Well, another one got away Wednesday night in Milwaukee. It looked good in the first half and if not for the Bucks closing with a bit of a run at the end of the quarter it would have been a double figure lead at half. Regardless, the Bucks simply had more energy and as one Raptor player said “out-worked the Raptors in the second half” shooting 53.3 percent from the floor en route to a 113-107 win.
A prime example was Jerry Stackhouse, who was playing in his first game after recently being inked to a contract by Milwaukee. “Stack” picked up five rebounds, four of them on the offensive glass. He’s just the kind of veteran player that any team could use. Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan was more than happy to see Milwaukee sign Stackhouse to have an experienced player on the squad.
Hmmm. Wonder if Stackhouse was ever a serious consideration in Toronto? He may not be as dynamic a player as he once was but there is no substitute for experience and toughness.
Back to the game, and while some of the Raptors struggled last night, how about the “herculean effort” of Chris Bosh that wasn’t enough to produce a win as he hung up a career-high 44 points?
I am often asked as someone that travels with the team, like that gives me some telepathic insight into Bosh’s thoughts, what I think is going to happen at the end of the year. Will he be here, or not? It’s really hard to say. There are nights like the one a couple of weeks ago where the Raptors grind out a tough road win in Orlando against a good team and the look on #4′s face says “we got somethin’ goin’ here and I’m stickin’ around to be part of it.” And then there are nights like last night when he stands in the locker room, with an empty stare on his face, gazing into space with an expression that says “I’m done with this”.
To be honest, nobody knows but the man himself.
Do you remember the look on the faces of the Vancouver Grizzlies in the Naismith Cup game in Edmonton as Miller came into the contest during the waning minutes and did what any self -respecting player trying to make an NBA squad would do in a preseason game, and that is get noticed. As Miller proceeded to “get busy” on the court, the Grizzlies were upset as they feel Toronto was trying to rub it in by putting Miller on the floor. Needless to say, Miller scored some points but was subsequently cut by the Raptors.
Hey, I give the guy credit. With all the money he has made outside of sports, he just wanted to play ball. Asked for an assessment of him upon his release, then Raptor coach Butch Carter said with a laugh “He’s like all NBA players, he thinks he’s better than he really is.”
Needless to say, he’s still a hoops fan and for that, I got time for him. Raptor fans can expect to see him in Toronto in the near future as he says he will be here to be involved in a few events.
I took the opportunity to talk to James about the movie More Than A Game and by the way if you haven’t seen it, make sure you do as it’s a great story. James and I spoke briefly and he thanked me for the positive comments. And that brings me to my point about what he’s going to do next year. With the Cavaliers winning and James already a world-wide celebrity, does he really need to leave Cleveland? He’s a local kid and has put Cleveland back on the map and with the legendary Jim Brown urging him to stay in Cleveland it says here that it would be very surprising to see James leave Cleveland. The movie opens a window into the sense of loyalty that James possesses which is one of the main reasons, I think he stays put.
You just wish James would stop teasing people with things like wearing a blue shoe and an orange shoe in Portland a while back. Yes, those are colours of the old Cavs uniforms and as he said he wore them to honour the likes of Brad Daugherty and Craig Ehlo but blue and orange also happen to be the New York Knicks colours and with LeBron on a huge billboard a block from Madison Square Garden, isn’t that setting up one city for a some sort of disappointment?
Imagine the cab of an 18-wheeler attached to a flat-bed toe truck and you have the Shaqliner complete with the Superman symbol on the front and the moniker emblazoned across the front, simply hilarious!
But the biggest thrill Tuesday evening was seeing my boyhood hero, Jim Brown. He’s the reason that I am still a Cleveland Browns fan and even though he has since become a somewhat controversial and polarizing figure in American society, he still might be the greatest running back of all time.