From trying times to a contending team, Bradley Beal has been the perfect co-star for John Wall and these Wizards, fresh of talent and his own sense of self. Read More. Written by Shams Charania on Nov 24, 2014
The Toronto Raptors recognized Vince Carter during a first quarter timeout of Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Carter requested a trade from the Raptors in 2004 and has largely been booed in his return visits ever since.
“Amazing,” Carter said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to see it, to relive it, to see all the people react as each play was happening. It was an honest reaction. It was in the moment, the feel of the moment.”
“I think when we were all growing up we all got to witness what he was doing here in Toronto,” Quincy Pondexter said. “He was Air Canada. He was the man. A big piece of him is still in the city and he loves it. I knew there was something (special) about it from the time we got on the plane. I usually sit next to him and he was really focused on this day. It means a lot to him.”
Kyle Lowry has become one of the NBA's best point guards and also one of the best players in the game who hasn't made an All-Star Game.
"At the end of the day, I can't worry about what other people do," said Lowry. "I have to go out there and do my job. If people make all-stars, and I'm winning, I'm happy with that. I'm not caring about anything but winning."
Lowry has matured and become more of a leader during his time with the Toronto Raptors.
"He's gotten away from the reputation of being a bad teammate or whatever the perception was," Dwane Casey said. "So he's grown from that."
The Toronto Raptors had 42-22 run leading to the playoffs last season and they hope the continuity of keeping their roster will allow them to start the new season fast.
"We hope it does," Dwane Casey said. "I think it does help us. Continuity with terminology, continuity with schemes, continuity with play calls, continuity with the familiarity with each other. They know some things are non-negotiable offensively, some things are non-negotiable defensively. That helps. Anytime you can keep teams together."
Amir Johnson said prior to sitting out Sunday's game that "the best thing we have is chemistry, because we have players who have been together for a couple of years now."
"It goes a long way, honestly," DeMar DeRozan added. "Everybody knows everybody's game. Everybody knows where they like the ball. It's just second nature now. Sometimes chemistry can beat talent. A lot of nights. I think we have that chemistry. We've been through a lot of struggles.
"Especially last year, with a lot of us learning on the go, from playing in the playoffs. It was just a lot that we took from it, that we've grown from. And the work that we put in this summer on top of the motivation we had from all last season, it definitely gives us the hunger to want more."