The crying game: Raps players offer insight into when it’s OK to shed man-tears in pro basketball

The crying game: Raps players offer insight into when it’s OK to shed man-tears in pro basketball

The rivers of tears (allegedly) shed by members of the Miami Heat in the wake of their one-point loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday have unleashed a flood of media reports on when, if ever, a man-cry is appropriate in the macho world of professional sports. On Tuesday, the Toronto dailies got in on the act, joining the already overblown brouhaha in the sports pages south of the border. Then, yesterday, a few Toronto Raptors offered their takes on what’s cheekily being dubbed “Crygate.” We turn to Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson, Reggie Evans and a few others for their positions on whether the locker room is a no-cry zone or a place to offer a shoulder to cry on.

1. Sonny Weems (Toronto Raptors, Forward): no-cry zone
Weems put things in perspective. The Heat is one of the best teams in the league and win plenty of the games. The Raptors? Not so much. His words: “First of all, nobody in our locker room would be crying in the beginning. I mean, we lost more games than Miami put together with other teams.”

2. Amir Johnson (Toronto Raptors, Forward): no-cry zone
Happy-go-lucky Johnson isn’t one to cry over spilled milk. You win some, you lose some, but, at the end of the day, you’re playing basketball for a living. His words: “You’re going to have another game, so why would you be crying?”

3. Reggie Evans (Toronto Raptors, Forward): a shoulder to cry on
No stranger to emotional highs and lows, the loving, gregarious Evans is in touch with his softer side. He may be a bit of a beast on the court, but off the hardwood he’s a sensitive, gentle man. His words: “It ain’t nothing to be ashamed of.”

4. Jay Triano (Toronto Raptors, Head Coach): a shoulder to cry on
Triano was a little vague. But we think he’s a pro at letting the man-tears flow—as long as it’s done discreetly. His words: “Is it appropriate? I don’t know if it’s appropriate for anybody to talk about it. But you can’t control feelings sometimes. Feelings are a part of the game.”

5. Ron Artest (Los Angeles Lakers, Forward): a shoulder to cry on
The old Artest ran into the crowd and Detroit and engaged in fisticuffs with local fans. The new Artest is, apparently, just a big, sensitive bag of goo. His words: “I would have hugged them and got some ice cream.”

• No sympathy for sobbing Heat [Globe and Mail]
• Raptors weigh in on Miami’s crying game [National Post]