There seems to be quite an uproar over the fact that Julian Wright refused to go into the game Friday during Toronto’s 138-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Let’s put the entire incident into perspective. What Wright did was an act of insubordination and obstinate. It was wrong, W-R-O-N-G, wrong on any level. He was frustrated, it was out of character and he told my broadcast partner Eric Smith
and one other reporter as much Saturday night before the Raptors played the Los Angeles Clippers. No question, he made a bad choice and painted himself, for now, in a bad light not to mention letting his teammates down by refusing to go into the game. But Wright was disciplined, to the point where it raised eyebrows with some of his teammates quelling the idea that others could pull the same stunt without fear of retribution. But realistically, that should be the end of it.
Wright shows up every day and works/plays hard when he’s given his chance. But for those in the fan base that want their “pound of flesh” by cutting him from the team, I’d say that is a bit too extreme.
For those of you that are parents, if a kid hasn’t disappointed you yet then you’re lucky. But you know what, it’s coming, and after you deal with it, you have to move forward. President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo spoke about it on Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590 Monday morning. Don’t get me wrong, again, Wright’s actions were worthy of stern discipline and internally, we’re told it was doled out.
There will continue to be disagreements as to how the sitution was handled. But as long as Wright and the rest of the team understands and gets the message, it’s a done deal.
Mitch Lawrence reported Sunday that Bryan Colangelo is likely going to re-sign in Toronto and other dominoes will fall into accordance with that move. Lawrence said the Raptors hope to replace Jay Triano with current New York Knicks bench boss, Mike D’Antoni who may be fired at the end of the season. Andrea Bargnani could as well be on the trading block after an uninspiring season.
Currently, there is nothing official on Bryan Colangelo’s future and he is moving forward as if he will be here for the long run. The man is too competitive to “let go of the rope”. There is also nothing new to report regarding the proposed sale of the majority ownership share currently belonging to the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. You would think that Colangelo will be in charge going forward, as he will need to prepare for the draft, signing of free agents and the task of re-constructing a team for next season. If not, someone else is coming into a very tough position with pressure being a major variable in the decision making. Add to that the prospect of a lockout and time will be come more a factor if your basketball operations department has to move quickly if/when a lockout reaches a sudden settlement.
As for the coaching report, it’s true Colangelo and D’Antoni have worked very successfully together in the past but it’s no secret that Colangelo handed the reigns to Triano after removing Sam Mitchell. Colangelo and Triano are in concert with the current re-tooling of the team and as Colangelo put it, during this very difficult season, he has watched as “Jay has done everything asked during the re-build”.
The Los Angeles Lakers are surging as they now own a 15-1 record since the All-Star break and are quickly approaching the conference-leading San Antonio Spurs. So, where did all the talk go about the Lakers desperately needing a deal in order to win a third straight championship?
It was interesting to read this column
on Lakers’ veteran guard Derek Fisher and to make inferences that some fans want a younger and quicker player. Phil Jackson understands why Fisher is able to make big shots and how rule changes over the years have impacted the game defensively giving the offensive players a significant advantage.
So the Miami Heat’s threesome touched the record books. During Sunday’s win over the Houston Rockets, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh each scored at least 30 points. The last time this occurred was back in 1961 when Oscar Robertson, Wayne Embry and Jack Twyman did it for the Cincinnati Royals.
When I asked Embry about that night, he laughed and said, “That was so long ago I don’t remember anything except for the fact that we lost the game and I think Wilt gave us about 65 (points).”
For the record, Chamberlain did score 65 in a win by the Philadelphia Warriors over the Royals on Feb. 13, 1962. Surely Embry would like to have that fade from his memory bank as well. But for the record, Big Wayne did drop 37 that night along with Oscar and Twyman