Mitchell relives past

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell had a friendly greeting in one of the hallways of the Staples Center on Wednesday night for L.A. Clippers forward Corey Maggette.

Which was sort of bizarre, given the fact that it was Maggette that hastened Mitchell's departure from a player to a coach in the NBA.

Mitchell said that during his final year with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 2001-02 season, he was ordered to guard Maggette, and the result was a wake up call for Mitchell.

"He did so by kicking my butt. It was in this building (Staples Center), when I was four feet off from him he went by me every time, and when he was posting me up I couldn't get him off the block.

"I knew he was going right, and he put his head down to go right, and I'm three feet off him, and by the time the message went from my head to my legs, he was laying the ball into the hole. At 38, I knew then, it was time," Mitchell added.

SAD SACK

Raptors fans couldn't help but feel a little indignant when veteran slouch Lamond Murray, who was a negative force in Toronto last season, came back to town with his new team, the New Jersey Nets on Nov.4 and proceeded to dump on the organization, suggesting that being in Jersey was Shangri La compared to Toronto.

However, since his lecture on what's wrong with the Raptors, Murray's minutes have dropped off considerably in Jersey and he is once again disgruntled.

"You start questioning yourself. You [say], 'It must be me.' Going from place to place, with three different coaches and they do the same exact thing to you. You just don't know what it is, so it's got to be me, something I'm doing," Murray told the New York Post.

Murray, 32, has played in only six of the Nets games, averaging only 7.3 minutes and has been glued to the bench of late, picking up mainly garbage time minutes.

Coach Lawrence Frank said Murray must "always stay ready because you never know when you're number's being called. That's part of being a professional."

Yeah, right.


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