Rafer Alston Interview
Rafer Alston, who earlier this summer, signed a multi-year
contract with the Toronto Raptors was in vintage Skip to My Lou form playing streetball
in the EBC at Rucker Park earlier this week. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner
met with with Rafer and had a quick chat about returning to Toronto and playing with Vince Carter
and Jalen Rose.
Talk about the Raptors, Vince Carter, if you guys have spoken since you signed
back with that squad, catch us up on what's running through your mind.
Rafer Alston: I went up for his charity game, and it went well - the game
went well. Didn't have much of an in-depth conversation with him, but he knows
that country and that city, Toronto, they love the kid. I love him, I really like
him, I really want to play with him, and I understand his frustration. You go
through two or three straight losing seasons, and you feel some of the personel
moves and some of the guys that the organization brings in may not help you, but
I think you should play it out first, and at mid-point through the season it's
not going well, I understand you getting a trade to a contender. During the middle
of the season, for a trade, people will accomodate you, if things don't turn around.
But I don't think you demand a trade and bail on your guys until you see how things
are going through training camp, through pre-season, and after the first half
of the season. I would really like to be a great tandom in the backcourt with
him. I had a guy, Dwyane Wade, he's a young guy in this league, so I can imagine
how I could play with a guy that's been a seasoned veteran in this league, and
a proven all-star. All I'm going to do is try my hardest and get him as many easy
baskets as he can, so he don't have to face double-teams, and hopefully he can
spot me for the spot-up three when they do double-team him.
InsideHoops.com: And Jalen Rose, he's extremely versatile and can do a
lot of things with you guys.
Rafer Alston: You know, there's a lot of teams have their version of the
big three, and there's an opportunity for us to have a big three, and that's not
to count out any of our other teammates, but you have a guy that loves to pass
the ball in myself, you got a guy in Jalen Rose that helped lead the Indiana team
to the championship round, so I just want to go up there and work as hard as I
possibly can with those two guys, and I know they'll enjoy getting the basketball.
They better enjoy that.
And some more quotes:
Rafer Alston on being worshipped on the playgrounds:
The little ones still see me as Skip to my Lou, they don't know that I'm 28 years old now and that it's almost time for me to stop playing on the concrete. I can walk in and sit down, and this park (Rucker Park) gives me a great welcome, a great standing ovation, and I love them for that.
Rafer Alston on pulling off streetball moves at Rucker Park:
I think of it during the course of the game, what I can do, what I can get away with. Everything is a chance. I've always lived on the edge; at times I catch myself, but out here I always play the game on edge. I try tricky things, but I feel I'm the type of person that can make it work.
Rafer Alston on returning to Toronto:
Toronto's a wonderful place, and I'm excited to get back there and try to help those guys turn the season around. It's another challenge for me. I went down to Miami, a team that was struggling, they had won about 20 games, and we go down there and we win about 42 games and go to the Eastern conference semi-finals. The challenge is on again. I welcome the challenge, and I want to go to Toronto and hopefully I can help Vince and the guys turn that thing around so they can experience some playoff glory.