MacCulloch gets his due

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Todd MacCulloch will be honoured by Canada Basketball tomorrow night in Toronto.

Prior to the Raptors-Philadelphia 76ers NBA pre-season game at the Air Canada Centre, Canada Basketball officials will present MacCulloch with a framed Team Canada jersey.

The brief ceremony will honour the affable seven-footer's contribution to basketball in this country, both as a member of the national team and as an NBA player.

MacCulloch, a 28-year-old native of Winnipeg, announced his retirement from the Sixers last month.

For the past couple of years he has been stricken with a rare disease that causes his feet to ache and affects his balance.

NOW THAT'S A PRACTICE

Raptors forward Lamond Murray, who spent most of last season in former coach Kevin O'Neill's doghouse, yesterday claimed the club's practice habits have improved greatly under new head coach Sam Mitchell.

"I've been up here two years and the practices I saw were ridiculous," Murray said.

"We'd walk in here at 12 o'clock and it would be like, 'Okay, everybody get some shots up and do whatever you want to do.' That's the first time I've heard that in the 15 years I've been playing.

NOBODY'S COMPLAINING

"That's going to translate into going out on the floor and looking like we haven't practised, which is what it looked like last year.

"This year nobody's complaining, nobody's injured, guys are going hard at each other, pushing each other. It's back to hard work, which they preached last year, but we're really doing it this year."

VETTED INTERESTS

The Raptors' veteran players will see some court time tomorrow after all.

Rookie Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said recently he was going to talk to his vets about possibly sitting out. Those discussions took place and Mitchell received a clear message.

"I talked to a couple of them about it and they want to play," Mitchell said. "So, we'll just limit their minutes. They want to play. That's a good thing."


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