Babcock making amends

Toronto Raptors GM Rob Babcock say fans need to be patient while they build for the future....

Toronto Raptors GM Rob Babcock say fans need to be patient while they build for the future. (Toronto Sun File/David Lucas)

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock still is reeling from an article which ran in last Wednesday's Toronto Sun.

Babcock told the Sun that, given the youthful nature of this year's team, the club will be hard-pressed to match last season's record of 33-49, a mark that kept the Raps out of the playoffs for the third straight season.

Those comments created a firestorm of controversy.

Although Babcock did not deny making the statements, he took issue of a headline over the story, which read: 'We've got no chance: GM.'

The Sun stands by the headline, although Babcock still insists that it was misleading.

"It created a lot of problems," Babcock said yesterday. "Players, like everybody else, read the internet, but they don't see the whole picture. That (item) created a lot of extra work hours for me, contacting the players."

Babcock said he spent numerous hours explaining to his players he has not given up on them, and on the team as a whole.

He reiterated the point yesterday that it will take some time for the Raptors, which are going through a youth movement, to reach the point when they can challenge for a playoff spot or an NBA championship.

But the second-year NBA GM firmly believes his team is heading in the right direction.

"I have a lot of faith in this team," he said. "It's simply a matter of we're building for the future."

Babcock said yesterday he has been able to contact the majority of his players, adding that they understood what he was trying to say after discussing the issues with them.

One player he hadn't been able to reach, as of yesterday, was veteran swingman Jalen Rose, who was not impressed with his GM's words last week.

"I've never been part of a situation like that -- and I'm sure I've never heard anybody in professional sports make a comment so negative that early in the season," Rose said on the Best Damn Sports Show Period.

"Even bad teams have optimism. You don't want to take away the optimism so early in the season. The Bad News Bears coach wouldn't even tell (his team) that."


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