Matt Bonner has an NBA championship ring today, but little else has changed for the man who is still referred to, even in San Antonio, as the Red Rocket.
Bonner, now in his second season with the Spurs after two seasons as a Raptor, has a little more facial hair but is still the self-deprecating guy Torontonians came to love during his tenure there.
Asked if he's still driving the Grand Prix -- the one he bought for the extra leg room and the great gas mileage -- Bonner says he's still got it but as of yesterday was driving a mini-van because his parents are in town he needed the extra seating capacity. Bonner has had a pretty busy month by Bonner standards this December. He made three consecutive starts -- a first in a Spurs uniform -- with Tim Duncan out with a sprained right ankle.
In the middle of those three starts was his best night as a pro when he scored 25 points and pulled down 17 rebounds in a season high 39 minutes in a game against the Golden State Warriors. Duncan's return put him back on the bench and playing time has since been sparse.
"For a little while (the role) changed when we got injuries but now it's back to just being kind of inconsistent and unpredictable, but at the same time I'm kind of used to that," Bonner said.
Bonner retains Toronto ties. His girlfriend is a Toronto girl and he was in the city this past fall to see Okkervil River, a band made up of Concord, N.H., natives like Bonner himself. Bonner, in fact brought Okkervil River back to Concord last summer for a charity concert. He said he's in the early stages of planing a similar charity concert in Toronto either this summer or next with the proceeds going to the boys and girls club of Toronto.