In case you missed it last night, NBA official Bob Delaney was in-studio on the “Hoops” show. It’s not very often that the media gets a chance to sit down with a referee but this interview went well above and beyond the parameters of any sort of “on-the-court” conversation. The reason Delaney was in-studio was to promote his new book COVERT.
COVERT is the true story of Delaney’s life since 1975 … when he was working as a New Jersey State trooper that went undercover to help infiltrate the mob. Delaney, known undercover as “Bobby Covert”, spent nearly 3 years running a trucking company with huge ties and connections to two of the biggest crime families in the NJ-New York area.
Delaney helped send 30+ mobsters to jail and spent the next 30 years dealing with post-traumatic stress, a death threat, and a career … in the NBA!
You can hear Jack Armstrong, Paul Jones, and me in our chat with Delaney on this very website. Just go to the home page at www.fan590.com and look for “PODCASTS” on the left side of the page. Click on the “Hoops” logo and you’ll find the Delaney interview. Check it out. Have a listen. You’ll be glad you did.
JOHNSON THE JUNKYARD?
Linton Johnson III wore jersey #43 in Phoenix and New Orleans – his last two stops in the NBA – but with Kris Humphries already holding down those digits in T.O. … word is that LJ3 will wear #13 for the Raptors.
The most popular player to wear #13 in franchise history was Jerome Williams. Though Mike James suited-up with the same number a couple of seasons ago, JYD has bragging rights in this case.
And the Raptors need from Johnson – or SOMEONE – the kind of hustle, energy, and grit that the Junkyard Dog brought to the floor during his tenure in T.O.
In fact, that’s exactly what Sam Mitchell called for this morning after the Raptors game-day shoot-around. He wants guys that’ll dive for loose balls; guys that won’t be afraid to get a little dirt on their hands if need-be. Whether or not Johnson is that man remains to be seen, but as Mitchell said today “some guys may need to look in the mirror”.
With Linton Johnson III joining the Raptors, Toronto had to make the decision to waive veteran guard Darrick Martin. However, Sam Mitchell confirmed today that D-Mart will be staying with the team. Martin will now serve as a basketball consultant and assistant/bench coach. His actual “title” isn’t really known – even after talking to Mitchell – but it really doesn’t matter. Basically, the guy is staying with the team and he will wear a number of hats for Toronto … both on and off the floor.
So, TJ Ford started the season as the best player on the Toronto Raptors – better than Chris Bosh – before he was hammered by Al Horford on December 11. Plus, he was coming off a season in which he appeared in 75 games and helped lead T.O. to its first-ever division championship and a franchise-best 47 wins. But after nearly being paralyzed and then fighting – both mentally and physically – for more than 2 months to get back on the floor, he’s suddenly public enemy number 1 in Toronto?
I don’t get it.
Clearly Ford didn’t look good as a back-up and his attitude – self-imposed or not – didn’t seem great at the best of times. But I’m not going to write the guy off and start publicly hammering the guy for what has happened in the last 4-6 weeks.
I like Jose Calderon. I believe Jose Calderon is more likely to be the starting PG of the Toronto Raptors in the future. But as long as both point guards are playing for the Raps, I think their differing styles are an asset for Sam Mitchell to expose.
Why many folks have suddenly drawn a line in the sand with Ford and Calderon is beyond me. This is playing out like the ridiculous notion that seems to exist in Toronto … in that you can’t like hockey if you like basketball … and vice-versa. Now it seems like you can’t like Jose if you like TJ … and vice-versa.
I don’t get it.