The Toronto Raptors have had a knack for finding fan favourites. Last year it was Jorge Garbajosa. The year before that it was the Red Rocket, Matt Bonner (now with the world champion San Antonio Spurs). This year, it’s 27-year-old rookie phenom Jamario Moon.
It’s quite the story. The high-flying Moon, undrafted and unwanted, toiled for years in minor leagues with acronyms you’ve probably never heard of (CBA, USBL, ABA, NBA D-League, WBL), and even spent time with both a team in Mexico and the Harlem Globetrotters. For whatever reason, he barely got a sniff from the NBA, despite his above-the-rim skills, smooth shot, and defensive hops. Until this past off-season when Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors’ genius general manager, deprived of any draft picks, signs Moon to a two-year, rookie minimum deal. Out of nowhere — well, actually, from 1,600-strong Goodwater, Ala. — Super Jamario has burst onto the scene, logging big-time minutes for my club and tracking high on various rookie-of-the-year rankings (see NBA.com and SI.com).
Needless to say, Moon, who just a few months ago was still struggling to get by in the Continental Basketball Association, has looked like the happiest man on the court each game that I’ve seen. No wonder, as reported in a feature on Moon in last weekend’s Albany Times Union:
Moon signed a two-year contract with the Raptors for the NBA minimum, which for rookies is $427,163. Salary caps in the CBA are $120,000 per team. There are 10 players on a CBA roster. You do the math.