Rockin with the Raptors: Part IIRaps vs Nets. Round 1. Take a breath, relax. In fact, let's save that update for later.
How about a little more from the Raptors Red Party to celebrate the end of the regular season! The scene has already been set let's meet some of your old and maybe new favourites.
Joey Graham (a.k.a. Meat) - note: as you know I have mixed emotions with the two Joey's, Good Joey and Joey. But in an effort to keep things positive I focussed on Good Joey.
Me: Great work D-ing up Luol Deng the other night, great to see you can cover a big man like that!
Joey: Nobody wants Joey Graham covering them.
Me: Oh yeah, you've got a rep? Playing with the elbows up?
Joey: Yeah (motioning his forearm into my head with quick precision strikes), nobody wants Joey covering them.
Anytime a player is refering to himself in the 3rd, you are doing well. Joey is confident, which is a positive and the fact he thinks he has a rep around the league for being tough...well that just makes me Giddy. I can just hear him talking to himself about himself in the pregame. I love it.
Joey talked about all kinds of things, not a shy guy to say the least. I tell him about my Garbo stank sweat Jersey bid, he tells me 'yeah, he sweats. Garbo is a working man'. Then I ask him if he thinks Garbo uses the Soul Glow, cause it looks like that hair is dripping wet the moment he gets off the bench. Joey gives me the bend over laugh. Joey Likey. I think Joey is an Eddie Murphy fan (then again, who isn't).
Joey lives just atop the Gaybourhood in Toronto (not in the hood, he's quick to point out). I tell him a story of living there once and having to walk my friends foo-foo cocker spaniel (?) around the hood in her absence and how girls approached me like wildfire, clearly assuming I was gay (hey...I was skinnier and more stylish then). Joey looks a bit scared and points out he'll avoid the hood. Kind of missed my point but good enough.
The highlight comes when Sandler (the big wig who shelled out for the VIP area) strolls over and pulls Joey's tie out of his pants. When you read the following keep in mind Sandler's tone of voice is never jovial or joking. It is dead serious.
Sandler: Joey. Never, ever tuck your tie into your pants.
Joey: (clearly a bit embarrased and having forgotten to pull it out once he unbuttoned his shirt) Oh ha ha, hey, hey... how did that happen?
Sandler: Never do it. And Joey, you've got a Maroon shirt and a Red Tie! Never. Ever, ever wear a Maroon shirt and a red tie.
Me: Hey It's Joey Graham! He can get away with wearing whatever he wants!
Sandler: (not even acknowledging me) Just a little Toronto etiquette for you Joey.
Wow. No wonder i'm getting the run of all the players. Sandler is an ass to these guys!
Is Joey sweating bulllets here or what? After the embarrasing Sandler opening Joey struggled to recover. Look at the pain on his face talking to Daddy Big Bucks.
Social: 8. While Joey was super social, a good guy, and the "Joey" talk was fantastic unintentional comedy, he couldn't recover from the Sandler attack. He'll need to work on that.
True Height: 9. His upper body width makes up for his potential 1 inch off.
Dude: 7. Joey's a dude, although he goes from his apartment to the underground parking lot to the ACC. So he's not really doing much whopping it up for a young guy. We need to get Joey out.
Me: So who do you want to play in the first round?
Uros: (can't repeat what he said)
Me: Oh yeah, how can we make that happen!!
Uros: (can't repeat what he said, but you'll have to trust me it was precious)
Wow, love the Uros! Colangelo get this guy some PR training STAT!
Uros is highly entertaining. He's aware of his PT or lack there of but he certainly makes up for it in good times. Happy go lucky and laid back no doubt.
There is no talk on his over under for PT in the playoffs, which we'll set right now at 2.5 minutes. Most of what we talked about falls into the PR training required category, but if you get a chance to chat up the Uros it is certainly recommended.
Social Rating: 9.5 (we need to get him PR training before the fines come)
True Height: 10
Dude to Chill: 10. Heavy entertainment factor. Everybody needs a Uros in their Posse.
