With the official word that Allen Iverson would not be able to play in last night's game between the Raptors and the Sixers, a portion of the excitement seemed to have died out. Even in the twilight of his career, the infamous point guard still draws a respectable amount of "Iverson" jerseys or "AI" apparel wherever he goes. And yet when all was said and done after a well earned 104-93 win, the locker room was still buzzing because of one particular player.
Cue Reggie Evans and his "Five minutes of fury"!
Having missed the first 51 games of the season, Reggie Evans could not wait to get onto the court. Yet after 5 minutes, he couldn't wait to get off it.
"He only knows how to play one speed." Chris Bosh often tells the media.
Yes, the Raps continued their winning ways.
Yes, they just put the finishing touches on a season high 8 game home winning streak.
And yes, the Raptors managed to pull within 5 games of taking the division lead.
But perhaps the most exciting part about last night was witnessing Reggie Evans play his heart out for those five minutes. In the short period of time he was on the court, he totaled 2 points, 3 rebounds, a steal, and one drawn charge. After his five minute sequence, Reggie just laid there on the court, exhausted beyond belief.
Compared to the Chris Boshes and Tim Duncans of the world, Reggie isn't exactly the most talented of bigmen. But what he lacks in All-Star talent, he surely makes up for it in hustle and heart. Note to the NBA: That's all it takes.
That's how players like Bonner, Pops, and the famous JYD managed to leave a lasting imprint on Raptors fans everywhere. Toronto sports fans have always been criticized of being too critical, too bipolar, too fickle. But there is one thing we can definitely be proud of, and that's our ability to spot hard work. In a city that isn't used to seeing winning teams, that's an impressive thing to hang our hats on.
"These fans work hard to see a game...so I work hard when I'm out there..."
Reggie's got it figured out. And that's why Raptors fans will always be there to cheer him on.