You couldn't make this s**t up

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Play it again Sam

As many of you know, this year's Raptors have turned into arguably the most dysfunctional team in professional sports. Let's recap the best of the worst thus far:

1.) Vince Carter dogged it until he was traded (43 points last night for NJ, his third 40+ game this past week)
2.) Rafer Alston had a hissy fit, walked out of practice and was suspended
3.) Coach Sam Mitchell challenged Alston to a fight in the lockeroom this past week
4.) Eric Williams demanded to be traded and called Alston an "asshole"
5.) Carter's mommy, Michelle, told sportsnet's Marty York Vince got into a fight with Mitchell before being traded, slamming him onto a masage table. She also said the Raptors players are tired of Mitchell's antics and she's "worried about them."

I don't happen to think Mitchell is the problem here, but challenging your players to a fight isn't smart. Remember, it's Vince and Rafer we're talking about here, so it's not like he's picking on hard workers such as Matt Bonner or Chris Bosh. Having said that, Mitchell is a piece of work, leading some members of the media to lable him as "ornery," which he is. Of course, surly S.O.B.s can also be quite entertaining when prodded properly. Here's a few verbal gems that have spewed out of Mitchell's mouth at various points this season. The list is sure to grow as the season progresses.

**The first question Mitchell was asked by the media following a heartbreaking loss in Portland was, did he think Lamond Murray's potential game-tying shot at the buzzer, which eventually was waved off, was good? Mitchell was so irate at his own players, and so determined to take it out on someone with his sarcasm, he actually said:
"No, I was just jumping up and down because I'm retarded." –Nov 14

**In response to why Alston need to learn how to control his emotions:
"Hey, I was driving down the street today and a guy comes up to my car and asks for money. And I was going to give him some money, but the light changed. He recognized who I was and he cursed me out, and at the end he told me it still was a bleepin' hockey town, and f--- the Raptors. Two years ago, I would have put my car in park, got out and beat the crap out of him. That was me two years ago, seriously. Things like that p--- me off. But I realized he was asking me for money, and he was standing in the cold with a sign saying he was hungry and I was driving by, so who really has it bad? I just let it go. But two years ago, I would have been tempted not to take it as well." In case you're wondering, Mitchell is 40, so it's nice to know he's matured a lot since turning 38.

**When asked whether he got into a physical fight with Alston earlier this week
"I laugh at the fact that it went from shouting to I was actually rolling around on the floor with my nice suit on," said Mitchell. "I don't do that anymore, I'm a little too old. First of all, I hadn't fought in so long, I forgot how to. Second, I pay too much for my clothes to roll around on the dirty locker-room floor." -Feb 9

**And from Dave Feschuk in today's Star:
It was only a few years ago that Mitchell was challenging Kevin Willis to a street fight after a playoff game in which Mitchell had been ejected for clothes lining Willis on a breakaway. The hard foul, the teeth-shaking takedown — those were his signature moves as a player.
And apparently as a coach as well


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