Fresh start for veteran

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

Eric Williams is craving his second chance in Toronto.

The veteran forward, who barely spoke with the Toronto media after lashing out at the Raptors and asking to be traded last season, is coming into camp with a new and improved outlook.

"I was part of one of the biggest trades in Raptors history (the Vince Carter deal), there was a lot of demand on top of that, along with the stuff I had going on outside the court," said Williams, who signed with his hometown New Jersey Nets last season so he could live with his son Raquiesh, only to be shipped to Toronto.

"You boil that up in one big pot, sometimes you can be cooking outside and not cooking within. It took a toll ... but we're starting fresh right now. We're just going to judge from what's going on right now on. It's a brand new season. Something about the NBA is for sure you've got another season and you can erase the past with what we do this season, and that's what I'm looking forward to."

Williams' play went south last season after his 16-game stay in the starting lineup ended, but to be fair, he was dealing with a troublesome right calf. He underwent arthroscopic surgery in June.

"I've got myself back right," Williams said. "I'm just looking forward to playing basketball again."

FILM CRITIC

Point guard Rafer Alston watched a lot of horror films this summer -- all 82 Raptors game tapes from last season.

"My step papa and my mom tape them," he said. "I tell them, that's their job, to tape the games for me so I can break them down. If there are days I'm not watching, they come and let me know. You want to learn, you're a point guard, you've got to get better."

LANGUAGE BARRIER

New point guard Jose Calderon of Spain took English classes after signing with the Raptors this summer but admits understanding coaches and teammates probably will be his biggest problem. Fortunately, teammate Charlie Villanueva's first language is Spanish and he is taking Calderon under his wing.

"I could help him out tremendously," Villanueva said. "I told him if he needs anything, come to me. I'm here to help him out."


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