Triano not paranoid

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Coach Jay Triano shrugged off the presence of unemployed NBA head coach Marc Iavaroni at practice the past few days, saying it was just a professional courtesy extended by the team.

"It's great," Triano said. "From day one, I've opened my practices. We had Dave Smart from Carleton University (as well as a minor league coach who dropped by yesterday) and we've had Marc.

"It's a common thing among coaches because you always learn, whether it's a drill or situational stuff. Marc and I met over in Italy years ago (at an NBA clinic), then he lost his job. He's going to visit three or four different teams and that's a credit to him. He's still trying to learn, to build his resume and trying to get better."

Iavaroni, once linked to the Toronto job prior to Sam Mitchell's extension. coached a year and a half in Memphis before being let go last year. Triano laughed off any 'paranoia' about Iavaroni being in the same gym.

"If there was, we'd close our practice. The paranoia we have is with you (media) guys."

Pops passes on pop

The Raptors' training staff has its calipers into Pops Mensah-Bonsu and he's feeling the pain. He's being kept after practice for extra conditioning to catch up after sitting in Europe without a contract and then playing in the D League. But he's not complaining too much, given his physical style means he has to take maximum care of his body.

"You get beat up a lot," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I'm banging down there with a lot of those big guys, so you have to maintain your body and eat healthy. My body is my job, so I have to make sure I'm in tip-top shape.

That means more water and eating less sugars, a tough transition for him.

"I'm a big candy guy and love a lot of it," Mensah-Bonsu admitted. "I have to make sure I stay away from it and I don't think I've had candy, soda or juice since I came here. Hopefully I'll show improvement."


Videos

Photos