Raptors announced yesterday that Alan Anderson has been given a contract for the upcoming season. Anderson finished the 2011-12 season on a couple 10 day contracts with the Raptors and did turn a few heads it some ultimately mealiness games down the stretch. This leaves the Raptors with 14 players under contract which would leave room for another meaningless signing of Jamaal Magloire if they so desire. After all he did promise us a playoff spot this season without having a contract to be back.
I found myself angry when someone referenced Anderson as a "good guy" on twitter. This is not to say that he isn't. In the limited interactions I have had with him I would not disagree that he is a nice person. That said, I have reached the point personally that I grow tired of someone being a "good guy" or a "nice guy" as a selling point on why we sign someone.
I honestly don't care anymore on if someone is a nice guy or not. Can he play basketball and does he make this team better are my only concerns. Nice Guys finish last is an expression we all have heard since we were children. There might be some truth to that. Honestly, what good has it done to have a group of nice guys that were marketable and for the most part a low risk to get in any kind of trouble. It has not exactly led to a parade of playoff performances and success has it.
While you can get yourself in trouble going in a complete 180 of this, I still am not worried about a person being a good or bad guy. Demarcus Cousins has a well documented history of being a bit of problem child in his time with Kings. I still would be happy to have him over a guy like Ed Davis who is a nice guy. In terms of basketball talent think most would agree that Cousins is the better talent. Thus my choice would be based on that. We seem to have this massive fascination with what a given player will do to the chemistry of the locker room. Every now and than maybe it isn't a bad thing to bring in someone that will turn things a bit upside down. When you have this peace and harmony that most feel makes for an ideal locker room that can also lead to complacency.
So it is the hope, that regardless of if he is a good guy or a bad guy, that someone like Kyle Lowry can shake things up a bit. What the Raptors have seemed to lack is a leader to stand up and take this team by the throat and push it to be better. Casey can only do so much of that as a coach. Something I think we all learned from Sam Mitchell and his run in Toronto. It has to come from one of the guys in that room.
However what I am ultimately sick of both as someone that covers this team and as a fan is this notion that it matters if a guy is a good dude or not. What matters is winning. That is all that should matter at the end of the day. While I do not want a team of thugs and problem child types both on and off the floor. I am fine with a guy that keeps his nose clean off the floor and may not be the nicest guy in the world. I am cool with a guy that might not have a chance of winning most popular Raptor. I am fine if he tweets stupid stuff or stuff I would not agree with. At the end it is about winning. It nice to be idealistic and think that can be done with a group of great guys. That seldom is the case though. Ask yourself if you honestly think Jordan was a great guy or was he simple a great player? Kobe Bryant is not a great guy either really? Lebron James is ultimately kind of a jerk. Sure I would love to see a guy like a Kevin Durant win a title and a team like the OKC Thunder. Even on a team like that, Perkins is far from being a nice dude and winning Mr. popular. I think we all get guilty of this, what a guy is like kind of thing from time to time. Ultimately, a person and how they act is only relevant to how it translates on to a basketball court. So let's all try and focus on that. If a guys signs autographs for kids and gets out and does stuff in the community that is great. Still I am ultimately concerned with basketball. This could be a statement about why the Raptors shouldn't bother resigning Magloire. Which indirectly it is, although ultimately it is more a general frustration with hearing about how wonderful various guys are. You know what isn't wonderful? The Raptors record the last 3 years or so. It isn't wonderful missing the playoffs year after year. If you doubt that ask a Leaf fan. If you are a Leaf fan you are already aware of this. Winning nothing more or nothing less is all that should matter at this point.