James turns to yoga

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Look for Mike James at a yoga class near you.

The Raptors' red-hot starting point guard, who remains day to day after sitting out a 129-103 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday with back spasms, said yoga is part of his back strengthening routine.

"I'm just trying to do all the precautions. I'm starting back on my yoga again," James said. "(He'll do) whatever it takes to further my career and help me be as flexible as possible. I understand these are things I have to do and so I'm going to have to start doing them again."

This marks the second time this season James has had back problems. He missed a 95-82 win against the Nets in New Jersey on Dec. 3 with the same problem, but the pain disappeared quicker then.

"It's the same exact thing, but this one lasted longer," James, 30, said. "The one in Jersey, it was almost like the next day it got better by itself whereas this one is still bothering me."

James said his back got stiff just before he went to bed Saturday night.

"It's day to day," he said. "I could wake up (today) and feel great. We're going to see what happens. I want to play. But I don't want to get on the court just to play and hurt my team by doing that and hurt myself individually. So I'm not going to do that. But if I feel like I'm able to help my team win a game, I'm definitely going to play.

"It's not worrying me. I understand it's a long season. Back spasms this season have almost been like a cold in the NBA. Everybody, it seems, is going down with back spasms. I've got to just strengthen my back. Once this pain goes down, I'll just get back in the weight room and strengthen my back as much as possible."

NO PROBLEM FOR BABCOCK

Little-used Raptors forward Eric Williams has come out and said he would be better off playing somewhere else, but general manager Rob Babcock said the veteran has not come to his office to request a trade.

"Eric has been great with us, very professional and good with the young guys," Babcock said. "He hasn't complained and his attitude has been terrific. He hasn't asked me for any trade."


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