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Nash Charity Game Re-Cap and Thoughts

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It doesn’t matter what your position is on Vince Carter, his exodus, or his tenure in Toronto, the fact of the matter is his Charity Game spoke volumes about his desire to give back to the city that embraced him as their son. Watching him dealt this year could have meant the end to this successful event. Fortunately, it wasn’t, as the true face of Canada basketball decided to fill what could have been a gaping void. As a result the Steve Nash Foundation Charity Game took place at the ACC on July 29th.

The Positives:

- The ACC was not sold out but there was definitely a good crowd and there was a good vibe as people were anxious to finally see some ball again. There were some definite highlight plays including Nash dribbling the ball with his feet all the way down-court never letting it touch the ground, Shawn Marion’s sick hops and constant clowning, and some nice crams by Bosh.

- Being Nash’s event it was nice to see the soft spoken player play it up with some nice "dance" moves, lounging with the baseline fans, playing along with Cabbie and always keeping a smile on his face while dishing out almost 30 assists. It was clear he was there for a good time and on all accounts it looked like he had one. The proud father (twin girls were court-side) probably won’t think twice about holding the event again next year.

- Chris Bosh looks bigger. His shoulder’s look broader and he clearly has put on some good weight and some of the moves he was putting on Drew Gooden made it clear that he is as quick as ever. He was sporting a very Tim Duncan like hair cut, and looked really confident playing it up with some of the fans and other Raps players. We here at RapsHQ think he is going to have a HUGE year.

- It was the first appearance at the ACC in front of the home crowd for Charlie Villanueva. It was good to see him on the home court although he played to mixed reviews bobbling a few alley-oops and not exactly showing a great deal of intensity (even when compared to the others on the court). That being said, be it nerves or something else, Chaaaaaarlieeeeeee did show that he can put the ball on the floor, has good range and will be able to contribute. Watching him in the second half made us feel a little more excited about him and Bosh running some high-low sets.

- Matt Bonner is a class act. Too many times guys who attend these events simply go through the motions. Bonner on the other hand played it up and it was obvious he was loving all aspects of the charity game. It may be the last time he plays at the ACC as a Raptor, and if it is he went out is style.

The Not So Great:

- We won’t call these the negatives because it was for charity. There were however, moments last night that left a little to be desired. The first, to no fault of Steve Nash, was the shortage of players. There were only 12 guys total, and the West squad in fact had no subs. Allen Iverson, Amare, Marquis Daniels and others did not show. What is with that? If you verbally say you are going to show, allow your name to be used to promote the event (Ricky Davis was even introduced even though he was no where to be found) and then don’t show this demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the fans. There must have been 500 Iverson jersey’s there last night and a lot of disappointed faces. This has also happened in the past and it is an injustice to those who pay for the tickets.

- If you were there you may have seen the starting 5 for the Raps this year. MoP, Rose, Bosh, Charlie and Jannero Pargo. No Pargo is not a Raptor, although he once was, but we all know this team has PG issues and he may end up here again. Hard to say but if this is the case, considering the improved Atlantic Division we could win less games than last year.

- There should be no play-by-play at these games. Herbie, next time please keep it down.

- This is the second time Andre Iguodala has come to TO and played in the charity event at the ACC. Each time it puts us (RapsHQ staff) in a FOUL mood. Don’t get us wrong, we love this guy, he is a crazy athlete, and although he couldn’t finish any of the highflying dunks he tried on this evening, one thing is obvious, he is going to be a damn good player. He was the 9th pick last year. We had the 8th. Need we say more?

- Mateen Cleaves. ‘Nuff said.

Final Thoughts:

- Michael Finley was court-side all night. Read what you want, if Dallas uses the Allan Houston rule on him the smart money is on him signing in Phoenix for the veterans minimum.

- Joe Johnson looked good. Is he $70M good? We are skeptical. We do know this, if you truly want to be in Atlanta you need your head checked. Issues with being the 4th guy and wanting to be the star? Maybe his agent should get him Abdur-Rahim’s cell number.

- It would have been great to see Magloire at the game.

- If body language tells a story Sam Mitchell better be ready to light a fire under Charlie.

- Jalen had three points. That better be the result of his night at a local club the evening before and not a reflection of what Raps fans can expect from him this coming season.

- Shawn Marion is the type of guy that makes these games entertaining. He should be invited back every year.

- Thanks Steve for giving back.

- Dave Randell