ran off the court with his finger in the air. It was not even the middle one. I guess he was referring to keeping hope alive for the Wiz to get that number one pick. However his undressing of Shawn Marion actually helped the Raptors from screwing their chances any further. The Raps have went into a tail spin since the 6 game win streak out of no where. But the Raptors OUR who we THOUGHT THEY WERE and there is NO LETTING THEM OFF THE HOOK. Change has to happen and this is a way to enforce that. This team is flawed and needs to fix a number of issues. I still have faith that Bryan Colangelo is the man to do that as well. He will turn this around and has a history of being able to. This man was able to restore this team from the mess Rob Babcock left it in. If he can do that, he can do this as well.
The question will be if he wants Chris Bosh a part of that mix to fix it. He should but the question of how much is the largest one for Colangelo. I think if Bosh wants out the answers are far easier. However I have yet to see a clear sign that he does. In fact from what he has said and done he gives very little indication that he wants to go. He wants this team to be better and who doesn't after this season. It will be interesting indeed.
I guess my biggest fear is if Bosh goes I see an Andrea Bargnani reverting back to the Andrea that lacked confidence and was so inconsistent. I am not so sure how mentally tough Bargnani is. Could he handle being the best player on the Raptors? To be the guy that everyone looks at? I don't think he can now and I am not sure if he ever could. That is not a knock on Andrea. After all he was not drafted to be a Batman we already had one. Jose Calderon for all his energy and team play is not exactly a leader as well. You may get all upset about that but it is how I see it. On Spain the leader of that team is Pau Gasol not Jose. Here Bosh is the guy and not Jose. Calderon may be a lot of things but leader is not one of them. Do you think Obama goes around and hands out Gatorade in the breaks in meetings in the Oval Office? I am thinking that does not happen. It is also hard to be a leader when you are one of the worst defenders on a team. Improving he may be but at his best Jose Calderon is an average defender.
You know who was a leader despite not being the main guy. Alvin Williams was that guy. He was the guy that hit the biggest shot in the history of this franchise. Vince Carter he was short on a jumper in Philly. Williams made the dagger shot that clinched the only playoff series win in franchise history. Williams was as tough as you get and that maybe why his career did not go as long as it could have. He played through pain and never used it as an excuse. Did you hear that Jose Calderon supporters? No Excuses just went out and balled with all he had. No one asked if Alvin was healthy or at a 100%. He never was and it never mattered. The fact the ACC crowd gave him cheers was great to see. I think it is clear how much Toronto misses Boogie Williams. If I could put the talent of a Jose Calderon in a guy with the heart and grit of an Alvin Williams I would have a point guard that I could get behind. Look even in the NCAA at what Ty Lawson did and how he played through injury. Calderon gets a really soft ride from people in part because he is a great guy. I understand that and as a person Jose is first rate. Sam Mitchell had said he would want his daughter to date a guy like Jose someday. You don't get any higher amount of praise as a person. However this is not about who is the most beautiful person in the world. This is not People Magazine. This is basketball and it is about wins and loses. If people are great beyond the lines of that basketball court great. However I do not care as much about that if they are not. Go out and win keep your nose clean and I got no problem with you.
I like guys with an edge. They are not bad people as much as you may want them to be. Terrell Owen is all about him, but he is also about winning with him scoring the touchdown to win the game. Is he a bad dude when you get down to it? How bout Ron Artest. He is another guy that is deep down a guy that can have some fire. If you go into a crowd of people on a visiting court and try to fight a guy that maybe nuts. O.K it is nuts. However Artest is a talented guy that takes pride in defense. You need that before all else. Any great defender wants to have the challenge to stop a guy. Last night you saw that kind of pride between Kobe Bryant and Brandon Roy doing battle. Raptors need guys willing to give all they have to stop the best. To embrace that role and that challenge. Anthony Parker was said to be the team's best defender the past few years. Do you ever recall A.P being disgusted with himself for getting burned? He always would have some comment like you do what you can to stop (Insert Star Player Name) and try to contain him. Screw that. I want a guy that is going to accept the challenge and try to shut someone down. Is it realistic he will do it. No but if you go in with the attitude of trying to shut some one down even if you lose a few times along the way it will likely be a better result.
The era of the soft nice guy Raptors needs to end. It is never going to get them anywhere. I remember J.O when he was here talking about the Raptors having in the past been a bunch of nice guys and they would help up the other team. Screw that as well. I want warriors for 48 minutes guys that are going to shake hands at a start of a game but kick your butt all the way through it or die trying. That is the Raptor team I want to see. This group of Raptors is rapidly not showing any of the qualities that I respect and enjoy. I think a lot of people share that desire and you only need to look back in the past to see it. JYD, Alvin Williams,Matt Bonner and today Pops Mensah Bonsu. None of them are going in a hall of fame. They are not going to All Star Games. They are likely not even going to get to star in their own You Tube Video. However they are guys that busted there tail and gave what they had to try to win. I said the other day about Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. If I didn't think WWE had it copyrighted I would say that should be the theme for this next season. That is what we want and need from our Toronto Raptors!!!