Tough move for James

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

It was not his hometown, but Houston was the next best thing for Mike James.

The newly acquired Raptors point guard planted deep roots in Houston before the Rockets traded him to Toronto yesterday.

James' wife, Angela, was born in Houston. They purchased a home in Houston this summer, have two daughters, and Mike James was becoming a fixture in the community.

When Hurricane Katrina victims started filling the Astrodome, James pulled up with an 18-wheeler and delivered supplies to evacuees.

When asked if James, 30, was disappointed with the trade, his agent, Doug Neustadt, said, "I'm not going to comment on that. He's surprised, put it that way."

James was poised to become the starting point guard for a promising Rockets team this year as Bob Sura is coming off knee surgery. Instead, James will have to be content starting for a rebuilding Raptors squad.

Still, it will be a new challenge for James, who has started just 68 of the 248 games he has played in his NBA career. He was traded to the Rockets by the Detroit Pistons midway through last season after winning an NBA title with the latter team in 2004. The undrafted James also has had stops in Miami and Boston after four combined seasons in Europe and the CBA. Like Alston, James has been criticized for taking too many shots at times.

"It's tough for me sometimes," James said earlier this week. "I have a scoring mentality, but I'm a leader and a winner. It's not just about scoring the ball and my teammates looking at me crazy. It's about winning. It's about getting my teammates involved. And then, when all the pressure is on them and they're double- and triple-teaming them, they need somebody to step up."


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