The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Roko Ukic vs. Will Solomon, Sam Mitchell vs. Media

Posted by Arsenalist on October 16, 2008

It’s the only question mark left on the Raptors squad, who will be Jose Calderon’s official backup? In the black corner is an unheard of European journeyman that resembles a poor man’s TJ Ford in what he can do on the court. Unfortunately he also reminds you of Mike James. In the white corner we have an NBA rookie and another European professional, Roko Ukic, who happens to be a remnant of the Rob Babcock era (bringing that tally to 4 – Bosh, Calderon, Mitchell). So far Solomon appears to be ahead in the race but that’s only because he’s been getting more minutes, if you extrapolate Roko Ukic’s play and numbers over the course of 48 preseason minutes he’s averaging 84ppg, 39apg and 16 spectacular plays per game. In hopes of making this race a little tighter (and fairer), Mitchell will be cutting back Calderon’s minutes and giving them to the wannabe backups, with Ukic getting a major bump:

“Right now we are giving (Solomon) an opportunity. I haven’t decided yet because Roko is getting better every day. Roko is doing some things and I have to get him more (court time). I’m probably going to be trimming Jose’s minutes back a little bit and start playing those two guys more so I can really, really get a good look at both of them.”

Fun fun and Giggity Giggity Goo. My money’s on Solomon but my heart’s with Ukic, there’s something about him that says “I’m actually better than Jose”.

Chris Bosh isn’t going to be lured by the European millions (Article, Video) that will apparently be offered to Lebron and Kobe. Bosh says he’s happy where he is and it’s comfortable at home and he needs to prove himself and the grass is sometimes greener on the other side and that he’ll go for what he knows right now but let’s not kid ourselves, if he gets offered 35M/yr he’s out of here. Like. Now.

I hate the way Sam Mitchell talks to the media. Listen to this interview. So annoying.

“You don’t have a question, you don’t have to think of going aaaawww…now something dumb can happen…you guys complain when I’m mean but now I’m nice and you still complain…”

Name me one other NBA coach that talks like that. Worst part is that he thinks he’s dropping knowledge on us by saying simple common sense generic stuff. Today he’s talking about being aggressive and working on our offense because we always work on our defense and something about personnel, team, leeway, screens and other generic scrum talk. Funny part is that whatever basketball specifics he says the team’s working on in practice is exactly the area where the Raptors under-perform in games right after. So watch our offense against Minny tonight, it better be pristine and running like a Japanese railway.

Back to the press briefly, there are few people that are more annoying than the morning show guys on the Fan 590 but I find myself rooting for them every time Mitchell’s on because the condescension starts from the second he’s on. It’s too much to bear for even an outsider and casual observer like me. Now these guys aren’t exactly Rick Reillys but they’re just doing their job and the least your millionaire ass could do is answer a few questions without sounding like a jerk, you know, like the rest of the team and management does. Somebody should slap Matt Devlin’s personality on Sam Mitchell when it comes to talking to the press.

Quick thought, does the title of this article apply to Jamario Moon? Moon’s playing time last year and so far this year is the ultimate indication of just how shallow we are at our wing position. It says a lot when you’re a starter and wander on the court aimlessly for 30 minutes and nobody talks about your game. The starting SF is a foregone conclusion and for yet another year Joey Graham fails to challenge for it for whatever reason. At least last year Delfino had Moon on his toes but this year who’s the challenger? Will Solomon? Kapono? Sad state of affairs this.

There’s a game tonight, Minny at home. I’ll be watching out for how Jermaine O’Neal handles Al Jefferson. Not a lot going on in Raptorland so I’m off to bed.

18 Responses to “Roko Ukic vs. Will Solomon, Sam Mitchell vs. Media”

  1. khandor said

    In sharp contrast …

    How Sam Mitchell chooses to handle his interaction with ‘the press’ is one of the things I like most about him.


    To this point, I really like what I’ve seen from the Raptors’ PG spot, in the form of Calder-mon-kic.

