Mitchell happy to see former team

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Sam Mitchell can still draw a crowd.

The former Raptors head coach, a day shy of his one-year anniversary of being fired by the Raptors was courtside -actually two rows in from the actual court - for Wednesday night’s tilt here at the Philips Arena.

Dressed in black and looking as fit as ever, the Atlanta resident exchanged nods of acknowledgement with both Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon as the Raptors took the floor but otherwide had little to do with the Raps.

If he was aware it was exactly one day shy of the one-year anniversary of his firing following a 39-point loss to the Denver Nuggets, Mitchell wasn’t admitting it.

He agreed to sit down with a few of the Raptors travelling media at halftime in a courtside lounge with the qualifier: “As long as there’s no stupid questions.”

So while no one asked Mitchell to fix the Raptors defensive shortcomings, he was happy to discuss his golf game - he shot a 78 Wednesday in 14-degree C weather which isn’t normal here - his growing business interests and generally the comfort level he has found in life away from basketball.

He sounded especially happy to see the likes of Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh, two players who learned under him when he was still learning the NBA coaching profession.

“Those guys mean something to me because those guys helped me get to where I was and I helped them,” Mitchell said.

He also admitted that because he was still learning the ropes with Bosh and Calderon they got full throttle-Sam as opposed to the more patient and nurturing Mitchell that Andrea Bargnani got when he was a rookie.


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