Mitchell clear on media policy

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

From his snappy suits to his courtside rants, Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell can draw plenty of attention.

But in all dealings with the media, Mitchell is promising a just-the-facts Sam.

On the eve of the Raptors' season opener, the second-year coach said yesterday he felt members of the media took advantage of his attempts to humanize his discussions with them last season and it cost him.

"What I (decided) is that my sense of humour is for me and the people who are around me every day," Mitchell said of his new approach. "I think I gave a little bit too much last year and it was used against me in the wrong way. I assumed people knew I was joking sometimes but it was never written or portrayed that way. Therefore, you learn."

Mitchell refused to provide concrete examples of such behaviour by the media.

"I think I survived last year and I lived to talk to you guys another day so I just promised myself I would give you guys what you need to do your job but I will not put myself in a position where any comments I make can be taken any differently than how they were meant."

Mitchell said he respects the job the media has to do and he will do what he can to help, but he will not put himself in a position again where there is any room for interpretation.

"It's important that I respect what you guys have to do ... and I do. It's important that I do my best to answer your questions. But it's also important that what I give to you is what's written in the paper the way I said it.

"I didn't think it was last year, but it's important to me this year so I'm going to do my best. I will stand here and answer the questions to the best of my ability. If there is something I can't answer I will politely tell you I can't."

Mitchell said he was not calling the media out, but then immediately seemed to imply that the media made him out to be a bad person.

"I know myself. I'm not a bad guy," Mitchell said. "I'm not a tyrant. I'm not a mean guy."

Mitchell said all he wants is a fair and accurate account of what his team does and what he says.

"All I would ask is that you call it like you see it," he said. "If we get it done, we get it done. If we don't I will try to answer why we didn't. If we did I will answer to the best of my ability why we did. This is not about me. It's about these players and the Toronto Raptors. The focus should be on these 14 players."

We're assuming he meant from here on out.


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