Friday, February 5, 2010 will forever go down as "Mask-Gate".
Well at least that's what Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo is hoping it doesn't turn into. With a couple of days in between games, basketball news is naturally very hard to come by. Combined with the relatively improved recent play from the boys in red and white, and the media folk are at a standstill.
Easy going atmosphere.
This is not what the media thrives on. Give us something to work with here. Anything dammit.
And as quickly as we asked, an answer appeared. And of course, being typical Toronto media, we pounced on it. After Turkoglu suffered a small fracture to his right orbital bone during the home game against Indiana, the Raptors' prized free agent went through a protective mask fitting. The action?
“I told them it’s uncomfortable. I just have to do my best without the mask.”
And the reaction from Colangelo:
“It’s pretty simple: He’s going to have to wear the mask."
So now the question is - Who will budge first? One has to think the player will always fall in line with what the GM says. But something tells me Turk either isn't done protesting, or is quite irked about the situation. All year, he's come off as a guy who will do things his way. Now to his credit, he does put the good of the team first, but it's always been done in a way that he feels comfortable with most. For example, all year long, the fans have begged him to come out of his shooting slump. But time after time, Turkoglu has explained that he won't take the excessive amount of shots typically needed to come of a funk because that's not what his game is about. If Hedo could have it his way - which he often does - he would play an entire game setting up his teammates for easy baskets - which he has - and he'd be just fine with.
Then of course this mask situation. Hedo was seen sporting the mask this morning during practice in an attempt to get comfortable and appease the organization. But just imagine he pulls what he did in Orlando and ditches the mask after the first quarter? If the said scenario does take place, I'm hoping the broadcast crew pans the camera immediately towards Colangelo. Just because I know the look on his face will be avatar worthy.
Along with the pizza pizza commercial that provided us with "Yes Coach!", the infamous "Ball" quote, and now this mask ordeal - if there's one thing that Hedo has provided us, it's a season full of entertainment.