READY OR NOT, HERE'S LENNY
The boo birds will be front and centre tomorrow night when the basketball circus known as the New York Knicks comes to town.
Regardless of the sidebars and sideshows, the game looms large in terms of jockeying for the playoffs.
But there are more games to be played and tomorrow night represents the one and only opportunity for Toronto fans to show their support -- more than likely lack of support -- for Lenny Wilkens, who was dumped by the Raptors last April, only to be lured back into coaching by Knicks president and former Raptors executive Isiah Thomas.
When Thomas coached the Pacers, fans in Toronto gave him an earful whenever his mug appeared on the overhead screen.
Fans both booed and cheered Wilkens during his three-year tenure in Toronto but the sentiment was decidedly anti-Lenny last season.
During his honeymoon period in New York, Wilkens was being hailed as a saviour and helped the Knicks beat the Raptors on Martin Luther King Day in January.
Heading into last night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Knicks were nosediving but they still held a playoff spot and are in the midst of a stretch of games that isn't very challenging.
Wilkens was roundly criticized when the Knicks couldn't attack zones during an 0-4 West Coast trip, while Thomas continues to hear complaints that he has made too many changes since he inherited the Knicks' mess.
"I'm extremely pleased with where we are as a team,'' Thomas told reporters in New York. "Two months ago it was a tough situation."
Imagine how tough the reception might get tomorrow when the two former Raptors officials come to town.
POINT COUNTER POINT
Rod Strickland and Brevin Knight, two point guards who have been waived, can each fill a need on the Raptors.
Strickland is the more accomplished and more seasoned but the Raptors, according to rumours, would be more inclined to sign Knight, whose agent, Bill Strickland, represents injured guard Alvin Williams.
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat can also use a point guard. The fact the Raptors are even considering adding a point guard makes one wonder why they signed Jannero Pargo for the balance of the season when the more prudent move would have been to give Pargo a 10-day contract.