Why not me? Williams asks

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

Not everybody in Raptorland was lining up yesterday to offer Jalen Rose a pat on the back and an "atta-boy" on his trade to the New York Knicks for Antonio Davis.

Little-used forward Eric Williams was furious that he wasn't the player headed to the bright lights and big city that is New York.

A native of Newark, N.J., just across the Hudson River from the Big Apple, Williams has done everything but take out a billboard to let the Raptors know that he wanted a trade ever since he arrived here in the ill-fated Vince Carter swap last season.

Williams is a 10-year NBA veteran and has a young son still living in the New York area with his parents.

Last night, he was bitter when asked for his reaction to the trade that will bring Antonio Davis to the Raptors.

"It looks like I'll be stuck here forever," Williams said.

When pressed further, Williams waved off the questioner saying he didn't have anything more to say.

While Williams clearly was angry at the trade that leaves him nailed to the bench in Toronto, teammate Mike James was shocked at how he heard about the deal.

"I was sitting down to eat my pre-game meal," James said. "I heard my wife talking to her sister on the phone. She told me her sister said that Jalen had been traded."

James said his sister-in-law, who lives in Louisiana, had heard of the trade on local television.

"I couldn't believe that my sister-in-law, a student at Louisiana Tech, would know about it before me," he said.

James was the first Raptor to go down to the Knicks bench just before tipoff to give his former teammate a hug and offer well-wishes.

"That's life in the NBA," James said.

"We (players) are just investments. I have been traded three times. It just comes with the territory."

James said in his short time as a Raptor, he had become close to Rose.

"You see somebody every single day. You get feelings for a teammate," he said. "So when (a trade) happens, it's like a blow."


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