In pre-game shoot around I watched him talking with so many folks. From his former team mate in Alvin Williams, members of the media like Paul Jones and Doug Smith to a security guard that obviously has been at the ACC back to his playing days as a Raptor. They all greeted him with smiles and the same was offered in return. There is just something about Morris Peterson that makes him so easy to like.
Peterson was traded from New Orleans to Oklahoma City. This is a Thunder team with little in terms of veteran experience. While some where hopeful or being optimistic the change might see Mo get some more PT it just hasn't worked out. Last night in Toronto was only the 3rd game he has seen minutes this season. The last time, before last night, was on November 19th when the KDless Thunder surprised the Celtics. In fact until last night Peterson had not recorded a point.
Still no matter what the rest of his days in the NBA hold, he will always be loved here just as much as Vince Carter is not.
I asked him if it is still fun coming back to Toronto even now after more than a couple years have passed.
Morris Peterson " It is always special to come back to Toronto. I have a lot of friends here. Playing here 7 years I had a chance to develop relationships. It is always nice to see familiar faces."
It has to feel good knowing that you are one of the guys that has left and is still loved unlike some others on the other side of the coin. It must be nice to come back knowing that people still have warm feelings towards you?
Morris Peterson "It's good to be accepted. To be recognized....I have been getting a lot of tweets and messages thanking me for all the years I had here. You develop relationships not just with people but with the fans as well. I always love coming back here"
I asked him his thoughts on his new team in OKC and if there were any similarities to any of the Raptor teams he played on?
"I think this team... we got a lot of potential. These guys work hard. Each team is different that I have been on. We have some great young players. Some guys that have bright futures. I'm just trying to do what I can to help these guys be the best players that they can be."
Some of those young guys came and gave Mo-P a hard time (not really) pretending to be reporters asking some funny questions on what he does to help these young guys. D.J White and Byron Mullens were among the 3 players playing reporter. It was pretty funny. It just shows that whatever locker room Morris Peterson is in you can know 2 things. He is always going to be loved by his team members and their is always going to be humour.
We also before the interview started were almost taken out by a Gatorade bottle, but I am happy to report that both myself and Morris Peterson were not harmed in the conducting of this interview. But it was close. After we were done talking we got talking about a few things. The fact that I am from Hamilton and he is from Flint. Which means nothing to people out side of those towns. But if you live in them and are involved in sports at all the 2 cities are tied by a sporting event called the Canus games. It is like a little mini-Olympics of all different sports. I remember back when Mo was a Raptor he had mentioned he took part in them as a kid. I never did was not that great an athlete. He may be a Spartan but even as a Wolverine fan there is no possible way on earth I can not like Morris Peterson. The other scary thing is he looks almost the same as the guy I interviewed back at those V.C Charity games a long time ago.
He was probably one of the first NBA guys that I ever interviewed and he is still one of my favourites. Andrea Bargnani will likely beat his 3 point mark some day but record book or not you will always remember Morris Peterson as Raptor we love. No list is complete with out him