After the Morning Sessions...
September 30, 3:09 p.m.

First, Nathan Jawai. Anytime you hear cardiac, you have to stop especially when it involves a young man.

I know the Raptors are being very cautious and rightfully so. Nathan watched the morning session from a chair on the sidelines and then after the session went into the stands to talk to the media. I spoke to him after the morning session. Nathan is expected to get further tests later in the week. Here are Nathan's thoughts on the situation.

With Nathan Jawai out for at least the first week of training camp the Raptors needed another big man, so they brought in Jamal Sampson. I know Jamal from our days in Charlotte. Jamal spent part of last season playing professional basketball in Europe.

The Raptors are his seventh team. He was originally drafted in the second round by Utah and then has played with Denver, Sacramento, Charlotte, LA Lakers and Milwaukee. Sampson entered the NBA Draft after one year at Cal (University of California). He graduated from Mater Dei High School, an athletic factory in Southern California.

He was considered to be one of the nationís top players coming out of Mater Dei. Jamal is big and athletic and that will always get you an extended look. Despite all of his talent he has yet to put it all together. Hopefully, heíll be able to do that now after being shipped around the NBA and Europe. Hard to believe he is still only 25 years old.

Other morning session impressionsÖ Carleton has a great facility. I am very impressed. Spoke with the Ravens Head Coach and Team Canada Assistant Coach Dave Smart. Look for an interview with him sometime during the week.

JO looks lean and strong. Jermaine said that this was the first summer where he was able to extensively work out after spending the last two years rehabbing his knee. OíNeal played in 42 games last season with 34 starts. Elton Brand, the new hire for the Sixers, played in eight games and started six. Isnít it interesting that no one is talking about Brand coming back from a major injury (Achilles) while everyone is always mentioning JOís?

Opeining Night October 29 at Philly, canít wait.

Andrea Bargnani, has added weight and he worked on his back-to-the-basket moves at Tim Grgurichís Big Manís Camp this summer in Vegas. Grgurich is a well respected NBA assistant who has spent over 15 years in the league. Prior to that he was an assistant basketball coach at UNLV. The Runniní Rebels have produced numerous NBA players including Larry Johnson, Stacey Augman and Greg Anthony. He was on the staff when they won the NCAA Championship in 1990.

Back to Bargnani. Sam says he wants him to play 18 feet and in. Also, they want him to utilize his quick first step on bigs that have to come out and guard him. In addition to work in Vegas he also spent time working with new assistant Coach Gord Herbert.

There are only two true rookies on the team Nathan and Roko Ukic. It will be interesting to watch Ukicís development throughout training camp and the year. Iím looking forward to watching Will Solomon and Roko compete for time. At 30 Solomon turned down more money in Europe to give the NBA one more chance. Sounds familiar, right? Will he fit like Parker?

The night session starts at 5 pm , so have to go.

Thanks for all the e-mails,

Looking Back Over The Summer...
September 30, 8:15 a.m.

Media Day is always filled with great optimism and Monday for the Raptors it was no different. However, when we boarded the plane to Ottawa for training camp I received this e-mail from the Raptors regarding rookie Nathan Jawai.:

ďAs a result of concerns raised during routine pre-season cardiac screening, Nathan Jawai will be held out of practice until further tests are conducted. It is anticipated that these tests will be concluded later this week.Ē

As soon as we have more information I will pass it on.

With training camps opening around the NBA, itís always good to look back over the summer and check out the off season moves.

Look forward to the hearing from you,