Nine games into his Raptors career, Rudy Gay remains an intangible presence, because that’s the way he prefers it.
Gay has shown plenty on the court and said nothing off it. When forced to speak, he does so in a whisper so inaudible reporters have to pile onto his lap to catch anything. If he has a public persona, it’s defined by its absence.
Since this city has often warmed to Robert Musil characters as sports heroes — Mats Sundin, Roy Halladay, et al — there’s a rich vein of quiet admiration to be tapped here.
But before Gay can join really join the fun, he has to be given the chance to let go of the past. He wasn’t happy with the way Memphis pushed him overboard, mainly since it took months. He’s plainly still smarting over that.
“It’s not about proving people wrong,” Gay said Tuesday. “It’s about proving yourself right.”
And about proving people wrong.
“We don’t have time for all that emotional stuff,” Gay said Tuesday.
“It’s going to be emotional,” coach Dwane Casey said early Wednesday.
And afterward?
“It was emotional,” Gay said. “It’s just funny to see my teammates . . . um, my ex-teammates on the other side.”
The Rudy Gay Revenge Game was a sloppy affair that grew compulsive by the end — the new Raptor template.
“We’re trying to prepare for the playoffs,” Casey said later, and it looked like that sort of mud-wrestling.