Me: Juan Dixon, Can you believe that we got YOU for Fred Jones, the former slam Dunk Champion? Seriously, are you insulted?
Juan: Hey man, I'm just happy to be here.
Me: Seriously though, have you seen him play before, does it bother you? We're ecstatic by the way.
Juan: Hey, i'm just happy. I'm finally home.
At this point I've given up asking guys who they want to play. Nobody will give me an answer (well almost nobody) so it's a dead horse.
I tell Juan that I guess he's brought the party to town, he says no. I tell him I recently posted a link to Flickr photos of NBA players at parties and the only Raptor was him. Posing with a couple of birds. "What!?". Juan is curious and not super pleased to hear about this. But he's more curious. "Flicker?". No, i tell him it's Flickr...about 4 times. Right...without the "e".
Juan wants to check it out and get his name off of that thing. I hope he found the site and passed it around to the other boys. I haven't checked it since, but after watching Luke Jackson and the Hump working the room at the Red Party it won't be long until they land themselves on Flickr.
Social: ? Didn't hang out long enough to get a read
Height: I think the picture tells the tale here. Not 6'3
Dude: I'm giving him an 8 on gut instinct here.
Me: I've never seen someone get so excited about hitting some threes and getting on a streak
Me: Seriously, I saw you skipping. I'm guessing you are better now than 5 years ago
Darrick: Smarter, but no way man
Darrick is a happy go lucky guy. He loves being a bench leader, he hopes to play for two more years and then coach. I think this guy is going to be one heck of a good assistant coach somewhere. He really works with the guys all the time. He's got a great demeanor and is certainly 'happy to be here'.
Two more years of playing however seems ambitious. Although if we can keep room for him on the end of the bench his odometer certainly isn't ticking. The guy is logging almost zero time this year, it's almost like he got a year smarter without taking any mileage off the ride. And when he plays i love his game, it's just simple and smart.
In a tragic moment I forget to thank him for saving our consecutive games with a three pointer record. Sure a dubious honour but he did it for the fans with .5 seconds left after dribbling out the clock. Hoover can't believe I forgot this. Neither can I. Tragic really, I would have loved his thoughts.
True Height: Yeah right. I'm 5'10 remember
Dude: Darrick is more like your super nice uncle. He's an ambassador and a gentlemen.
Me: Can you believe my bid is still winning!
Marie: I've got $1000 on the board
Me: (Holy, crap my sister is nuts)
Marie: Bid more! Who's Emeka Okafor? Is he good? I think I'll bid on his basketball.
Me: (Please Garbo Jersey...come to me)
At the end of the auction, with time winding down someone goes $190 on the Garbo jersey! Mama. There's 45 seconds left and i'm approaching the table with a blank bid. I need that Jersey. I've been talking it up all night. How can I not get it? Bosh Jersey is in the 400's, Mo Pete's is high 300's....holy crap. I lay it down. Throw my bid over the table with 10 seconds to go and wait for the final bids.
And there it is. 1043....$220.
I spend $220 on a game worn (and signed) Garbo Jersey. Wow. I'm confident there's a rule about buying Jersey's over the age of 22, but I'll "put it in my office". Beautiful. The loop hole.
Auction was great. Party was great. Some last quick thoughts on Hump, Mo, Pape et al in the captions below. All in all the Red Party Rocked. Loved it. Can't wait to go next year and meet Garbo, Nani, Ford (who I couldn't find...he can't be 5'10, he's the same height as Martin!).
p.s. I asked Bosh how "Nani" was doing? "Who?" he said. "Nani. You know Andrea Bargnani". I think Bosh liked the nickname. Let's hope it spreads!
Other Party Images
Ronan talked to Mo Pete and told him he was the best Raptor ever
Hump could barely stop looking down my sisters shirt for the picture
Colangelo blew through like the wind and got Sandler to smile! I'm guessing that's a big smile for him.
Pape Sow was Pape-o-rific. He was another happy go lucky type.
Me and my new Favourite Raptor ....Uros
Uros...not lying about his height
Jose running for his life! This guy is nuts.