76ers' Dalembert returns from ...
Dalembert returns from trip to...
Trail Blazers 98, 76ers 90...
Trail Blazers-76ers, Box...
Blazers' Roy leaves with hamst...
Kings G Evans letting reps dea...
Wolves' Love, Thunder's Collis...
Trail Blazers' Miller says Six...
NBA Roundup: Friday's action...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
Sixers to sign Donyell Marshal...
Sixers sign Donyell Marshall...
Sixers hire Jeff Ruland as ass...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Jason Smith medical update...
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » No hard feelings as Kapono, Raptors get fresh starts

No hard feelings as Kapono, Raptors get fresh starts

No hard feelings as Kapono, Raptors get fresh starts Basketball REPORTER

The experiment began last night: How to make the Toronto Raptors a more rugged and consistent team while maintaining its skill and offensive punch.

Jason Kapono, it was nice to know you, in other words.

The former Toronto Raptor was on hand with the Philadelphia 76ers as the Raptors started their NBA exhibition season with a 107-98 loss to their Eastern Conference rivals. Andrea Bargnani led all scorers with 22 points; Louis Williams had 17 points to lead Philadelphia.

Kapono was Raptors president Bryan Colangelo's first significant NBA free-agent signing in the summer of 2007. And he figured in the first significant deal of the summer of 2009 when Kapono was sent to Philadelphia for Reggie Evans.

Judging by the reaction of the nearly sold-out crowd of 7,213 at the John Labatt Centre, the trade will be well received as Evans started with Chris Bosh back in Toronto and got his first "Reggie, Reggie, Reggie" chant about two minutes into his Raptors career as he played just as advertised: tracking down offensive rebounds, chipping in with some steals and laying the muscle on Elton Brand.

Kapono was given a four-year, $24-million (U.S.) contract and then never provided value for it. He averaged 8.2 points a game on 42.8-per-cent shooting last season, but never really fit in, as he would admit.

"Bottom line, we just had a lot of guys doing the same thing. I was one of many there," he said. "We had a coaching change, a lot of guys hurt. There's a ton of things. We just never clicked. We never had a true style of play. I enjoyed my time there, I'm upset I never got chance to really do something big there. We made the playoffs my first year - and last season was bad."

Triano, for his part, hardly sounded broken up at seeing Kapono in a 76ers uniform.

Why did the best shooter in NBA history - he's tied with Steve Kerr for the career three-point shooting mark at 45.4 per cent - fail to find his niche with a team that was supposed to be built around shooting?

"I don't know," said Triano, who was his head coach for more than half a season. "We watched tape with him, we tried to help him. We ran plays for him a lot. He's a great shooter and people know that and they lean on him. That's supposed to create space for other guys and our guys didn't make them pay for leaning on a guy like Kapono."

The point was made to Triano that the qualities Evans brings as a role player - tenacity, toughness, rebounding - are more reliable than what Kapono had to offer.

"It wasn't like we wanted to get rid of Kapono, it was a trade. We needed toughness and he just happened to be the guy we gave up," Triano said.

There's no surprise why Philadelphia was interested in Kapono. They have the horses but have missed having someone make teams pay for crowding the paint on their crew of offensive rebounders and basket slashers. Kapono thinks he can be that guy.

"I think it's a good fit. Sometimes in a trade you get to a team and they don't really want you, you're just kind of a throw-in," said Kapono, who is now with his fifth NBA team and came off the bench last night. "But I'm stupid enough to believe they actually did want me. Style of play-wise, personnel-wise, it's a good fit."



NOTES The Raptors were without three players expected to be in the top six of their rotation, head coach Jay Triano said yesterday. Chris Bosh (hamstring) and Hedo Turkoglu (fatigue) are the obvious ones. By implication Antoine Wright (knee) is also expected to be in the top six. ...The top price for a floor ticket was just less than $100. NEXT Philadelphia at Toronto, tonight at the ACC, 7 p.m. EDT

TV Raptors TV

Michael Grange

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 7, 2009


Copyright © SixersDaily.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2019.