James makes a difference

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Mike James may look like he is playing for a juicy contract, but don't try telling him that.

The red-hot Raptors point guard can opt out of his contract and become a free agent after this season and he's going to have some good numbers to show to potential employers. But the potential financial bonanza isn't on the mind of James, 30.

"My love and my passion and my drive doesn't come from money," he said. "Money is not what makes me. It's just the simple fact that this games makes me. This game I love, this game I'm passionate for, that's what I play for. I don't play for a contract because those things come and go."

During the Raptors' five-game winning streak, James is averaging 24.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and eight assists while shooting 55.1% from the field and 63.2% from three-point range.

"I think he's making his teammates better, he's making those extra passes," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "His turnovers are way down and he's just running the team as well as he can do it."

James averages 21.4 points in Raptors wins and just 14.0 in losses.

NUMBERS GAME

The Raptors have won their past two games by 20 points or more, the first time that has happened since November of 2000.

SONICS WANT LENNY

New Seattle SuperSonics coach Bob Hill said he is interested in bringing in ex-Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens, 68, as an assistant.

"If he had an interest, I'd certainly talk to him," Hill told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "When I saw him in Seattle, I told him I wanted to go to lunch. I really like him and respect him."

RETURN OF CHARITY GAME?

New Jersey Nets star and ex-Raptor Vince Carter said on his web site that he is planning to stage another exhibition game for charity this summer. Carter's charity game was an annual event in Toronto before he asked to be traded last season. Safe to say Carter won't be calling the Air Canada Centre to ask for available dates.


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