Reggie Evans has been around far too long to let having to return to Toronto after being all-but traded to the Charlotte Bobcats get him down.
The personable veteran, who thanked Toronto fans via Twitter this summer when it appeared he had been dealt to Charlotte along with Jose Calderon, only to see the deal evaporate at the last minute, has no qualms about returning to Canada.
“Hey I'm not bitter about it, I’m not bitter at all, it is what it is,” Evans told the Toronto Sun on Tuesday.
“It ain’t like I’m mad, I’m not mad at BC (general manager Bryan Colangelo), it’s a business, I respect the business aspect of it.
“That doesn’t stop me from doing what I’ve got to do on the court or from being professional to my teammates. I’m still going to be like ‘what’s up BC?’ I don’t really think about it.”
A year ago, the hard-nosed Evans was talked up as a crucial addition to a team that was maddeningly soft.
But a foot injury ended a strong pre-season and kept Evans out of action all the way until February.
Now, on a retooling squad Evans‚ role — other than to be one of head coach Jay Triano’s leaders — is highly uncertain.
Evans would like to play but is fine with whatever comes his way.
“If the minutes present itself, cool, if (they) don’t , I just have to take the pressure off (young big men like Ed Davis), something like that.”
This Raptors team will be unlike any other that Evans has played for in a career that began in 2002 with Seattle.
After playing with stars like Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala and Chris Bosh, suddenly Evans is on a retooling outfit.
He knows it will be a challenge, but he isn’t exactly broken up about the situation.
“I could care less about Chris (being) gone, that’s in the past,” Evans said.
“All I can worry about is what we have here right now.
“It’s a whole new core, new guys, totally different. There’s no all-stars on the team right now, so everybody should have a big chip on their shoulder that we can win as a unit.”
Evans believes the addition of assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo — “a big-time defensive coach” — will go a long way.
“This year, we’ve definitely got our hands full, but it’s just a matter of how we accept the challenge,” he said. “We’re either going to jump the hurdle, or we’re going to jump around it.”