Tuesday , Nov , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Rafael Araujo Is Deluded

Rafael Araujo Is Deluded

I’m going to be honest and make this admission before we start: Despite having family and other acquaintances up there, I’ve never taken the time to visit the city of Toronto. As such, I’m just going to have to assume that the general population of T-Dot and the rest of the Golden Horseshoe isn’t slower than Greg Ostertag in lead sneakers. If this is a fair assumption (and the fact that the city’s still intact shows that it is), then I’m going to have to call Rafael Araujo out for his recent comments in the Toronto Star.

"The fans (in Toronto) didn’t know what I can do," Araujo said yesterday. "Here they know what I can do. I was a good player, I’ve been a good player and I just didn’t have the right fair chance."

What self-help tapes has this dude been listening to? You averaged two and three last year, Hoffa. As a 6’11’’, 270-pound waste of space (and money), you managed to shoot a princely 36.6% from the field. This, folks, is a player who started thirty-four games for an NBA team. I really don’t know what to say about comments such as the one which follows.

"I did my best there, I worked hard for two years," he said. "The coaching staff and the director (general manager) part, I couldn’t control that."

Now, I accept that certain players are limited by circumstance. Boris Diaw was never given the opportunity to show off his full skill set in Atlanta. Tracy McGrady didn’t get his chance to shine while playing alongside Vince. Gilbert Arenas wasn’t able to express his talent while in Oakland. Rafael Araujo, however, does not fall into this category. 

He was picked far too early in the draft and immediately justified public scepticism at the selection. In his second season, his game somehow deteriorated before the Raptors showed mercy and sent him back to Utah. There were many factors holding him back, but – and you should get your necks limber to nod in agreement here – the suits in the upper tier at Air Canada weren’t one of them.

They say you can’t teach height. Well, you can’t teach bitch either. If the folks in Salt Lake City don’t tear this guy a new one, they’re either giving him a pass for playing at BYU, or they’re simply showing that trademark Mormon politeness. (Admission number two: My knowledge of the Mormon character is derived entirely from the movie Orgazmo. It may not be accurate, but it’s funnier this way.)