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Friday March 6 2009 – 6:39pm Eastern (Toronto, ON)
Alright, I simply don’t have time to get into this whole “to boo or not to boo” thing. We’ve done it too many times before anyway – with Vince Carter, TJ Ford, and so on.
But I’ll simply say this …
There’s no reason to boo Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon tonight. If you want to boo them simply because they’re the “opposition”, fine. But if you’re booing them because they’re former Raptors who did wrong by Toronto … you’re just … wrong.
Moon got his start in T.O. – bursting on to the scene with the Raps last year. Yes, he fell in love with his jumper as time went on and didn’t attack the bucket as much as you may have liked, but he never had a bad word to say about the city, the country, the fans, or the organization. He was a stand-up guy.
Ditto for O’Neal. Don’t judge him on his $22 million. Judge him on the games he played – when healthy – and how he represented the team and the city. He too was a solid citizen. Did he work out as a Raptor? No. Will his time in Toronto be looked back upon as a success? No. But he wasn’t a bad dude that forced his way out of T.O.. He came here with open arms and was hoping to do some damage alongside Chris Bosh. That didnt’ happen though.
Both Moon and O’Neal will be in the starting line up tonight. When the Heat and Raps tip it off in about 30 minutes, Moon and O’Neal will be joined by Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade, and Mario Chalmers.
Toronto will start the usual suspects of late: Shawn Marion, Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Anthony Parker, and Jose Calderon.
Heat center and Toronto native, Jamaal Magloire, will not be in uniform. He’s inactive.
Enjoy the game and be sure to tune in to “The Rap” with Paul Jones and me after the game.