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  Mon, April 12, 2004


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The Word
Clearly, there was tension on the court yesterday between the Bulls' Antonio Davis and Raptors star Vince Carter. Bill Harris reports on Carter's reaction to the sordid affair

By BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

For years people thought Tracy McGrady would be the villain in Vince Carter's life, but it is Antonio Davis who has become Snidely Whiplash.

All Davis was missing yesterday was a black cape and a handlebar moustache as his Chicago Bulls completed a four-game season sweep of Carter's Raptors with a 114-108 overtime victory at the Air Canada Centre.

Davis told reporters on Saturday that Carter's off-season work ethic is unacceptably subpar, and those comments made headlines in Chicago and Toronto newspapers.

FOREARM SMASH

Then, during the third quarter yesterday, Davis stepped into Carter and delivered a subtle forearm smash, prompting Carter to throw the ball at Davis. They both received technical fouls for their efforts.

After the game, a reporter was asking Carter a question by saying, "Antonio Davis said you need to be more ... "

Carter jumped in with the words, "Like him?" Carter rolled his eyes.

"Exactly. I don't get into childish games," Carter said. "I guess he's looking for an out. I don't know, and I don't care really. He's probably the last person I worry about, ever. So (the comments) don't bother me. If that's the best he can do, that's fine with me.

"I have no idea (if Davis has a grudge against Carter). Antonio Davis is not anybody I worry about, believe me. I'm still playing my game and doing what I do. If anybody's a ... "

Carter stopped himself and regrouped.

"You know what, it doesn't matter," Carter said.

But clearly it does matter.

The fact is, much of what Davis said about Carter has been written by reporters and columnists countless times.

The odd thing, however, was that Davis -- who was traded to the Bulls from the Raptors in a three-for-three deal last Dec. 1 -- offered such a blunt critique of a former teammate at this late stage of a lost season.

"You guys can figure that out," Carter said when asked about Davis' motives. "You guys can read between the lines. You can answer your own question, I think. I'll just leave it at that.

"You guys are trying to dig too deep for something that's stupid. (Davis) is the last person I would ask for an opinion. Everybody is welcome to say what they want to say, but ... he means nothing. If he thought that was going to hurt me, hurt my feelings, hurt my game ... nah."

Davis said he didn't think his comments, or his wandering forearm, should be seen as attacks on Carter.

"It was never personal, it's always business," Davis said. "If Vince took it personal, that's on him.

"If you see, I laughed after (the technical fouls). As for the stuff I said in the paper, it was just my opinion. I don't think I dissed Vince in any way or said anything that was a lie. If I didn't like Vince or care about Vince, I wouldn't have said anything about Vince.

"He shouldn't have to play angry to play well."

Carter did play angry, and well, yesterday. He scored 30 points and sent the game to overtime with a big block on Davis at the end of the fourth.

But Carter fouled out early in the extra period and, as usual, the Raptors lost.

Just one win against the Bulls would have been a nice season-ending parting gift for Raptors fans. You know, kind of like the way consolation prizes are handed out to losing game-show contestants.

INJURED DOG

"Thanks for coming out, folks. This is Bob Barker reminding you to please help control the pet population by having your Junk Yard Dog spayed or neutered. Goodbye, everybody."

The real Junk Yard Dog, former Raptor and current Bull Jerome Williams, didn't travel to Toronto yesterday, presumably because of injury.

Not to worry.

Davis kicked up enough of a commotion for two canines, if not more.









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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