Let the crow eating begin. After leading rookies in scoring in the NBA Preseason and displaying a smoothness that many VETERAN NBA players lack, Charlie Villanueva is finally getting some props. Recently Sports Illustrated ran an extensive piece on the Raptors' young rookie and Charlie spoke out about everything from the ESPN diss on draft night to his offseason matchup against Atlanta's Al Harrington. While Villanueva is thick skinned, he admits in the interview that all the negative press surounding his early draft selection has been motivating for him. His agent has even framed and hung in his apartment a local newspaper columnist's rant vs. his selection by the Raptors.
Another player used to negative press and criticism is the Jalen Rose. Rose has been often criticized for everything from lackadaisical defence and bad shot selection to conduct on the court and general attitude. However Rose is ready to get the season underway and coach Sam Mitchell has stated that the Raptors "need Jalen Rose," especially this season with such a young club. Rose may see some time at point guard or at least in a distribution role this season and will be counted on for his veteran leadership.
Finally, last night I gave a quick call-in to the simulcast "Hoops" show on RaptorsTV broadcast live from the Fan 590 Radio Station. When I tuned in, hosts Eric Smith and Paul Jones were discussing the very topic I had alluded to on this site yesterday concerning ESPN's season preview of the Raptors. Therefore a call was definitely in order spurring a good discussion on the topic and addressing the fact that many in the US media simply do not know enough about this team. Incidentally, Paul and Eric are great hosts and the show is a must watch for all Raptor and basketball fans. Last night super agent Bill Duffy and ESPN.com writer Scoop Jackson both phoned in to the show bringing some interesting perspectives on various topics ranging from the NBA's new dress code to Chris Duhon's near signing with the Raptors in the offseason. Now if Eric or Paul would only have asked Scoop about that "Jalen Rose is gonna wish he'da gone to Detroit" comment...