'Not a good situation'

Alvin Williams, who has been out since November, spoke out about the Toronto Raptors on- and...

Alvin Williams, who has been out since November, spoke out about the Toronto Raptors on- and off-court troubles yesterday. (Toronto Sun/Veornica Henri)

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

From his vantage points on the Raptors bench and in front of the television, Alvin Williams has observed a team in turmoil.

Yesterday, in yet another blow to the reeling franchise, the injured point guard expressed his displeasure with many aspects of the Raptors in a wide-ranging interview. The longest-serving Raptor, whose future is uncertain after having season-ending microfracture surgery on his right knee in November, has issues with player behaviour, leadership and the constant roster upheaval.

"It's not good," the well-respected Williams said. "It's not a good situation right now."

Without naming names, Williams seemed to be aiming some of his criticism at swingman Jalen Rose and point guard Rafer Alston. Those two lashed out at each other in the media last week, though Rose made a hard-to-believe claim that he wasn't directing his comments at Alston. Rose did not name Alston in his rant.

"You see what I see," Williams, 30, said. "You saw the Charlotte game (last Friday when Rose and Alston basically refused to pass the ball to each other), I saw the Charlotte game, everyone saw that game. That typified everything."

Part of the problem, Williams said, stems from a lack of leadership.

"We don't really have leadership as far as a players' standpoint," he said. "We have the coach, but the coach can only do so much. As a team, we need to police ourselves a little better as far as when someone's going astray."

Williams said the team hasn't filled the leadership role previously occupied by Charles Oakley.

"Ever since he has been gone, we've never had that type of leader," Williams said. "Some things he said may have rubbed you the wrong way but once you got on the court, you performed so he'd stay off your back. We had Oak, we had Kevin Willis, we had Muggsy (Bogues), all those type of guys ... We have no one like that right now."

Williams also seems frustrated with the Raptors' seemingly revolving-door roster policy. Interestingly, Vince Carter expressed similar sentiments before demanding a trade.

"It seems like we're always rebuilding," Williams said. "The biggest thing, I think, is we have to find guys who are really committed to each other ... All my good luck and hopes go to (general manager) Mr. (Rob) Babcock with trying to mould everything together, to put the pieces of the puzzle."

Williams expects to be one piece of that puzzle. He anticipates being ready to go at the start of next season.

"The one thing I'm really focused on, other than getting my knee right, is just hopefully being a stabilizing force in the locker room," Williams said.

The Raptors, who play host to the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, could sure use one right now.


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