And with that, he was gone.
The waiving of Antonio Davis by the Toronto Raptors yesterday ended the brief and possibly final chapter of his legacy here in Toronto. Raptors fans never really got to see if AD could make much of an impact with this club either on or off the court and it's possible Davis may now focus the remainder of his career on his role with the NBA's Players Association.
The trade that brought AD back to Toronto now has to warrant serious consideration as being one of the oddest trades of all time in the NBA. Davis was originally dealt from Toronto of course, to the Chicago Bulls as part of a deal to acquire Jalen Rose. This season, Toronto reacquired Davis by trading who else but Jalen Rose to the New York Knicks for Davis. Antonio promptly re-donned the purple and white for eight games bringing back memories circa 2000 for many fans, and than suffered a nasty fall injuring his back and thus creating this waiver situation. And on top of this the trade takes on an even stranger air for Davis himself considering he played for the Knicks this season, (who may go down in history as the most disfunctional team of all time) got suspended earlier this year for entering the stands during a game to check on his wife's safety and had to deal with a lawsuit filed against his wife on account that she allegedly threw a cup of coffee at another woman in a traffic incident last fall. Yes, I think it's safe to say that Antonio would just as soon forget the 2005/2006 NBA Season.
I still think it would have been nice to see what AD could have done to help this team improve. Toronto is going to be even younger next year unless Bryan Colangelo trades draft picks for veterans and at some point the Raptors need to get some experienced leaders to help teach this club. Davis could have done this even in practice situations leading by example however the onus now falls on management to bring in some off-season help. Kevin Garnett constantly refers to Sam Mitchell as being a mentor to him and it would have been nice to see Davis take on a similar role for Bosh or even some of the Raptors young pivots like Hoffa and Sow.
Speaking of Garnett, the Raptors face the Big Ticket and his Timberwolves this evening at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto won the last time these teams faced off in spite of some serious early foul trouble for Chris Bosh. In that game Toronto got big contributions from Mike James and Morris Peterson and both will need to bring their "A" games tonight to lead the Raptors to a win. Minnesota is coming off a loss last night to the New Jersey Nets and may be fatigued playing back to back so Toronto should be able to jump on them early. Garnett will be the focal point of the T-Wolves attack and his matchup vs. Bosh should be entertaining indeed.