Antonio Davis on Vince
It was a good interview - Eric Smith did I nice job, I thought - and at about 8:30 of the interview, Antonio Davis said ď... and you donít realize it until kinda after the fact and itís too late ... itís the same thing with the Vince scenario ... I can remember us talking about ... Ďhey, you donít get these kind of opportunities, kid, we understand about graduating and all of that ... but ... you just donít get Ďem ... so ... while youíre here you have to make the best of it, you have to put all your energy and focus into it because you never know when youíre gonna get backí. And look, Vince has played all those years and heís never been back in that situation again ...Ē
I kind of sat up straight and listened hard when he said that, because, though I may not have just ever heard it ... (try as I might) I canít recall any player from then ever addressing that huge Raptors-history moment-in-time. Thought it was interesting to hear that (it sounds like) it actually WAS discussed with Vince before he left that Sunday morning to go to his graduation ceremony in North Carolina, before then flying back to Philadelphia for that historic game seven. ĎCause ... like I said, I donít recall it ever being said that it was.
Not much to discuss here, I know. Itís ancient history ... but thereís a reason we study history. Plus, this is a subject that will occasionally be remembered (and sometimes discussed) as long as Iím a Raptors fan, Iím quite certain.
As much of a prick we thought Antonio Davis was to our education system, he was one of the key guys that got the Raps into playoff contention with his examples or leadership. He was one of the last NBA bred players that played the game like it was a professional job and needed to earn every cent from it for his family (Mutumbo was the last one of his era).
AD was the silent type and I bet he wanted to call out Vince in the playoffs. Then Oakley did all the talking because he is Oak.
It's old history for sure and our team moved on without AD, but this guy was really a big reason why our rebounding didn't suck and putting us into playoff contention for those years. I am still mad at the fact that our team wasted those draft picks on 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 (Joey sucks, it's official) on atrocious players.
I did not listen to the piece (and am not particularly inclined to when the subject is Wince). But on the question of his need to attend the graduation ceremony, I have always thought it was quite appropriate that he attend. He was using a private jet with minimal physical activity. Emotionally it was clearly a plus for him and his family. AD says he wouldnt know if he would ever get back to that position again...we know he would NEVER get back a graduation day...but could another ECF (even though it never happened but ironically could this year). We often belittle BB players for not attending/finishing school and in a way do the same here if we are sympathetic to AD's belief that somehow VC's grad. attendance somehow impacted on the loss & final missed shot (I forget how well/did not.. VC actually played in that game....I was in Europe at the time and did not see the game).
Recently I listened to a podcast with an interview with JYD and he said similar things. He said by going to the ceremony Vince missed the shootaround , where players get acclimated to the surroundings , walk though some strategy , etc. He would then miss an afternoon nap or rest period. And I didnt know this then, but according to JYD, Vince reached the game just under 2 hrs til the tip, most players are ther 3-4 hrs to go over final preparation. It probably didnt affect the last shot, but it might've affected his overall performance and maybe that last shot wouldnt have been needed for the win. Also flying on a plane does take a bit out of the body with the altitude changes, etc. JYD said he respected the move by Vince, but he'd just as soon have the diploma mailed to him if he were facing a game 7.
Off topic , he also mentioned that VC had so much talent that he kinda didnt work at it and if he did have the instincts of Kobe or Lebron, would have been right up there in conversation of who's the best in the league.
"Off topic , he also mentioned that VC had so much talent that he kinda didnt work at it and if he did have the instincts of Kobe or Lebron, would have been right up there in conversation of who's the best in the league."
Fully agree and as a matter of fact VC himself as alluded to this. It is this selfishness - character trait which then led to his pouting and forcing the trade which makes me loathe him because it led directly to the wilderness this team then found itself in (of course having Peddie & Babcock running the team didnt help). Many consider a college graduation day a big deal and I just cant mentally deny attendance at such for skipping part of a day before a basketball game. Now if it was 7th game of the finals...hmmmm. Kidding.
Many people would include McDyess in that category. I followed his career in Detroit and he was the consummate professional 24 X 7.
I hate VC for what how he left Toronto as much as the next guy, but I have to say I find it ridiculous people still make such an issue out of him going to his graduation. And believe me, I LOATHE the guy, but as someone said, he didn't exert any extra energy; plus by going it put him in a better mood. If he didn't go, then THAT would've probably been at the back of his mind.
And he got there with two hours before tip off, so what? He should've gotten there 4 hours before like the rest of the guys to get 'acclimated to the surroundings'? Are you kidding me lol? It's the same damn arena the Raps have been playing at since the beginning of that series in Philly. And he still played well - he hits that ONE shot, nobody ever makes an issue out of this. Seriously though, I hate VC, but don't have an issue with him going to his graduation.