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Full Court the Press.

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The story is well documented, Raps with the 7th pick, probably won't get a PG, mostly looking at swingmen. We worked out Granger, Green, our BOY Joey G, and others. Villanueva came in, worked out and there was little press about it. No-one expected us to go big at 7, but maybe at 16 with a guy like Sean May. And two years running Babcock stuns the world and takes CV Smooth. We all know what happened next. The Steven A. Smith tirade, and the Jay Bilas "analysis" and the ensuing wrath from all possible media outlets. Even us here at RapsHQ were a little more than surprised about the happenings of the draft, but we were somewhat optimistic. We had watched UCONN play, we knew that Charlie was not the second coming of Chris Bosh and that he would add more dimensions to this team. We just didn't say, like some, that the Raps had made a mistake by drafting the same position and fail to mention the different skill sets.

That being said, I won't sit here and say I was totally sold. In some ways I still think passing on Granger might turn out to be a mistake be it at 7 or 16. I was happy to add front court depth though and although I am not tabbing Charlie as the next big thing he looks GOOD. He looks confident and plays under control and manages to do things with the rock that a lot of guys his size can't. I am looking forward to watching him and Bosh over the next 2 years (at least) develop some good chemistry.

Why go into all of this? Because this week CNNSI posted an article about Charlie. It really is the first piece of media that has supported this kid, except when Coach Calhoon came out to say that CV Smooth would surprise. I read the article, it was pretty solid. It was also written by Marty Burns, one of the few "analysts" that thought Babcock had done a reasonable job in last year's draft. Hopefully Charlie will have this one framed and put next to the one on his wall written by a local writer trashing him as a high pick.

So what's the issue you ask? Well, here's the beef.

I would say there is a high likelihood that CV Smooth continues to develop and is going to be a damn good player. Franchise player? Maybe not, but really the sky is the limit for this kid. As a result, there is an even higher likelihood that the same reporters are going to be singing his praises. I just hope when the local media turn their attention to this guy they apologize, publicly for their skepticism and POOR REPORTING. So many people in the press slammed this guy even before they watched him don a uniform. Hoffa bashing, fine, he has not performed, but bash a 6'11" SF/PF/C who can shoot and dribble even before he steps on the floor? Pathetic.

I would also argue that when someone like Steven A. Smith comes out live, on international television and bashes someone (or in that vein, a whole franchise) so publicly and harshly, and ends up being wrong, I think the punishment should be as equally scathing. As in get rid of Steven A. Smith, let alone Jay Bilas who declared so confidently the year before that Josh Smith was going to be the bust of the draft. Can the NBA please do something about this. At least when Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley did the Draft you knew they were there simply to provide humour and make the draft more enjoyable to watch.

Luckily for Raps fans I highly doubt CV Smooth will ever come out and say "I told you so" or demand an apology. (Provided he does become a player). So that's what we are here for.

Random Thoughts:

- If Amare is gone for the year, as it is being reported, the Suns are going to fall off, maybe so far as o not make the playoffs. Maybe.

- How are the Boston Celtics any better than the Raptors in the eyes of the forecasters? Both teams are rebuilding and we don't have any guys going to jail.

- Desmond Mason is going to have a big year in Charlotte....and is doing some serious bashing of the Bucks' management.

- Anyone else think Chuck's Blog is not nearly as good a read as his weekly column?

- Spree' is trying to get the Heat to sign him. Pat Riley is way too smart for that. I wonder if Spree is managing to feed his family, or whether the EI cheques are holding him over.

- Looking forward to the beginning of the season. If anyone needs a big first game it is Hoffa. Even if it is 8 and 8.

- It will be great to see a healthy roster play together tomorrow night. Let's see what Mitchell took from the pre-season and find out what guys he puts on the floor together.

- If the Raps win tomorrow night it will be because they kept Haywood and Etan Thomas off the glass. If not....trouble.

HOWLAND