SI picks its poison

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

It has been a while since anybody with the Raptors was named to any sort of team.

But that changed yesterday, although nobody at the Air Canada Centre is celebrating.

The Sports Illustrated website (SI.com) has come up with an all-poison NBA team and two Raptors made the list, head coach Sam Mitchell and forward/guard Jalen Rose.

SI.com contributor Paul Forrester included Rose on the list with this explanation: "Rose has made a career out of playing the hired gun, imported by teams so desperate for additional offence that they were willing to hide their eyes at his statue-like defence. Those teams also share a willingness to unload Rose and his salary-cap choking contract at the first nibble."

As for Mitchell, Forrester added: "Who better to coach the most dysfunctional team we could dream up than a coach who reportedly regularly challenged his own players to fight him last season?"

To be fair, Mitchell denied ever "wrestling" Vince Carter or wanting to go after Rafer Alston, although nobody with the Raptors probably would have blamed him if he had. As for the Carter incident, the Toronto journalist who reported it lost his job shortly after.

Mitchell claimed that he never saw the article in SI.com, but was not amused.

"A smart man, (Raptors') Wayne Embry, always told me never dignify a stupid question," Mitchell said yesterday, when asked about the report.

"To say that it was a factual journalistic piece wouldn't be right," he added.

Others named to the All-Poison team included well-known NBA malcontents Stephon Marbury, Chris Webber and Jeff McInnis.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S ALL-POISON TEAM

SI.Com has posted its All-Poison team on its website. Not surprisingly two Raptors made the list, but hey, where's Vince Carter?

STARTERS

- PG Stephon Marbury New York Knicks

- SG Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers

- SF Darius Miles Portland Trail Blazers

- PF Chris Webber Philadelphia 76ers

- C Michael Olowokandi Minnesota Timberwolves

BENCH

- PF Kwame Brown Los Angeles Lakers

- C Jerome James New York Knicks

- SF Tim Thomas Chicago Bulls

- PF Carlos Boozer Utah Jazz

- PG Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers

- PG Jeff McInnis New Jersey Nets

- SG Jalen Rose Toronto Raptors

COACH

- Sam Mitchell Toronto Raptors


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