Monday, December 14, 2009

The Best Part About Jack's Confrontation

Let's go straight to the heated moment of the game and look at the Trevor Ariza - DeMar DeRozan incident:

First of all, that was an extremely cheap shot by Ariza. But I do personally think it had a lot to do with his frustration - his team's getting blown out, he didn't hit a shot, and he just got outplayed by a rookie who stole the ball him in a rather embarrassing manner - not an excuse by any means for that kind of reaction. After all, he swiped at the back of DeRozan's head with his elbow. Dirty play, but is Ariza a dirty player? I know he's had one other dirty play, and interestingly enough that also involved him swinging his elbow to connect with the back of an opponent's head.

If Ariza had connected on DeRozan too, who knows what would've happened? Most likely DeRozan would've been knocked out worse than TJ Ford was when he got nailed by Al Horford. And Jack's confrontation would've been much more aggressive; hell the whole team would've probably been running at Ariza, at least you'd like to think so as Raptors fans as we're used to our team not standing up for themselves.

So why was Jarrett Jack's confrontation so unique? Forget for a second that it was probably the first legitimate get-in-your-face stance a Raptor has taken this season for one of his teammates (the Bosh-Stoudemire incident seemed contrived). Jack's confrontation of Ariza was distinct because he didn't even have a clue as to what Ariza actually did! Jack stated:

“I actually didn’t see what happened. I was up running with DeMar (DeRozan) and when I turned around I saw the ref making the technical foul signal and I saw our whole bench standing up. I knew he must have done something. I’m going to have anyone’s back in that situation and stand up for them. No question.”
Jack didn't know what the hell actually happened, but just seeing his team's bench get riled up over a technical foul signaled by the ref toward Ariza was good enough for him to immediately get in Ariza's face. The speed of the reaction is what's really impressive. It's not like Jack took a minute to ask his teammates what had exactly happened and then decided to confront Ariza - that wouldn't have been half as impressive or gritty as him just gunning straight toward Ariza right away without even knowing what Ariza actually did. It's that natural and instantaneous reaction that really fills you with pride and joy and speaks of some form of toughness, which has been sorely racking, as we all know too well, being Raptors fans.

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