Modest Kapono

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

When you've lost seven games in a row, respect is tough to find. But Raptors shooting guard Jason Kapono is getting some.

The NBA Players Poll in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated asked those polled "Who is the best pure shooter you've ever seen?"

Boston's Ray Allen was the clear-cut No. 1 choice with 26% followed by former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller with 15%. Kapono and former Celtics great Larry Bird were tied for third with 10% of the votes.

Kapono's reaction to the voting was typical Kapono.

"I think that's a disgrace to Larry Bird," Kapono said, "and I think he'd be appalled to hear that. Please let Larry Bird know I had nothing to do with this."

Causing a stir in Oz

Another game, another step forward for Nathan Jawai.

The Raps only selection from last year's draft is having a banner week after a very slow start to his NBA career.

No more than a spectator for the first 21/2 months of the season because of an undisclosed heart ailment, Jawai is progressing.

He dressed for an NBA game for the first time on Monday in Atlanta, though he didn't play, and on Wednesday night in Detroit, he got some playing time. Yes, the game was well out of reach and his stats -- 3:05 minutes, no shots, one turnover -- weren't exactly stellar but it was his first game and Jawai won't soon forget it.

"I had messages this morning," Jawai said with a huge smile on his face after practice yesterday. "Many from my family back home. Most of my family didn't know I was on the court even though I dressed. I didn't have time to tell them, but I know they're checking boxscores every day."

Jawai admits he's not where he wants to be in terms of his conditioning right now but he says he's getting there.

"I just have to keep working hard and training hard and try and earn my spot," he said.


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