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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. Stitched Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys . 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? Stitched Houston Texans Jerseys . Then Klay Thompson put his foot on the gas. Thompson scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Harrison Barnes scored 14 points in his season debut to help the Golden State Warriors to a 106-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Stitched Indianapolis Colts Jerseys .Mallais and his team out of Saint John defeated James Grattan 5-4 in Fredericton.The 2015 Tim Hortons Brier from Feb.Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss Andrew Albers, “Doctor” Donovan McNabb and the best and the worst of the tennis world. Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is down to the retirement of Marion Bartoli, who walked away from tennis 40 days after winning Wimbledon at age 28. She said her body was done. She said Wimbledon was probably the last bit of something that was left inside her. Well, its a shame. It feels like a snap decision from someone who made tennis so much more interesting - Bartoli was a basket of intellect and indiosyncracies - starting by not bouncing the ball before she served, in a sport where so many athletes seem mass-produced. But maybe this is for the best. Shed had a rough year, and Wimbledon was a soft-schedule burst of lightning in a bottle. In the end, she left her way, which was always how she played. Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Andrew Albers, the 27-year-old from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, for winning the longest drive competition in major league baseball - and Im not talking golf here. Albers drove from Saskatchewan to Arizona, from Arizona to Florida - 32 hours in all - to pursue a future in baseball. The drive to Florida and some craftiness earned him a contract with the Minnesota Twins and against all odds, he began his big league journey in incredible form last week. First a shutout. Then another. He threw 17 1/3 innings before finally giving up runs and being defeated Saturday night. We have no idea how long this will last for Albers, but we do know this: this lefthander has drive. Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: Yes, Rafael Nadal schooled him in the Rogers Cup final last Sunday. Stitched Cleveland Browns Jerseys. And yes, he lost to John Isner in Cincinnati on Thursday. Still, my thumb is up to Milos Raonic. Sandwiched between those defeats, Raonic had an obscure yet significant win. Raonic beat Janko Tipsarevic in Cincinnati to run his record against the Serb to 3-0, but this was the first time he had won in straight sets. You will soon be pronouncing Tipsarevic with ease. With Viktor Troickis doping suspension, Tipsarevic will be the serbian no. 2, behind Novak Djokovic, in the Davis Cup semifinal against Canada next month. Even on Belgrade clay, a confident Raonic makes an upset possible. Brent Wallace, TSN: My thumb is down to the former Washington Redskin quarterback who wants to become the personal shrink to current Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III. Donovan McNabb has plenty of experience after playing 13 seasons in the NFL, but that doesnt mean he needs to impart his wisdom on others in a public forum and use the excuse that hes just trying to help. On his radio show this week - McNabb - who had a very tumultuous one-year stint in Washington - said RG3 is being "brainwashed" and then added "clearly the young generation... they think they have all the answers. He is going through a little turmoil right now... trying to make it out on the field and its unfortunate." Saying those things in a public forum - whether theyre true or not - is not helping. You played the position, you should know how it works. Reach out to him quietly if you want, but dont scream it to the world. 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