Quick, late edition of LBL for your Thursday afternoon.
We'll kick it off with some Olympic chatter as Lithuania and its two Raptors participants, Linas Kleiza and Jonas Valanciunas, saw their team lose to France, 82 to 74. Kleiza had a team high 17 points in the loss while former Duke Blue Devil Marty Pocius had 15. Unfortunately it was the same old story for Big Val, who barely saw the court. This time though one would be hard-pressed to blame foul trouble as he had only two, albeit in seven minutes of action.
Speaking of Valanciunas, the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons presents us with an interesting look at the Raptors' rookie, while the Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair touches on Valanciunas' lack of playing time, something the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat discussed on Twitter this morning.
In other Raptor news, we won't see Sonny Weems back in a Dino uni this season but we will see Alan Anderson. Weems signed a three-year deal in Russia and last week the Raptors announced that Anderson will be back in the fold for the 2012-13 campaign.
Maybe the most interesting thing I've read this week is this take on former Raptor PJ Tucker, who just recently inked a two-year deal with the Phoenix Suns. From the article in the Arizona Republic:
"It's been a long, grueling journey, but it's fulfilling," Tucker, 27, said. "I was so resentful in Toronto because I wasn't playing much. I was throwing fits. I was so young-minded. I didn't get the big picture or that it's a business. You have to understand your role on a team. You see kids come after you and do the same thing. So many never play and say they got screwed by the GM or coach. When you can be real with yourself and understand why, that's really when it comes to life."
So now we know what happened to Mr. Tucker.
It was always a bit of a strange situation as Tucker seemed to have some easily translatable NBA skills despite his undersized stature. But obviously his attitude got in the way of showing those skills off, and he's now had to swallow some humble pie and take the long road back to the big show.
It's great to see him getting a second shot however.