Raptors are feeling the love

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

I love you, you love me, we're a happy family.

Sing along with Barney the Purple Dinosaur, Jalen Rose and Rafer Alston.

After a series of meetings in Raptorland yesterday following some pointed words to the media from Rose and Alston this week, both players insisted all is well. At least that was the company line.

"I really like Rafer Alston," Rose said after practice at the Air Canada Centre. "We get along great. We have a lot of fun times together that I can't share with you guys."

Alston also was spreading the love.

"When (Rose) comes over here, I'm going to give him a kiss," he said.

"Not on his lips, though."

Whether Rose and Alston truly have kissed and made up remains to be seen. A team meeting, which included general manager Rob Babcock and senior adviser to the GM Wayne Embry, was held yesterday before practice.

Coach Sam Mitchell then put his arm around Rose and pulled him outside the practice court for a brief chat.

The main message, apparently was don't run to the media to voice your concerns.

"The bad part of this whole thing is that it was dealt with the media initially, and that's something that should be dealt with internally," Babcock said.

"We discussed all those things and I think we got those things worked out."

This all started when Rose attacked some unnamed teammates with a vague rant after a loss in Orlando against the Magic Wednesday. Most of the comments appeared to be directed at Alston, though Rose denied that yesterday.

"A lot of times when you say things in the media it can be taken out of context," Rose said. "What I said, I didn't direct towards anyone in particular. I never mentioned anyone's name. I talked about a team situation that included myself. I'm disappointed that it got spun that I was talking about Rafer in particular."

Nevertheless, Alston took the comments to heart and fired back at Rose with comments to the media Friday.

Rose and Alston barely looked at each other during a win in Charlotte against the Bobcats Friday, but they seemed to be on friendlier terms yesterday.

"Jalen is a great guy. Jalen talked to me (yesterday) and put his arm around me and told me he was frustrated," Alston said.

"I can understand where he's coming from."

Mitchell, whose Raptors (30-42) play host to the Detroit Pistons tonight, said he was satisfied with the meetings.

"It's a team issue and we dealt with it," he said.

Rose insists there is no turmoil.

"We have no division on our team," he said. "I know you all would love for us to have something, give you all something juicy and let me tell about how me and Rafer just had a fight in the locker room.

"That's not happening, it's not going to happen and it hasn't happened."


Photos