Fans gang up on James

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Mike James said recently that he saw no reason why Raptors fans would not cheer for him when he returned to the Air Canada Centre as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

But Toronto ticket holders clearly did not see eye-to-eye with the outspoken ex-Raptors point guard.

Booed by many fans every time he touched the ball, James followed in the footsteps of players like Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter, both targets for Raptors fans.

"The crowd was good. They tried to boo me in the beginning, it was kind of cute, I'll say that," James said after his Timberwolves lost 100-97 against the Raptors.

"But it's all fun. Some people felt like they needed to boo me. I have no control over anybody (and) what they think about me."

No matter, James said the game against Toronto held no special significance for him.

"I'm too old for that stuff," said James, who exchanged hugs with old teammates and several ACC regulars before the game last night.

"Maybe in the beginning of my career, I'd probably think to do something like that or when I was in college I used to think that way. Now, you get past that."

James' confidence has not wavered, despite a slow start. James, who tends not to doubt himself, is averaging almost eight fewer points than last season -- his lone campaign in Toronto before signing a four-year deal with Minnesota -- when he finished 20th in the NBA in scoring.

"I started this way in Toronto in the beginning of last year if you all don't remember and you all were killing me when I first got here," James said. "I'm just going to continue to keep working.

Speaking of old teams ...

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell was a longtime forward with the Timberwolves and was a bit of a mentor to Wolves star Kevin Garnett, but he also said games against Minnesota are not circled on his calendar. The Raptors entered last night 4-0 against the Wolves under Mitchell, but he said that has nothing to do with extra motivation.

"The guys on this team know I played in Minnesota, but they don't have a history against Minnesota," Mitchell said. "I think the matchups to this point (have favoured Toronto). For whatever reason, those four times we played well."


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