Don't you still wish we had Hoffa?
Ok...well how about just for Summer League?
Draftexpress on Saturday provided a humourous tale about Toronto's former first-round pick which went something like this:
In Utah's game against the Atlanta Hawks, Hoffa became "involved" with Hawk's sophomore sensation Marvin Williams on a couple of occasions, eventually leading to Araujo being ejected.
The first incident occured when Williams attempted to go in for what seemed like an open dunk off a steal. However, Williams, unlike Raptor fans, evidently wasn't used to the sheer speed and agility of Hoffa, who hustling back on the play, wrapped Williams up in a quasi-bear hug, causing him to flip-over, falling on his side!
Oh the shame for Marvin.
In any event, Araujo was assessed a flagrant foul due to the dangerous nature of the play. But from the sounds of things, the fireworks really went off in the third quarter.
It seems that Hoffa made a nice cut to the basket on a play, but since it was the first successful one he's ever made, he surprised even himself and when going up with the ball to finish, simply lost control and missed the attempt...
(Well...it also could have been that Araujo had the ball stripped from him, but I digress.)
On the way down from his finishing attempt, Hoffa reportedly swiped his arms in a downward motion and in the process, viciously shoved Marvin Williams to the floor. Williams then jumped back up to go after Araujo however at this point the refs had seen enough, and Hoffa was given the boot.
Now, I think as Raptor fans, we need to give the casual "summer league viewer," who may have witnessed this scene some background information to explain these events.
1) Hoffa's vertical is 53 inches. In fact in workouts he reportedly "lept over tall buildings," which evidently was one of the reasons he was the eighth pick overall in 2004 draft. So one can only imagine the momentum generated while Hoffa was decelerating on the way down from his "finishing attempt" when he hacked Marvin Williams. Even Shaquille O'Neal would have been thrown to the ground due to the force of such a "downward hand swipe!"
2) Hoffa's arms are the size of tree trunks. Getting shoved by Hoffa is akin to a giant redwood falling and hitting you full force in the chest! People just don't realize the immense stature of Araujo! During pre-draft workouts in 2004, RaptorsHQ discovered that Jack McLoskey had Hoffa lay his arms down near Toronto's harbourfront area so McLoskey could walk over to Toronto Island thereby avoiding ferry costs. That size factor basically sealed the deal for Jack in terms of drafting the former BYU product. Unfortunately McLoskey would not confirm or deny for us the account of Hoffa having a pet blue ox...
3) Hoffa gets angry. Many a time Raptor fans have seen how intense Hoffa can be, so if Hoffa felt that the first flagrant against him shouldn't have been assessed, Marvin would have been a marked man. In fact, knowing what we know about Araujo, why would Marvin even have dared to stay in the game?
In any event, if you add these three factors together, it's obvious that Hoffa should not have been tossed. I mean, how can you blame someone for being simply overpowering for the average NBA'er!? No Marvin should have just taken the hits and moved on...
...especially since the fans were there to see Hoffa! In jersey sales Hoffa trails only Dwyane Wade, Lebron James and Loren Woods and therefore once the local fan favourite was ejected thanks to Marvin, the crowd got nasty booing Williams everytime he touched the ball and heckling him whenever play stopped. Interestingly, Raptor fans always had similar reactions...but these occurred whenever Hoffa entered the game or touched the ball while a Raptor...
So do I really miss Hoffa? Well Loren Woods is gone, Matt Bonner's quirkiness now resides in San Antonio, and Mike James and his pitbulls have been reunited with Rob Babcock in Minny...who's left? Here's hoping that some of the new Raptors provide some moments of unintentional comedy throughout the upcoming season...and until then, I'm setting my VCR (yes, still stuck in 80's in terms of recording technology) for the rest of Utah's summer league games in case they air on RaptorsTV.
See Swirsk, Summer League isn't all that bad!