Tuesday June 2 2009 – 12:40pm Eastern (Toronto, ON) 

Ever since I first told ya about the possibility of Alvin Williams joining Jay Triano’s coaching staff, I’ve been thinking about the potential reality of having Boogie back in town.I had a great relationship with Williams – on and off of the floor – and I’m thrilled at the prospect of him returning to Toronto.

This also got me thinking about my All-Time “good guys”. I’ve been lucky enough to cover the Raptors for 12 years – almost as long as Day 1 guys like Doug Smith and Paul Jones. And I’ve been just as lucky to cover a ton of great guys. Sure, there have been a few (*cough*) speed bumps along the way (See: Voshon Lenard for one), but for the most part, I’ve encountered a ton of solid dudes during my decade+

Here’s a list – that’s kiiiind of in order – of the guys I’ve had the best relationship with over the years. These are guys who have been not only good to deal with as players but as men as well — on a man to man, 1 to 1 level … even when the conversations or circumstances had nothing to do with basketball:

1. Matt Bonner
2. Jose Calderon
3. Jerome Williams
4. Alvin Williams
5. Joey Graham
6. Morris Peterson
7. Jamario Moon
8. Anthony Parker
9. TJ Ford
10. Chris Bosh
11. Vince Carter
12. Mike James
13. Juan Dixon
14. Charlie Villanueva
15. Jason Kapono
16. Rasho Nesterovic
17. Jake Voshkuhl
18. Roko Ukic
19. Kris Humphries
20. Rafer Alston
21. Nathan Jawai
22. Muggsy Bogues
23. Sean Marks
24. Dell Curry
25. Jalen Rose
26. Antonio Davis
27. John Thomas
28. Michael Stewart
29. Jorge Garbajosa
30. Carlos Arroyo
31. Michael Bradley
32. Popeye Jones
33. Roger Mason
34. Andrea Bargnani
35. Pape Sow
36. Jermaine O’Neal
37. Kevin Willis
38. Rafael Araujo
39. Uros Slokar
40. Darrick Martin

Why “40″ guys? I don’t know. Seemed like a nice round number.

So there ya have it folks — a little glimpse into those who’ve been great to deal with and get to know over the years in Raptorland.

E. Smith

16 Responses to “The Good Guys”
  1. 1.

    Nice list Eric!

    I’m not going to ask for a list of “Bad Guys” since that wouldn’t be right but I’m curious as to why you would mention Voshon Lenard specifically? Was it a particular incident or just his overall attitude?

    Also, where would Oakley rank? I’m guessing he’d be in a category all by himself :P

    - Patrick
  2. 2.

    Woot Ocho!

    - Andrea
  3. 3.

    So really Voshon Leonard didn’t make the list? LOL at which point did you stop and say “40 and that’s all?” looking through the list and I was starting to play “Can it be so simple – Wu Tang Clan” Great list Bro.

    - Lanny from Whitby
  4. 4.

    Hello Eric!

    I was so happy reading ur list of GOOD GUYS!! Especially that AB7 was included.. haha! So touching! I didn’t expect this from you. Great Job! What a surprise from a one of a kind blogger! go go go!

    - josephine
  5. 5.

    hey, wheres Pape Sow these days?

    - kevin
  6. 6.

    I can’t wait for Boogie to be on the coaching staff

    - Damon
  7. 7.

    quality list! no keon clark though? that guy seemed like jokes… you had a good look at who these guys are…

    - chef diz
  8. 8.

    Voshon just wasn’t a warm, friendly kind of guy. He didn’t really like dealing with the media … or much of anything it would seem

    - E. Smith
  9. 9.

    Ya know what Chef … Keon was a good guy. He was always a joker too. He probably should have been on my list.

    - E. Smith
  10. 10.

    Pape? Last I heard he was overseas. I ran into him in Las Vegas last summer but haven’t heard much from him since. Let me check it out

    - E. Smith
  11. 11.

    Eric:

    How about a list for the former coaches for the Toronto Raptors?

    - d.t
  12. 12.

    Just confirmed … yes … Pape was overseas last season. Played 21 games in 08/09 in Milano, Italy

    - E. Smith
  13. 13.

    There have been “only” 7 coaches in 14 years – so it’s not like there’s much to pick from.

    I’ve probably had the best relationship(s) with Sam Mitchell and Jay Triano — Butch Carter being riiiight there as well.

    I didn’t really know Darrell Walker at all. Ditto for Brendan Malone (though I did know him better than Walker)

    Lenny Wilkens was never a bad guy to me or anything, I just didn’t have anything more than a reporter-coach relationship with him at the time and he was generally all business

    Kevin O’Neill was actually a good guy most of the time but he wasn’t around long enough to really get to know

    Mitchell and Triano are probably atop my list ’cause they were the ones guiding the team over the last 4 years since I began travelling with the team (thus, I’ve been around the players and coaches longer and gotten to know them even better as a result)

    - E. Smith
  14. 14.

    Did you forget Charles Oakley, Tracy McGrady and Doug Christie and his agent ?

    How about rating the 7 coaches ? Here’s mine from worst to 1st :
    #7- Triano
    #6 Walker
    #5 O’Neal
    #4 Malone
    #3 Carter
    #2 Wilkins and
    #1 Sam Mitchell

    Now GMs :
    #3 Babcock and Colangelo (tie)
    #2-Thomas
    #1 Grunwald

    - Chas Calz
  15. 15.

    Whoa!!! What about Chauncy Billups?! He was apart of us!!

    - Steven
  16. 16.

    How about looking at the basketball talent of those 40 players?

    2 All Stars.

    1 Playoff Series Win.

    Wow.

    - brento
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