2:35pm Eastern

BOBBY COVERT

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.

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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”.

D-MART STAYS

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. 

FORD FLAP

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.
 

E. Smith

9 Responses to “The Cop, The Dog, and The Point Guard”
  1. 1.

    I think I wrote an email to you ask the same thing “How come TJ Ford is getting all the hate even though I myself is a Jose Calderon fan?”

    My friend also pointed out something…for many previous years, the media and fans talked about the raptors lacking toughness and competitiveness aka Vince Carter. So now TJ Ford demonstrates this determination, competitiveness and toughness, fans start bashing him?

    Sure, he’s no Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan nor perfect but c’mon…it’s kinda getting out of hand.

    - Hugo
  2. 2.

    I’m not a fan of how T.J. sulked and carried himself when coming off the bench, and his shot seletion gives me fits at times. However I will admit that whether he deserves the starting spot or not is a mute point. With Ford starting and Calderon coming off the bench the Raptors are a better team. Sometimes players don’t conduct themselves in a way that endeares them to the fans, however if the Raps continue to win Ford can sulk all he wants. At least he’s not Ron Artest.

    - Alessio
  3. 3.

    Re: “look in the mirror”

    Is this a page to Delfino, Moon, Kapono or all three?

    - Ellie
  4. 4.

    I’m sure it was a message to anyone and everyone Ellie

    - E. Smith
  5. 5.

    Why doesn’t someone teach Rasho how to pump fake? He’s good enough from the line that he could have 6-8 more points a game if he starts gettin his man to bite. I love how he is playing right now. Hey E..I will send you 20 bucks if you can show me video footage of a Rash pump fake. Im serious, he’s never tried it haha.

    - Jamie
  6. 6.

    Great discussion post game Wed. about booing TJ. I’m with Paul and Eric – how can booing possibly help? There’s something about the mob mentality, or the invisible line between the court and the fans that makes people think they can treat the players like crap. When you’re 10, they call it bullying. And as far as ‘I paid my money I have a right to express my opinion’? No amount of money should entitle people to treat others with disrespect. I’ve sat close enough to courtside to hear the abuse. Unbelievable. You think the fans in Indiana had a right to say what they were saying…that turned out well. Follow Utah’s lead – cheer when they’re down. We’re supposed to be with them, not against them.

    - Chris Smith
  7. 7.

    Raptors with their pick & roll, jump shooting offense are 48 min PG dependent. Since TJ cannot perform off the bench this is the only solution for now. We as fans must support TJ and Jose as the keys to the team in their current roles. Next year is another year where I expect 4/5 changes to the team.

    - John Nicholson
  8. 8.

    Raps should go over the cap and sign Ronnie Artest

    - Andrew
  9. 9.

    Obviously it doesn’t have to be an either/or this year (economics might dictate it eventually). But Ford hasn’t been getting it done (-58 in 2008) and Calderon has (+212 in 2008), yet Ford is now starting.

    - David Brandow
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