  2. Johnn19 said

    Sam Mitchell has a unique approach to his “media Scrums” and does not suffer foolish, repetitive questions/comments from the mob, and let’s them know it. Very different and entertaining most of the time, and from the comments from the 5th estate I believe they enjoy their relationship.

  3. Johnn19 said

    Raptors offense is definately still a work in progress and I expect it will continue into the season, while/untill Calderon gets consistent minutes with Bosh, O’Neal, Parker etcetera and works out how and where it is most efficient to get them the ball. I also expect O’Neal’s progress to be gradual and continue into the season.

    Joey Graham needs to get into the action, as he will be needed to play in games where Moon disapears, as it seems Adams is a long way away if ever.

  4. Tim said

    Actually, mainstream media is generally referred to as The Fourth Estate. I thought Mitchell’s condescension to the morning guys was part of the ‘act’ they’ve developed over the past few years. I think it’s for pure entertainment purposes, not for any really quality Bball conversation.

  5. nunya said

    Graham is also from the Babcock days.

  6. Arsenalist said

    nunya, you’re right but you can understand why he’s so forgettable to us…

  7. D G said


    I have an extra pair of lower bowl tickets to tonights game in Sectino 107, which I am not going to use. They’re yours if you want them, but we need to figure out how to connect as I’m not posting my personal info here.

  8. Arsenalist said

    D G, I emailed you…

  9. khandor said

    D G,

    Kudos to you!

    That’s a class act, in my book … as Arsenalist definitely deserves some just rewards in return for putting with folks like me around here. :-)



    Imagine the stir you’d cause if you show up in Section 107 with a ginormous sign that reads, “↓ Arsenailst ↓”.

    Have a great time, and smile when the Red Light is on. :-)

  10. Arsenalist said

    Well khandor, people would be like “WTF sign is this guy holding, it makes no sense”.

    As for Mitchell’s scrums, they were funny at first but now they’re lame and annoying.

    Johnn19 Says: “Raptors offense is definately still a work in progress and I expect it will continue into the season,”

    When do you expect the Raptors offense to be functioning at peak efficiency, mid-season? Until then do we give Mitchell and the Raps a free pass?

  11. Dan H said

    I think an important point to note is that Mitchell is not allowing his players to run the sets they are practicing in game.

    He is ‘hiding’ his sets until the season begins, so they are only running rudimentary plays.

    i.e. They are practicing things in practice, and doing something completely different in game.

    In no way do I condone him doing so. I’m just saying, that’s likely why the offense looks so … impotent, as it were.

  12. khandor said


    re: “… people would be like “WTF sign is this guy holding, it makes no sense”.

    I think you might be surprised at just how well known you [and your work here] are today, in the Raptors’ basketball community, and the stir you’d create if you actualy showed up at the game with a giant sign that read like that. :-)

    Step 2. Can you then imagine what it would be like if 10’s and then 100’s of other Raptors’ fans also began showing up at the team’s home games with the exact same type of sign …

    e.g. I’m Spartacus … I’m Spartacus … I’m Spartacus …

    You just never know how BIG things could eventually get for you after that.

    Hmmmmmm …

    Next thing you know … Sherman Hamilton might be calling you in for a guest analyst spot on RaptorsTV; or, we could see you next on PrimeTime, setting up shop beside McCowan, Brunt & Grange; or, on The Grill Room; etc.

    You just never know with these things … :-)

  13. khandor said

    Dan H,

    But, keep in mind … so, too, is everybody else. :-)

  14. hotshot said

    Have a sign that reads: “BOYCOTT TSN2!”

  15. Raps Fan said

    the plays he is hiding wont amount to any more then going left on the high screen (last season they were going right).

    i’m hard pressed to believe that he added a great deal to the arsenal over the last few months when over the last few years he only added that trick play that tj got robbed on for the game. hope i’m wrong and back to viewing things as glass half-empty.

  16. Arsenalist said

    I think hotshot’s sign wins.

  17. Paps said

    Joey starts tonight!

  18. nunya said

    The Craptors will not make the playoffs this year if there is no major shakeup. I don’t give a shit that this is only pre season…they will not make the playoffs.

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