Colangelo saw something in DeMar DeRozan. He drafted him. He vouched for him. He re-signed him a year before he had to. And if Colangelo was wrong about some things — OK, a lot of things — history has proven him entirely right on this score.
“I just told the guys. Don’t get in the vacation mindset,” Casey said following Sunday’s win. “This is an NBA mandatory players association deal. I wouldn’t, if I had my druthers, I’d rather not have it but I do know we have some nicks and cuts that we need to get corrected and mixed up. But we can’t have a letdown. We can’t get in the vacation mindset — well, we can relax — because Sacramento took us to the woodshed at their place last time. Took our guys out, fed ’em and then beat ’em the next night. So we owe them something coming in here and we can’t go into these two days off that we got, that we gotta have — mandatory, not because I wanted to give it to ’em — and then come back with two good days of practice before we play Sacramento.”
Has been sensational for the Raps in the past few weeks. His confidence in his three-point shooting and his ability to make difficult shots in the lane have been huge. He runs the team well and plays with wonderful enthusiasm. Major pick-up as a back-up point guard and he’s finally settled in to his role and comfort level in Toronto. Really fun/upbeat personality who loves the game and plays with a swagger. Fun to see it all coming together for him.
Canadian players have long dreamed of playing in Division I, but more and more, Division I coaches dream of signing Canadian players. The reasons behind Canada’s rise are varied and complex, but a few driving forces stand out. The Toronto Raptors and, to a lesser extent, the now-departed Vancouver Grizzlies, brought the NBA up north when they were added as expansion teams in 1995. Scrubb and his brother Thomas, also a starter for Carleton, grew up in British Columbia rooting for Shareef Abdur-Rahim and the Grizzlies. Churchill’s childhood in Toronto featured regular trips to watch Vince Carter with the Raptors. “People around my age,” says Churchill, “if they grew up in Toronto, there’s a good chance they grew up as basketball fans. Vince Carter just drew people into the sport in a way that no one else ever had.”