First off, I'd like to apologize.
We ran into a lot of technical hiccups yesterday thanks to the new formatting at SB Nation and some last minute personnel changes we were asked to make. We wanted to give a little more hands on as far as what was happening during Media Day, but with only a two man crew, Scott and I were both running around grabbing interviews.
That being said, this year's Media Day was miles ahead of last year's.
With the lockout just finishing and everyone flying in for practice, the Media Day last year was understandably lacking in the organization department. Scrums were happening all over, and no one knew where the players were going.
This year, things were a lot calmer. We got to talk to a lot more players and we got to see a lot more scrums. In fact, we also got to see a lot more bloggers.
Which brings us to our own style.
Rather than talk about what we saw in the scrums, I can tell you about some other items that happened. For one thing, this team is going to have a lot of fun this year. When Scott and I were hanging around the photo area, you could see that Kyle Lowry was already developing a rapport with DeMar DeRozan and Landry Fields. Lots of pushing and playful shoving, lots of calling out in the middle of each other's shoots.
Things that perhaps, wouldn't see with Jose Calderon.
That isn't to say that Calderon is the odd man out. Jose will fit in fine as he always has as a guy that doesn't rock the boat and is a steadying presence.
But you gotta like seeing your guards getting along together with chemistry.
Other guys that have quickly developed a friendship? It's no surprise that Jonas Valanciunas and Linas Kleiza have hit it off since summer and Kleiza advised us to temper our expectations. However, although Jonas is still struggling with language issues and getting in front of the camera, he is undoubtedly more accustomed to the spotlight than Andrea Bargnani was in his rookie campaign.
In fact, a simple question in our interview with Jonas completely changed his demeanor around us and we could see his personality come through. We even got thumbs up from Jonas after his interview and before his scrum.
As for others who are quickly bonding, it sounds as though Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy have a developing gaming chemistry together as they've both frequented the NBA 2K12 matchmaking lobbies. Amir Johnson let us know that he can feel a difference in the way the locker room is right now as well, as there's an abundance of funny, funny guys on this team. Landry Fields and Alan Anderson come to mind
Mind you, don't forget that this team has the toughness of Dwane Casey imprinted all over it. Guys like Jamaal Magloire and John Lucas are toughness cornerstones who will undoubtedly help Coach Casey get his points across.
And that's really what I'm seeing right now from this team. When they're off the court, they're going to be a fun bunch who knows how to relax.
When they're on the court? They're going to bring the intensity, focus, and toughness that we appreciate here in Toronto. How long they get to maximizing their ability to play that way is a question that will be answered in the season, but one thing's for sure.
This team is going to be entertaining.