Faithful fans will welcome back former Raptor Amir Johnson with open arms

His numbers — just under eight points and six rebounds per game — are the dependable ones you get from a middle-of-the-roster forward, but they are not what make a superstar.

But Amir Johnson and Toronto serve as the breakaway point, where emotion trumps numbers, and his no longer being a Raptor hasn’t severed that tie. After six seasons as aToronto Raptor, Johnson is in his first with the Boston Celtics on a two-year, $24 million (U.S.) deal. He’ll play as a guest at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when he was a Detroit Piston.

Amir Johnson fitting in, and Celtics are better for it

On a day prior to when Ben Wallace, his mentor from years ago, gets his number retired in Detroit, Amir Johnson is now the “old head” on the Celtics, wearing a heating pad on his left foot as he sat the entire second quarter.

The left foot has been painful most of the season, and the 28-year-old Johnson, who entered the NBA one month after his 18th birthday and has flourished as a dirty-work big man, continues to chug through the pain. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Nash believes NBA all-star weekend will be special for Canada

Steve Nash says his eight NBA all-star appearances were both validation for hard work, and a rare chance to relax and have fun in the midst of a grueling season.

But on a grand scale, the league’s annual showcase gives those involved with global basketball something to come together around, he said, and “that to me, is the spirit of all-star weekend.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nikola Vucevic relishing his time in the NBA after his shocking near-death experience

Vucevic, whose side play the Toronto Raptors, was a passenger on a train which crashed in Montenegro on January 23, 2006, killing 47 and injuring nearly 200.

He was travelling with a youth basketball team at the time and one of his team-mates was among those who lost their lives in one of Europe’s worst train accidents. Read the rest of this entry »

Wizards rookie Kelly Oubre is learning on the fly

Wizards forward Kelly Oubre was supposed to spend most of his rookie season in observation mode, learning how to play at the NBA level during practice and by watching the rest of the team in action. Read the rest of this entry »

Chase Budinger’s Other Sport

Indiana Pacers swingman Chase Budinger has made a career for himself scoring the basketball, as that picture-perfect shooting form always has been something of a calling card for him. But what often gets overlooked is the fact that he’s one of the league’s most under-appreciated leapers, a skill he picked up as a student athlete dividing his time between basketball and volleyball. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Conley, fearless in the face of pain, is The CA’s Sportsperson of the Year

He played.

He played even though he had three broken bones in his face.

He played even though he had a metal plate and four screws under his left eye, and another metal plate and three screws fusing his orbital bone.

He played even though he had spent much of the previous week sitting in a dark room to mute the painful ringing in his brain. Read the rest of this entry »

What It Takes to be a Monster Dunker with Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine is one of the most electrifying players in the NBA. Look no further than his high-flying ability as one of the league’s best dunkers as proof.

The 6’5″ Minnesota Timberwolves point guard was crowned the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion as a 19-year-old last February, making him the second youngest player ever to win the title. He wowed the crowd with his flawless jams, and brought a level of exhilaration to the competition that hadn’t been seen in years. He’s also known to dunk footballs and free throws! Read the rest of this entry »

Nikola Vucevic Playing With Terrific Poise and Control

To the casual observer it might seem like Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic is having an off year what with his scoring and rebounding production being off slightly this season.

But to Vucevic’s teammates and head coach Scott Skiles, the 7-footer has never looked more poised and in control in the post than he has of late. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to give Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova respect he deserves

The critics of Matthew Dellavedova are the same kind of people who’d find fault with Scooby Doo for having a speech impediment.

He starts with an R when he pronounces every word, they’d say. They’re overlooking the remarkable fact that he’s a dog that can talk.  Read the rest of this entry »

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