To the very last second, Jay Triano refused to confirm what everyone else in the city already knew was going to happen.
The Jose Calderon era as a backup was over — again.
Jarrett Jack returned to the bench Wednesday night with Calderon returning to the starting five for the first time since Dec. 5 when he went down with a sore left hip.
When Calderon returned to action a little over a month later, the club was clicking on all cylinders and rather than putting Jack back on the bench, Triano opted to stick with the status quo.
Calderon took it in stride, saying whatever was best for the team, was the best course of action.
But now, mired in a slump that threatens to knock them out of the playoffs and having resisted changes to his lineup of any kind, Triano finally had a reason to make the change.
And it had nothing to do with Jack.
Calderon, over the past two games coming into Wednesday night, had been the best Raptors shooter on the floor. He was a combined 13-for-24 in those games.
Jack hasn’t been terrible by any means, but the status quo just wasn’t working anymore.
Something had to change and Jack was it.
Calderon played the first 9:20 of Wednesday night’s contest against the Atlanta Hawks and then gave way to Jack coming in for the final 2:40 of the first quarter.
Triano didn’t make the change official until the starting lineups went up on the board in the media room about 15 minutes before tip off.
Jack, though, was well aware the change was coming. Publicly he was saying all the right things, but like any professional there is disappointment that minutes he once counted as his own are going to someone else.
If this is in fact a trying time for Jack, he is not going to be wanting for support.
Completely unplanned, Jack arrived back in Toronto to find his mother, father and uncle had all made the trip north to pay him a little visit.
They’re timing couldn’t have been more perfect.