I will get into the game itself tomorrow but I thought is might be cool to share my experience in covering the game today. It has been a long time between visits to the Raptors locker room. I have mentioned in the blog before that I covered the Charity games Vince Carter use to do in the summer time. I will never forget my first time interviewing Vince. It was not a great start for me in working with NBA Players. I asked what seemed to me like a fair question. Vince had ended the season injured and this was the first time anyone had seen him out on the floor in a long time. So I asked him if he felt that he had anything to prove going out there on the floor even though it was just a charity game. Vince did not exactly take kindly to the question and basically said he had nothing to prove to anyone and basically that he was Vince Carter. I have to say I kind of felt bad, as back in the days of Vinsanity I was a huge fan. So, I quickly asked him a funny question about golf and how he compared to Tiger Woods on the golf course and got the heck out of dodge. Vince had played in some charity golf thing the day before so I figured that question would make him laugh and it did.
I have hopefully learned from that experience. Still when I asked Chris Bosh today about it being a big season for him and what his expectations where heading into I was sure hoping I did not have to re-live that moment with Vince all over again. Happy to report I did not have to do that. It probably helped that I mentioned that I am Cowboys fan, as we all have to stick together in these tough times for the Cowboys. At least Chris and Jarrett Jack could be happy that their Yellow Jackets upset V-Tech. Demar DeRozan was also pumped about his Trojans win over N.D. If there is one thing I have learned in my limited time around NBA players is that the whole school pride factor is huge for most guys. Reggie Evans still on the mend is happy to tell anyone that will listen how good things are going for his Iowa squad in the Big Ten. I have to admit I am a it jealous of all that school pride. I could not tell you what the Mohawk Mountaineers have been up to since I graduated. Chris did answer the question but will save that for tomorrow.
If you have never had the pleasure of meeting an NBA player the one thing that will amaze you is just the size of these guys. I mean being 6ft tall that is not exactly short by average people standards. Step in the Raptor locker room and you suddenly will feel very small. But it was a really great feeling to be back in the Raps locker room again. It has got a major makeover since I was last there but the basic layout was the same. Demar Derozan next door, locker wise is Chris Bosh. That should only be a good thing for Demar. Chris and him have some things in common with both being one and done college stars for major programs. Demar has always talked about learning and to have Chris Bosh to learn from right next door in the locker room is a pretty good place to start.
It really is quite amazing to see how far this blog and I along with it have come. I really feel like I am living a dream at times on days like this especially. It's ironic that I called in on the fan 590 talking about the subject of blogs like this one getting access and two days later was doing just that. I think and hope a day will come where bloggers can have access to teams. However I do feel that you have to work to get there. I feel that in the almost 2 years that I have busted my butt to get there. I also understand that it takes patience and time to get to certain goals. It is something that in every aspect of this blog I have tried to do. To work on building relationships with people from the guests I am fortunate to have, to the groups and other blogs that have helped support this blog and to all of you that read the blog. I respect everyone and try to do my best to show that in all that I do.
There are really not words for how fortunate that I feel for all of the things the Dino Nation Blog has brought to me. It has brought me great experiences and helped me get to know a lot of great people. So often blogs can get tagged with being negative and taking that approach in what they do. Dino Nation Blog has it moments of that but ultimately it has always been about my great love and passion for basketball and sharing that with all of you. Someone left a comment after I had been at training camp hoping that by getting access here and there would not change the Dino Nation Blog. Well the only changes will be good ones. I am still going to be me and share how I feel about things. I always want to keep things the same. I truly feel like someone who represents all of you the fans of the Raptors and the Dino Nation Blog. In a sense you folks have a major impact in how this all works. I try to ask questions that I feel will be ones you would want to know if you were the ones asking them. Amir Johnson was blown away by Raptor fans, as am I on a daily basis.
So the Raptors may have lost today and yeah maybe the defense still needs a lot of work before the 28th. But you will forgive me if I still have a smile on my face in being able to have a great day getting to cover the sport that I truly love. In the end it is that love and passion we all have that keeps us coming back to read blogs like this one, watch games and cheer on our favourite players and teams.
No matter how many calls that these replacement officials make it still will not crush my happy feelings. Although some of the calls were just brutal. I got my dollar to throw in the pot and if ever person that loved basketball did the same maybe we could get the "Real"refs back please. Live or on T.V the calls still look the same...BAD!!!
So it was a great thrill to take the Dino Nation to a place it had never been... the Raptors Locker Room at the ACC. I am thankful for the opportunity to do so thanks to the Raptors.