Toronto’s president and general manager, Masai Ujiri, tried frantically to find a deal to move into the top 15 and select Giannis, but nothing materialized.
Without caveat or excuse, it is unacceptable. And there’s a reason why the “boo” works so expertly, it’s because a few stray instances of booing can nearly overwhelm a 20,000-strong crowd that otherwise is heartily cheering or somewhat silently supporting the team that has worked to a winning end in front of them. Boos make noise, and they stand out. And while the paying customer is well within his or her right to boo a team that is underperforming in relation to reasonable expectations, there is absolutely no reason for a patron (who likely paid a huge chunk of change for their ticket) to complain about missing out on a small bit of free fast food. Even if pizza is, as we all know, the best.
t was remarkable the way Coach Armstrong’s mind worked. Even more remarkable, all of us, to a man, stood and nodded as if we had a full and complete understanding of this amazing play that not one of us could actually see. In the excitement and gravity of the moment, Jack had scribbled away the entire timeout without realizing he was using a dried out marker. But a small detail like that wasn’t going to prevent us – all of us – from pretending we knew exactly what we wanted us to do. With fire in his eyes and his mouth foaming at the corners, he screamed, “Are you ready?” We answered with a resounding “Let’s go!” We went on to win that game in the final moments. I don’t know if the play we ran had anything to do with Jack’s invisible ink act but I’m certain his intensity in the timeout is what got us the win.
What would it take for Lowry to sit out? “Being dead,” he joked. “Not being able to walk.” “I mean, I’m always going to try to go out there and fight for my teammates and try to win the game, no matter what the situation is. At that point I felt like we still had a chance to win. Me, I’m never going to sit out because of a little bump to the head.”
“Sometimes you’d see his body language,” said Ujiri, the Raptors’ first-year general manager. “And I’d think, ‘Why is he like that?’ “You would hear the stuff about him, about the coaches he doesn’t get along with and that kind of thing. So I flew to Philly and went to see him. We had lunch. I told him what I expected. I was going to give him a platform, a chance. That’s kind of how it all started with him.” Then they met a few more times in the pre-season. Same conversation. “Same thing,” said Ujiri. “There were a couple of things that happened where we had to have some serious conversations. I had to be a little bit hard on him. But since then, it’s been good.”
“To clear it up now, yesterday (Sunday), Scotty (McCullough, the team’s head athletic trainer) did the on-the-floor protocol,’’ said Lowry, whom many in the media were quickly spreading false news, common in today’s world, when he reported to practice in street clothes. “And then (following Toronto’s loss to Phoenix) in the back, Dr. Petroff (Toronto’s assistant medical director) and Scotty did the concussion protocol. I had a headache (Sunday), but (Sunday) I wasn’t feeling good at all. “Before the game I took some (medication). I wanted to clear that up, to make sure. We went to the doctor again (Monday) and they cleared everything up.” To recap, Lowry did not practise on Monday because of his flu-like symptoms, which first surfaced in the hours leading up to Sunday’s matinee tip. For the record, the Raptors tested Lowry four times for a concussion and once for a spinal injury.
Here is what happened, according to the Raptors: Lowry woke up on Sunday with the flu. He had a headache bad enough that he needed to take medication for it before the game. After the collision with Tucker, the Raptors’ head athletic trainer, Scott McCullough, checked him twice for a concussion — once while he was lying on the floor, when he was also tested for a spinal injury, and another time after he got up to go to the bench. If he had exhibited disorientation, a lack of co-ordination, nausea or any other symptom of a concussion, he would have been sent to a quiet room for a full neurological examination, as mandated by the league’s concussion policy. He did not show such indications, so he stayed in the game.
I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why I am not excited about this Raptors run to returning to the post season. I do admit I enjoy the way the Raptors play a lot this season. The mix of defensive intensity and offensive firepower has been significant and enjoyable. Still I find myself being somewhat disinterested by it all.