Sujet : n to want to stay. "I appreciate Tones contributions over the last fou
TORONTO - As the country celebrated Canada Day two years ago the Raptors sent a small army to Manhattan, led by then general manager Bryan Colangelo, in an effort to recruit the most coveted free agent point guard on the market. The Raptors contingent - which included Dwane Casey, Jay Triano and Larry Tanenbaum - pulled out all the stops trying to sell Canadas own Steve Nash on a move to Toronto. After a two-hour meeting, highlighted by a video presentation featuring hockey icon Wayne Gretzky, the Raptors left Nash with a generous offer. Days later he turned them down, opting for less money and a better shot at a championship in Los Angeles. Colangelo went forward with his Plan B, a trade for Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry. Now the Raptors find themselves in a similar predicament, only this time the approach couldnt have been more dissimilar. They didnt send a front office mob, there was no video cameo made by The Great One. This time they left the kitchen sink in Toronto. Instead, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and head coach Dwane Casey had a quiet sit down with Lowry in his hometown of Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon. True to form Ujiri and his coach exuded confidence. Calm, cool and collected, the Raptors brass did not find it necessary to camp out on Lowrys front porch at 12:01 AM, the time in which teams were able to officially commence negotiation with free agents. Their sales pitch centred on a simple premise, one that the team had already been preaching publicly for months - they want him back. What they didnt say, and would be reluctant to admit, is that they need him back. Rightly or wrongly, the perception that players dont want to come to or stay in Canada has dogged the Raptors since their inception. After all, Nash wasnt the first player to spurn the Raptors. Theres a long history of it in fact. Damon Stoudamire was the first star to want out, followed by Vince Carter - the franchises best player - seven years later. Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh each bolted via free agency, while both Kenny Anderson and Alonzo Morning refused to even put on the jersey. The new regime intends to snuff that stigma once and for all. Along with MLSE boss Tim Leiweke and global ambassador extraordinaire Drake, Ujiri has helped empower a fan base that had lost hope prior to their arrival a year ago. "Why cant I change it," Ujiri said, challenging that perception as he was introduced as the Raptors new GM last June. "Its our job to make it better, its our job to make it good, its our job to create a winning environment and thats why Im here." With the embattled franchise finally on the precipice of turning the page and changing a culture that has beset them for the better part of the last 20 years, the stakes are much higher now than they were in 2012 when they struck out on Nash. For all the progress the Raptors made in 2014, turning heads as a result of their breakout campaign, spirited playoff run and We The North campaign, the wind could be taken out of their sails in a hurry should Lowry fly the coop, especially if he leaves for Houston or Miami. This is their first big test, one they dont intend to - and cant afford to - fail. Lowry is Torontos No. 1 priority, theyve made no secret of that. "Were going to go full force," Ujiri promised last week. And they have. The Raptors initial offer to Lowry was substantial, said to be in the $11-$12 million range annually over a four or potentially five-year term. A salary in that range would make Lowry the seventh highest paid point guard in 2014-15, not including Kyrie Irving whose max extension wont take into effect until the following season. Of course, theres more to Ujiris pursuit of Lowry than just pride. The Raptors GM would happily show Lowry, or any other player the door if he felt theyre not worth their price tag. Like any other investment, Lowry is a calculated risk but the Raptors are betting the 2013-14 version will be more of the norm than an anomaly going forward. Its because hes a player worthy of the money that Ujiri has done - and will continue to do - everything in his power to keep Lowry in a Raptors uniform. Still, the decision belongs to Lowry. The 28-year-old will take a few days to weigh his options with his family and agent Andy Miller as Raptors fans hold their collects breath. With Torontos 20th year anniversary season around the corner, keeping Lowry would go a long way in the continued saga to rewrite the franchises troubled history. Franco Armani Argentina Jersey . Hernandez (3-0) struck out 11 and shut down Oakland for the second time in a week, becoming the first Mariners pitcher to win three times in the first nine games of a season. 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Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson matched his career high with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Lamb scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, lifting the Thunder to a 94-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs 11-game winning streak. NEW YORK -- Tone Time is over for the New York Jets. The Jets parted ways with wide receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday, cutting the talented but injury-plagued playmaker after four seasons. The move, which had been expected, saves the Jets $8.25 million, which Holmes was due to make as his base salary this season. He was also scheduled to have a $10.75 million cap number, a lofty total for a one-time Super Bowl MVP who has struggled with injuries and inconsistency the last two seasons. The Jets also released cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Sunday, clearing $17.75 million of salary cap space before the NFLs free agency period starts Tuesday. New York could also save another $8.3 million if they cut quarterback Mark Sanchez, who missed last season with a shoulder injury. Holmes, who turned 30 last Monday, had 23 catches -- the second-lowest total of his career -- for 456 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last season. He missed five games midway through the season with a hamstring injury. Holmes played in just four games in 2012 and was sidelined for several months after suffering a career-threatening foot injury. In December, Holmes said he would be willing to restructure his contract to remain a member of the Jets, adding that how much of a pay cut hed be asked to take probably wouldnt play into his decision to want to stay. "I appreciate Tones contributions over the last four seasons," coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "Ive always admired his knack for making the clutch play. Hes a tremendous competitor who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. I wish him nothing but the best." Holmes signed a five-year, $45 million deal before the 2011 season after a solid first year with the Jets, who acquired him from Pittsburgh for a fifth-round draft pick. He agreed to restructure his contract in March 2012, when he took a $3.5 million cut to his scheduled base salary of $11 million for last sseason.dddddddddddd Holmes was a controversial figure at times during his tenure with the Jets, butting heads with Sanchez and the teams offensive linemen during the 2011 season. In the season finale at Miami, he got into an argument with offensive tackle Wayne Hunter in the huddle and was benched for the rest of the game. The mercurial wide receiver also had a contentious relationship with the media, keeping his answers short during most group interviews. He inadvertently made headlines last season when he called Carolinas secondary the Panthers defences "weakest link" while trying to credit the unit -- but providing bulletin board for an opponent that went out and beat the Jets 30-20. Holmes was a first-round draft pick by the Steelers out of Ohio State in 2006 and was selected the Super Bowl MVP in his third season after he caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds left to lead Pittsburgh past Arizona. He had his best statistical performance the following season with 79 catches for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns. But Holmes was traded to the Jets the following off-season after the Steelers tired of his numerous legal troubles. Holmes was suspended for his first four games with the Jets for violating the NFLs substance abuse policy, but quickly became one of the teams primary playmakers when he returned. He played a key role in three straight wins with big catches late in games, prompting Ryan to label those types of clutch moments as "Tone Time." He also helped lead the Jets to their second straight AFC title game appearance, in which they lost to Holmes former team. Holmes has 381 career catches for 5,963 yards and 36 touchdowns in eight NFL seasons. NOTES: The Jets offered a one-year tender to restricted free agent LB Nick Bellore, who is one of the teams core special teams players. He has until May 2 to accept the offer or negotiate with other teams. China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Wholesale NFL Gear Cheap Jerseys Online Disocunt Football Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys ' ' '