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TORONTO - Over a dozen cameras and upwards of 30 reporters gathered in the hallway on
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zhanjiao1212
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06-18-2019, 01:44 AM -
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TORONTO - Over a dozen cameras and upwards of 30 reporters gathered in the hallway on the third floor of the Air Canada Centre, jockeying for position outside the Raptors practice facility Tuesday afternoon. Black Panthers Jerseys Online . No, they were not staking out a spot for the playoffs, now 11 days away. They were not there to take in the teams final scheduled regular season practice. They were not on hand to inquire about the injured Kyle Lowry or Amir Johnson, both of whom had returned to the court. The gravity of Jonas Valanciunas drunk driving charge and arrest had transcended basketball, it was bigger than sport. It was news, and rightfully so. The Raptors starting centre was arrested early Monday morning for impaired driving in Wasaga Beach - roughly two hours north of Toronto - where he spent Sunday evening visiting friends. Valanciunas did not speak to the media Tuesday, as he had not yet met with his legal representatives, but those that did - GM Masai Ujiri, coach Dwane Casey and a couple of his veteran teammates - said all the right things. Understanding the severity of the 21-year-olds poor judgment, the organization made their message clear. Without condoning his actions, they stood united in support of their youngest player. "Like I told him, Im upset with him and disappointed in him but hes mine," said Casey. "So we love him." "He made a mistake, like any other young man has probably done before. We all make mistakes and its what we do after it [that] is how were going to be judged." The news of his arrest was surprising to those within the organization. Coaches, teammates and even fans have come to know the wide-eyed sophomore for his sincere, albeit quirky personality. Mondays events seemed out of character, to say the least. "Hes a great person, great kid," said Ujiri, maintaining Valanciunas hasnt, to his knowledge had prior plights with excessive alcohol use or bad decision making. "Weve never had any issues here with him, thats the honest truth." Valanciunas met with Ujiri for an hour on Monday. The following morning he sat down with Tim Leiweke and Larry Tanenbaum before addressing his coaches and teammates ahead of practice. "He sat in my office there yesterday," said the Raptors GM. "He knew, face in his hands, that he was sorry about it." "Hes very apologetic," Lowry echoed. "I mean hes sick right now. Hes really hurt by it, hes really embarrassed by it [and] very disappointed in himself. I can tell you that for sure." Per NBA policy, no punishment - from the league or the team - can be handed down until the legal process plays out. Although the Raptors are unlikely to issue any supplementary discipline, the league will come down on Valanciunas with a suspension - of likely two games - when and if hes convicted or theres a plea of guilt. The ramifications for Valanciunas - the player - are modest. Hell continue to play. Any suspension he faces wont take into effect until the beginning of next season, at the earliest. He will not be required to attend his initial court date on Apr. 22, shortly after the Raptors begin their first-round playoff series. Hes been enjoying one of the best stretches of his career and theres no reason why that shouldnt continue, assuming he can stave off the legal distractions that are likely to ensure. For Valanciunas - the person - the consequences are intricate. He has some damage control, some image repair to do. Most importantly, he has some growing up to do. In the last year, his second in the NBA, weve watched Valanciunas blossom on the court, sometimes losing sight of the fact that he is also growing and learning as a young man. Valanciunas - less than a month away from his 22nd birthday - made a mistake, a stupid one. Thankfully no one was hurt as a result. Given what we know about the young seven-footer its not hard to believe that the apology he made to his team, to his coaches, to the organization and fans was a sincere one. Some athletes, upon putting themselves in a similar predicament, have apologized mostly for being caught, which doesnt seem to be the case for a remorseful Valanciunas. What many of those other athletes havent had is the support system the Raptors can offer their young centre. Both Casey and Ujiri have positioned themselves as mentors and father figures, not only for Valanciunas but for all their players, while the teams locker room is filled with positive influences who have already begun to steer the sophomore in the right direction. "Be smart," Casey told him. "We all have to be smart. All of us have to be smart in what we do, how we carry ourselves off the floor, where we are [and] who we hang out with." "I talked to him and I made him understand that the things he did were wrong," Lowry said. "He just has to suffer the consequences that come with that." "Its unfortunate that it happened to such a good kid in JV," the 28-year-old point guard continued, "but it happened. Hes 21, hes going to learn from it and Im sure hes never going to make that mistake again." Ultimately, thats the true test, as Casey wisely pointed out. How does he learn from Mondays incident? Will he grow as a result of it? He made a mistake. What does he do next? Wholesale Panthers Jerseys Womens . PETERSBURG, Fla. Cheap Panthers Jerseys Authentic . In fact, with a few improvements, this could very well be a decent team over the next few seasons. I will go into more detail when digging into the Canucks Off-Season Game Plan, which will be coming earlier this year since they are part of the non-playoff contingent, there are some reasons to think this is a favourable situation for President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden and whomever he selects to be the new general manager. http://www.cheappanthersjerseyselite.com/ . Traditional contenders Brazil, Greece and Turkey drew the other three spots to complete the 24-team field for this summers tournament in Spain, basketball governing body FIBA announced Saturday at its meeting in Barcelona. FRANKFURT, Germany -- Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund both lost in the Bundesliga on Saturday, leaving Bayern Munich the biggest beneficiary even though the defending champion wasnt even in the country. With Bayern playing the Club World Cup final in Morocco, Leverkusen and Dortmund could have gained some ground on the undefeated leader. But Leverkusen went down 1-0 at Werder Bremen and Dortmund lost 2-1 at home to Hertha Berlin, leaving Bayern seven points ahead of Leverkusen and 12 ahead of Dortmund, with one match in hand. Leverkusen lost its second straight and Dortmund its third consecutive at home as the two Champions League last-16 teams continued a slump. Dortmund, which has won only one of its last six matches and lost four of them, could drop from third place if Borussia Moenchengladbach beats Wolfsburg on Sunday. Elsewhere on the final day before the winter break, Shinji Okazaki scored twice for Mainz to win 3-2 in Hamburg, Eintracht Braunschweig edged Hoffenheim 1-0 and Freiburg beat Hannover 2-1. The defeat could cost Hannover coach Mirko Slomka his job. Hamburg and Braunschweig both finished their matches with 10 men. In the late match, Nuremberg drew 0-0 with Schalke to remain winless in the first half of the season. Werder snapped a five-match winless run when Santiago Garcia scored in the 74th minute. Aaron Hunts counter attack produced a chance for Cedric Maakiadi, who stumbled in the penalty area but Garcia was there to drill the ball home. Cheap Panthers Jerseys China. Dortmund got off to a fine start when Marco Reus used a long ball and an error by Hertha backup goalkeeper Marius Gersbeck to score from a sharp angle. But Adrian Ramos latched onto a low cross from Sami Allagui to score in the 23rd and Allagui secured the win just before half time after teenage defender Marian Sarr stumbled and lost the ball in front of the box. Allagui rounded goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and knocked the ball into the empty net. Hamburg fell to its fifth defeat at home despite taking the lead through Hakan Calhanoglu. But Mainz got the upper hand after the break, with Okazaki finishing a counter attack to level the score and then setting up Nicolai Mueller for the lead. Captain Rafael van der Vaart scored from a melee before Okazaki controlled a long ball with his head and slotted it home for the winner in injury time. Hamburgs Tomas Rincon was sent off in the 82nd with his second yellow card. Braunschweig notched its third win of the season when Torsten Oehrl converted a first-half penalty and held on despite the sending off of Timo Perthel. Freiburg got a brace from Admir Mehmedi to beat Hannover, which pulled one back through Leonardo Bittencourt in stoppage time. Hannover finished the first half of the season without a single point away from home. 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