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  Tue, December 2, 2003


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Mr. and Mrs. Davis will not be missed

By STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

Three reasons to like Jalen Rose the first time you meet him.

One, he actually likes Toronto. Two, he doesn't object to learning the metric system. Three, he isn't married to Kendra Davis.

In fact, he isn't married at all.

Which means the Raptors win this deal, which wasn't three-for-three as has been reported, but four-for-three.

Now appropriately named, the Chicago Bulls get Mr. and Mrs. Davis in the trade and soon they will understand what bull is all about.

The Raptors gain a player and lose a somewhat enthusiastic wife. Addition by subtraction by addition.

Never mind that a small team just got smaller. That can be worked around. The Raptors added scoring and removed an overpaid pout and the rest of his family from their lineup.

Now, in Chicago, they might tell you a completely different story.

They might tell you that Rose is a hugely paid, selfish, one-dimensional NBA shooter who can score but not win games, who thinks there is no such thing as a bad shot, who was dispatched with such glee out of the Windy City that there was a police escort helping him out of town.

By the end of his parts of four seasons in Chicago, Rose was about as popular as Bob Pulford, and no more effective. Or about as popular as Antonio Davis in his final Raptors days.

The Raptors, though, were smiling a lot yesterday. Like they had pulled a fast one. Not only did they find somebody willing to pay Davis for most of the next century, but they got some real bodies in return.

And Kevin O'Neill, who didn't have a centre yesterday and has less of one today, has to make all of this work. At least, in getting to this place, he did some homework, which never has been a strength of the Raptors.

He talked to Rick Carlisle, which he does two or three times daily, and asked him about Rose. He talked to other players and other coaches and other scouts until he came away satisfied that all the talk in Chicago about Rose being another NBA loser was just that.

"I want to dispel something right now," O'Neill said firmly. "I think everybody hears that Jalen is this problem child or Jalen is this or Jalen is that. From everything I've heard, I've seen no evidence or heard any evidence of him being a real problem anywhere.

"I've talked to people who coached him or been around him ... I just want to make it clear, I'm going to judge him or (any of the new players) on what they do when they're with me."

Then he really addressed the matter.

"You never really know anybody until you coach them."

At his best, the past four years, Jalen Rose has been a 20-point-a-night player, the first scoring option on teams with little scoring. That will change here, not that the Raptors have much scoring. But it's Vince Carter first, Rose second, and if manufactured properly it should enhance both of their games.

"The last two years, everybody ripped Vince," O'Neill said, talking about Carter and Rose. "If you're losing, the first person they blame is the coach. The second person they blame is the general manager. The third person they blame is the best player.

"Well, they changed coaches (in Chicago), they changed general managers, so who else were they going to blame?"

Jalen Rose gets a fresh start here and all the Raptors really lose is Jerome Williams, the most earnest and overpaid cheerleader in professional sports.

The Davis family won't be missed.

My voice mail, for one, will be the healthier for it.









Do you like the new-look Raptors heading into the 2013-14 NBA season?
  Yes, new GM made great moves
  No, they will still be a terrible team
  Unsure what to make of it


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