|Playing A Little Summer Ball...|
July 16, 4:53 p.m.
It was, Joey Graham said, time to play some ball.
So the Raptors’ forward gave up a leisurely summer hanging with family and friends in Tampa and instead headed to Las Vegas and summer ball.
Graham is getting playing time along with Nathan Jawai and Hassan Adams and Chris Bosh’s brother, Joel.
“It takes me back to my college days at Oklahoma State,” Graham said from Vegas. “I remember we would get new guys and I would show them around. On the court, I would try to teach some of the tricks of the trade. I’m starting to feel kind of old.”
Vegas is an unlikely destination for Graham who was limited by injuries and appearances in the ‘did not play’ category to 38 games. He was limited to just under nine minutes and 3.6 points per game.
It was the worst of his three pro seasons and he did not find himself getting better in Florida.
“I was at home, sitting around, and I really wasn’t working out with guys. I said ‘why not go somewhere and play?’
“Summer ball is no harm no foul. It’s about having fun and playing a little ball.”
It is also, Graham acknowledges, about restarting a career that hit corral last season.
“I want the coaches to know I still can play and that I am a guy who will work hard. Last year was the first time I didn’t play that much, my first bit of adversity. It builds character and makes me into the person I want to be. I didn’t like not playing.”
Vegas is an odd choice for Graham in another way. A quiet and religious man, Graham does not drink, smoke, gamble or take in any other of the vices Las Vegas is famous for.
“I am absolutely not interested in all that stuff,” he laughed. “There is just too much stuff going on here. I just stay to myself and stay in my room.”