Here's a bit from our weekly radio show in New Hampshire with Matt Bonner, one of the top-25 Raptors of all time. We've worked together on a radio show for eight seasons. The Red Rocket always calls the program, whether he's walking to the arena or sitting at his favorite sandwich shop. Bonner has never earned a dime from the show, but co-host Chris Ryan and myself did buy him lunch once in New York.
Me: We need to pump you up for the next game. Remember that time you scored 28 points at Utah? That was awesome. (Chris Farley-esque question.)
Bonner: I’m glad you guys remember that. It’s tough because I swear I’m the most heckled guy on our team. These wiseguys are incredibly mean, and they pick the most quiet times to yell. I can hear everything. You don’t want to give them a reaction because that only fuels the fire.
One time we were in Minnesota, and I was going through my shooting routine in pregame. These 30-year-old guys were just heckling me every time I missed a shot. They were really letting me have it, just making fun of me. After my routine, I went over there and just talked to them. I could see they were kind of nervous. I said, “Look, guys, I understand if you want to heckle me. I get heckled everywhere for some reason, but you guys have it all backwards. You should be cheering for me. I’m the guy that’s keeping the men’s league dream alive. I’m not athletic. I have a wing span shorter than my height (6-foot-10). I don’t really do anything. I shoot threes. I play hard. You guys should want to cheer for me.” They thought that was so great. They instantly became my fans and were cheering for me the whole game.
|The Red Rocket is flat-out dusting the Lakers on this play.|
Me: Remember that time when you and the Raptors and held Kobe Bryant to 86 points?
Bonner: It was 81 points. Give us some credit.