Captain Jack. The words have a certain ring, words that could easily describe Jarrett Jack when all is said and done this off-season.
With Chris Bosh all but gone, a void in captaincy must be filled, a role Jack is ready to assume and embrace, if asked.
Say what you want about Bosh, but he never ducked questions when times got tough, always made himself available to the media and he always looked an inquisitor in the eye.
Bosh was the Raptors’ leader, but he led more by example as opposed to looking a player in the eye and bashing him.
No player is best suited to lead whatever team gets trotted out this fall than Jack, a veteran who easily relates to the team’s young core, a player who learned a lot about himself when he pouted following a demotion to back up.
“All the guys have a certain respect level for me,” Jack said Tuesday as he voluntarily took part in a free-agent camp at the Air Canada Centre.
“If that (captaincy) gets placed on my shoulder, I can handle it. I’m ready for it. Personally, I have to be a leader 24 hours, all the time. There can’t be any breaks, no lapses, no steps back.
“That’s one of the critiques I’ve addressed this off-season. Last year, my body language wasn’t good when I should have persevered. I need to be that positive voice, whether the ship is afloat or if it’s not going well.”
With so much uncertainty hovering over the Raptors, Jack isn’t sure what kind of team he’ll hopefully lead, assuming he isn’t traded himself.
Before free agency began, Jack and Bosh, who were roommates at Georgia Tech, spent time in Atlanta.
Jack described Bosh as being nervous and isn’t surprised a decision hasn’t been made, despite all the rumours that change from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.
“He wasn’t leaning any one way or the other,’’ Jack said. “I basically told him to follow his heart. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong if you follow your heart.”
What’s obvious, no matter what rumours get floated, is that Bosh wants that extra year on his contract, a $30-million US windfall that can only be achieved by having the Raptors agree to a sign and trade.
“I’m sure when all this gets sorted out, everyone will take a deep breath and it’ll allow us to focus on the season,’’ Jack said.
“Everything can change so fast and so quickly in this business. Chris can bring us three guys or no guys if there’s no sign and trade or there could be a three-team deal, where we get two guys from one team and one guy from another.
“We’re just going to have to wait for this business to get done.”