Friday , Oct , 19 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Starting Small Forward Candidates For Toronto Raptors: Carlos Delfino, Joey Graham, Jason Kapono, … & Oly Sandor?

Frankly, I’m upset with you and the Raptors for ignoring my repeated requests for a tryout. There was a time my agent and I refused to negotiate with your club and shopped our services to the league’s 29 other teams. We considered pulling a Kobe Bryant and threatening to opt-out early from our contract. But we don’t even have a contract, let alone an opt-out clause, so our options were limited …

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reports that Carlos Delfino won’t be starting at small-forward for the  Raptors:

Delfino, obtained from Detroit in a summer trade, hasn’t shown the attitude Mitchell wants in the only starting spot still up for grabs.

"(I) just want him to be more aggressive. At that three spot, you have to be aggressive. You don’t have to be great," the coach said. "We all have limitations, as long as I know a guy’s giving me the best he’s got, I can accept the rest of it."

My Quick Take: Please forward to Bryan Colangelo and Sam Mitchell.

Player Profile

Player: Oly Sandor.

Position: Small-forward, technically. But I find formal positions limiting.

Height: 6-2.

Weight: 180 lbs.

Vertical Leap: Extremely limited. Think Bill Laimbeer.

Wingspan: Better than my vertical, but not by much.

Career Highlights: Winning the Hustle Award in grade seven at the University of Victoria summer basketball camp.

Professional Experience:
How do you define professional?

Attention:
Bryan Colangelo, General Manager of the Toronto Raptors.

Frankly, I’m upset with you and the Raptors for ignoring my repeated requests for a tryout. There was a  time my agent and I refused to negotiate with your club and shopped our services to the league’s 29 other teams. We considered pulling a Kobe Bryant and threatening to opt-out early from our contract. But we don’t even have a contract, let alone an opt-out clause, so our options were limited.

Instead, in the spirit of peace and goodwill, we’ll give your ogranization a final opportunity to outbid the league’s other teams and sign me for the 2007-08 regular season. Again, here’s why Oly ‘Budapest’ Sandor-notice the fourth person reference just like an NBA player-would be a perfect fit for Toronto’s small forward spot:

1) Congratulations, your ‘Euro’ experiment has worked. No, I’m not referring to a meat sandwich devoured after a night of heavy drinking and clubbing. I’m referring to how you rebuilt the Toronto franchise by adding players from every semi-autonomous state and breakaway republic in Europe. This strategy resulted in your organization winning the Atlantic Division and qualifying for the playoffs.

But something is missing. Your small-forward spot is unsettled. Coach Mitchell admitted this to reporters. You won with Euros like Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, Jorge Garbajosa, and Uros Slokar. So why not add another ‘Euro’  to the roster?

Of course, that Euro would be me. My father is Hungarian. My mother is Scottish. But I was born in Vancouver, Canada, so my game is half ‘Euro’ and half North American. But unlike that Jay-Z and R Kelly album, I really am the best of both worlds.

My unique heritage makes me the living manifestation of Commissioner Stern’s global NBA dream. And with such an international perspective, I could forge a connection with your overseas talent and help them fully adjust to the subtleties of the North American game.

For example, Jorge Garbajosa has struggled to find his form after breaking his leg last season. This is understandable. He’s worn down and beat up. I have a solution to this problem-‘Euro’ style.

In exchange for the starting small forward spot, I’ll provide my fellow ‘Euro’ with food and booze imported from Spain-free of charge, of course. I’m confident Garbajosa eating nothing but meat, wine, and foreign beer will regain his old ‘form’ .

Please note this estimate is based on personal experience as opposed to tangible scientific evidence. I broke my fibula and nursed my way back to health on this very diet. Garbajosa may experience some subtle side effects like a lack of motivation, moodiness, and an expanded waist line.

2) Your front office and scouts may have lost track of me because I’ve moved on from dominating The Greek League. Again, this wasn’t the Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglo Greek league, but the pick-up runs at the Greek Church over on 32nd and Arbutus in Vancouver, Canada.

Anyway, those details are irrelevant. My NBA dream has taken me to the Monday night Veteran’s League. This run has NBA talent-well, sort of. One guy plays like Bobby Hurley. And last year, Sean and Alex exchanged baskets in a duel reminiscent of Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins in the 1988 playoffs-minus the Hall of Fame athleticism and talent, of course.

However, due to our age, players in this league do not idolize LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or Dwyane Wade. We draw our inspiration from the forty plus crowd-you know, Kevin Willis, Dikembe Mutombo, and Cliff Robinson.

But a new year brings new challenges. I’m ready to get the most out of the 2007-08 season and expand my game beyond the textbook jumpstop.

3) The Veteran’s League has no buyout fee for player rights. This means I can immediately join the Raptors-there’s no red tape to negotiate through with FIBA or multi-million dollar buyout fee holding up my NBA debut.

However, the commissioner of the Monday night Veteran’s League is a big Ben Harper fan, so you may be on the hook for some tickets. But concert tickets do not count against the salary cap, so signing me will not force your organization to pay the dreaded luxury tax.

Again, these factors make me THE ideal candidate for the starting small-forward spot. My agent and I urge you to finally take advantage of our olive branch and re-consider your previous decision as an organization not to offer me a contract.

Under the right circumstances, I could be convinced to forgive your disrespect and grant a private workout.

Sincerely,

Oly Sandor aka Toronto’s missing link at the three-spot.

Who should the Raptors use at small-forward: Delfino, Graham, Kapono, or Sandor? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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Part of this article has appeared in previous posts. It has been updated for today’s post.