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Old 03-12-2012, 07:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
Acie
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We’d all be standing around the middle of the Raptors locker room after games a bit awkwardly, maybe 10, 20, sometimes 25 beat grunts and camera operators and drop-ins, waiting patiently for whichever Raptor got dressed first so we could get some passable quotes to use in whatever story we were working on.

Chris Bosh was always the last – he had to get the earrings in and the tie knotted just so because you can’t do TV while looking slovenly – and the seconds would turn into minutes and the deadlines would be rapidly approaching.

And then, without fail, TJ Ford would be done, he’d approach the middle of the room where everyone was gathered and he’d catch someone by eye, stop for a second and say:

“Anyone need anything from me.”

It didn’t matter if he’d played well or poorly or at all, he’d stand there and answer questions honestly and with candor until the last questioner was gone; didn’t matter if they fled to talk to someone else or what, he’d wait and do whatever he had to do.

It was just the kind of guy he was, and is, and of all the Raptors to come down the pike in all the years, the tiny point guard was among the most honest, self-critical and forthcoming of them all.
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Now, there can be no question, in his time in Toronto at least, that TJ had some issues. He didn’t handle the competition with Jose Calderon all that well – although I will tell you without question that the two remain friends today – and TJ had a tendency to sulk when things didn’t go his way. But he was a relative kid and in the grand scheme of things, I guess hindsight should give him a pass. He was TJ, and the stubbornness wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
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