Tickets aplenty for Rose

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

Returning home never gets old for Jalen Rose.

The Detroit native purchased tickets for 70 friends and family members last night as his Raptors faced the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

"Back in the day, you could come in the locker room and be like, 'Yo, we're going to trade cities, you give me yours in Detroit, I'll give you mine when we go to your hometown,'" Rose said. "But everybody knows everybody somewhere now ."

Among the 70 guests were Rose's mother and grandmother.

Morris Peterson, a native of nearby Flint, had a smaller contingent of 13, including his mother and father.

WELCOME TO THE NBA

The Raptors' three rookies -- Charlie Villanueva, Joey Graham and Jose Calderon -- are being forced to carry lovely purple and pink Dora The Explorer backpacks on the road. More than a few people chuckled at the sight.

"I was walking through the lobby this morning and there were a bunch of ladies and they were looking at me and I could hear them whispering," Graham said. "I was just laughing and smiling because it was funny.."

Besides, the backpacks could come in handy for future kids.

"No time soon, though," a grinning Graham said.

ATTENTION SHAQ FANS

Shaquille O'Neal's large Toronto fan base may not see its big man when the Miami Heat makes its first visit to the Air Canada Centre Nov. 20.

O'Neal is out two to four weeks with a sprained right ankle. The Heat returns March 29.

BRIEFLY

Last night marked the completion of the first of 15 sets of back-to-back games for the Raptors ... Raptors forward Chris Bosh tied his career high for assists in a game Friday with five, marking the fifth time he has reached that number ... In a rarity, two sets of teams owned by the same corporations squared off last night. Palace Sports and Entertainment's Pistons and Tampa Bay Lightning faced Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.'s Raptors and Maple Leafs, respectively.


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