Interview with Raptors member Chris Bpsh

How do you feel after a week of rehabbing your hamstring injury?

CB: I feel great. I’m ready to play; I want to play. But I’ve got to be patient, so I’m taking my time and making sure that I’m ready to go when I get back.

What kind of training did you do this week to rehab the injury?

CB: I wouldn’t even call it rehab that much really, man. It wasn’t even that serious. It was more

just taking precautionary measures to make sure that we slowly strengthen the hamstring because it lost a little bit of strength because of the small injury. It was more so just testing it out, seeing what it is, and making sure that I sustain my structure.
Was it hard for you to sit out on the sidelines and watch your new teammates battle and go through the competitive drills on the court?

CB: Yeah, man. I love ball. I love ball, and I have been working very, very, extremely hard this summer to play basketball. When it’s time to play, I just have to wait a little bit longer that’s all right. I think everything happens for a reason and I think it’s good that everybody got to get acquainted with each other. I think it’s good for me to sit and watch and see how everyone’s working.

Based on what you’ve seen this week, who might surprise us this year?

CB: It’s hard to say. It’s very early but I think as a group, we have the ability to surprise everybody. I think everybody’s going to be surprised about how fast we come together and how well we’re going to play together.

Farhan Devji with Jose Calderon:

Personally, what are your expectations for the upcoming season?

JC: Win, just win. We’ve got to win games. It was a tough season for everybody last year. I’m back healthy so I want to be again Jose. The numbers were better last year but it doesn’t matter to me, I wasn’t comfortable out there. I just want to play and enjoy basketball and make my team better. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. I like the way we have a little bit of everything and all the new faces are going to give us something different.

Did you get a chance to see Ottawa at all this week or last year?

JC: Not really. The time we have off is just kind of resting and walking around. I remember last year we walked around a little bit but even with that, there’s not too much time. It’s a beautiful city with a lot of buildings, the government buildings and all, that so it’s beautiful. We used to go out for dinner, but not that much. I remember we went to that square with all the markets?

ByWard market?

Yeah, I went walking there last season so it was good.

Farhan Devji with Hedo Turkoglu:

After a long season and a long summer, how are you feeling?

HT: I’m good so far. Just trying to go easy, to refresh my body and try to be healthy throughout the whole year.

With all the new faces, what’s the feeling like in the dressing room now and your expectations for the upcoming season?

For me, there are 14 new guys. But it’s good, they all seem to be quality players and persons and now we’ve all got one goal in common. We all wear a Raptors jersey and when we step on the court we all do the same thing, to produce in the best way and help the Raptors be in a better situation.

Farhan Devji with Bryan Colangelo:

Is it possible that the Raptors make it an annual occurrence to hold training camp at Carleton University?

BC: We never want to commit to a long-term scenario, primarily because there are other options. Sometimes it might be an international trip that might be the case, when the team’s asked to go participate in a tournament overseas, or even in a situation like Mexico where NBA teams are now playing. Also, we may do it based on the location of an exhibition game that we stage in another market here in Canada. We had a great response in Edmonton last year, we sold out the Rexall [Place], and it was really well received. There’s some talk about doing something with another NBA team, with respect to an exhibition game at some point in another market, and we’d look at options and alternatives there. But committing to something is difficult for us, it is great from a facility standpoint to make it happen but we’ve got to be open to other alternatives and other options.

You obviously made a lot of changes this summer, was that more to address a specific need or just change the overall culture of the group?

BC: Well, there were multiple needs coming off a 33-win season. Nobody was happy. I was probably more embarrassed and disappointed than anybody. Staying status quo was not an option. So we decided to go out and address on numerous fronts and make some changes. Some things developed because of the shape of certain things. By way of example, the simultaneous sign and trade where Marion was out and Turkoglu was in opened up some avenues for us to maintain the mid-level exception and bi-annual exception, and kind of gave us some other alternatives. So we looked to take advantage of those things.