Alston won't sit quietly by

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

If Rafer Alston is upset, he is not going to bite his tongue.

The Raptors point guard, who had his second poor outing in a row yesterday in a 114-109 overtime loss against the Washington Wizards, said he does not regret voicing his displeasure about his reduced court time to reporters Saturday in New York.

All is not well with Alston, who missed a key free throw late in the fourth quarter yesterday that would have put the Raptors up by three. He then committed a foul on Larry Hughes that led to the tying free throws with 0.8 seconds to play. Overall, Alston was 3-for-11 from the field.

"The first time it happens (getting pulled early), you've got to be surprised," Alston said. "When you play on a nightly basis 30-plus minutes and all of a sudden you're not playing, you are surprised. It's okay to be surprised and frustrated and it only shows you are human. If everyone wants me to smile next time I get benched, I'll smile."

Curiously, head coach Sam Mitchell said after the game he wasn't aware of Alston's complaints to the media, even though they talked earlier in the day.

No matter, Alston -- the Raptors' most consistent player until this past weekend -- said he'll continue to talk with the coach ... a lot.

"I spoke to Sam this morning and he let me know I'm not playing well," Alston said. "If he doesn't think at the moment you're helping the team, you're going to come out and whoever is playing well is going to play the game. I plan on speaking to Sam every day."

Mitchell won't lose sleep if a player is upset.

"You think there will ever be a day I can walk in the locker room and someone will not be mad? Think about it?" Mitchell said.

"After we beat New York by 20-plus points, somebody was mad. When we beat Detroit, the world champions, in the second game of the season, somebody was mad. It's not that I don't care. But I can't get overly concerned with that because it inhibits me from doing my job."

Alston is the first to admit he wasn't on top of his game this weekend. And he questioned his own decision to try to strip the ball from a driving Hughes, resulting in the last-second foul.

"At that moment, it felt like a clean strip of the ball," Alston said. "After the play was called, I sort of looked to myself and thought I shouldn't have reached in. I should have just let him try to finish over me."


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