Group Info

each of the next two seasons and his high cap hit

TORONTO -- They called it a serious mistake that Jonas Valanciunas must learn from. O. J. Howard Buccaneers Jersey . But otherwise the Toronto Raptors players and staff are standing behind their starting centre after he was charged with drunk driving. The 21-year-old apologized to his teammates, and will play in Wednesdays game against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, but news of his arrest drew a large contingent of media to practice on Tuesday and negative attention to a team bound for the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. "(I was) disappointed a little bit," Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said of his reaction to the arrest. "As an organization, its not something we take lightly, its not something I feel we are just going to brush aside. (But) hes a young kid ... I look at all of you here and I wonder what we were all doing when we were 21, so there are mistakes that are made." Valanciunas was arrested early Monday morning in Wasaga Beach, Ont., a popular vacation destination for college students about 100 kilometres north of downtown Toronto, and charged with having more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Police say they began investigating after a report that a vehicle went through a drive-thru with open beer bottles visible. The Lithuanian met with Ujiri for an hour on Monday, and had his "face in his hands," the GM said. He also met with Tim Leiweke, the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "I think he feels he let his teammates down, he let his fans down, the organization," Ujiri said. "Thats Jonas, hes a great kid. And I think he made some kind of a mistake, but I think the most important thing is its not going to happen again, and he understands that." Ujiri spoke to a media horde of more than 40-strong. There were nine television cameras. Valanciunas was not made available to reporters after what coach Dwane Casey said was a great practice by the sophomore centre, but issued a statement with an apology on Monday. "I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously," Valanciunas said. "I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them." Valanciunass first court appearance is scheduled for Collingwood, Ont., on April 22, which is a couple of days after the start of the playoffs. Valanciunas does not have to attend and so a lawyer will stand in for him. He still may face a suspension of a couple of games by the NBA, but that wouldnt come until the results of his trial which would likely be during the summer. The Raptors will decide on any further punishment such as a fine or suspension following the leagues ruling. Most of the Raptors and their families attended the Toronto Blue Jays game on a day off from practice Sunday. Ujiri said Valanciunas instead went to Wasaga Beach with his wife and some friends. The seven-footer is averaging 11 points and 8.6 rebounds a game, and his growth this season is a big part of why the Raptors are in third in the Eastern Conference and poised to win the Atlantic Division title. Casey spoke of Valanciunas much like he would a son. "Like I told him, Im upset with him and disappointed, but hes mine so we love him," Casey said. "He made a mistake, but like any other young man has probably done before, or had the opportunity before. We dont condone it, the organization doesnt condone it, and its a tough time of year to do it. But its happened. ... "We all make mistakes, its what we do after it that is how were going to be judged." Kyle Lowry said the young teammate that he views as a little brother was "sick right now" over the mistake. "Hes really hurt by it, hes really embarrassed by it, very disappointed in himself. I can tell you that for sure," the veteran point guard said. "Its just a mistake that he made, its unfortunate that it happened to such a good kid in JV, but it happened, hes 21, hes going to learn from it. Im sure hell never make that mistake again," he added. Lowry said his advice was: "Just be more responsible. We have all the benefits of having drivers and taxis. Thats it, be more responsible." Raptors all-star DeMar DeRozan said the incident was a regrettable mistake, but added the players support for each other in any situation is part of what has made Toronto one of the best teams in the East this season. "At the end of the day, were all human. We can look at everybody in here and ask them: have they done something wrong, or made a mistake in life. Its part of life. Its something you learn from and grow from." "No matter what guys go through, were always there for them, family, whatever it may be, somebodys kid is sick ... its always something, and were always there for one another. Thats big because you dont get that with every team that you play for." The Raptors said the negative news wont be a distraction to the team that has won six of its last seven games. "Not at all," Lowry said. "We had a great practice today, really spirited, really competitive, really positive vibe in there." "Ive been coaching since 79 and Ive seen a little bit of everything," Casey added. "This is very serious, a very serious matter, but its not enough to distract the team and that type of thing. "His teammates were very supportive of him, and to them its a great lesson also, the focus and the discipline you have to have in your own life to go forward." The last Raptor to be charged with drunk driving while still a member of the team was Dee Brown, who was stopped by police in 1999 in Toronto and charged with impaired driving and later convicted. But a judge found he was a victim of racial profiling and overturned the conviction. Chris Godwin Youth Jersey . Yet heading to New York, the Habs remain positive as it all comes down to the one main ingredient that the organization has built its team on - character. O. J. Howard Jersey . - Connor Brown and Dane Fox both scored in regulation and in the shootout, as the Erie Otters extended their win streak to 10 games by defeating the London Knights 4-3 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action.The agent for forward Ryan Kesler is denying that his client has requested that the Vancouver Canucks trade him. Speaking to Adrian Dater of The Denver Post, agent Kurt Overhardt says that a report from TVA Sports saying that Kesler had asked for a trade is "a bunch of b.s.". TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that Canucks general manager Mike Gillis neither confirmed nor denied the report. Kesler, 29, is nursing a hand injury and did nnot dress on Thursday night for Vancouvers post-Olympic opener against the St. O. J. Howard Youth Jersey. Louis Blues. Rumours in recent days have suggested that the Canucks have been listening to offers for Kesler and Alex Edler. Kesler has two more years remaining on a six-year, $30 million contract. He will be paid $5 million in each of the next two seasons and his high cap hit is expected to potentially make him difficult to move before the March 5 deadline. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
Partager

Users

Les nouvelles