Provoked by Sean Avery’s eventful weekend in Toronto, the Raptors’ shy, retiring head coach Sam Mitchell submitted to an interrogation by the Globe & Mail’s Michael Grange. Unasked and unanswered : when’s the last time Scotty Bowman took a swing at Rafer Alston?

Q: Is trash-talking a thing in the NBA? (I™m paraphrasing)

A: People didn™t run they mouth to me because they knew if they ran their mouth too much, I would get™em. Plus, I never said anything. I just played. I never said my mouth and said a word to people [Is this even possibly true?]

The only guys who can really run they mouth are the guys who can play. Go to Darrick [Martin, a dedicated non-playing trash-talker]. He used to run his mouth all the time, go ask Darrick. I didn™t run my mouth.

We™re playing the Utah Jazz tomorrow and the question I get is who talks trash in the NBA?

Q: Would you say something to someone who has cancer?

A: I can™t believe you asked me that. Nobody would say that. No one would do that.

Q: Apparently so.

A: Who? [Sam proving he does not actually read the papers, or ride an elevator with a TV screen or listen to The Fan]

Q: That™s what the hockey guy did.

A: Well don™t put basketball players in the same class as hockey players. Dude, anyone who would do that is low. Come on, who would do that? That™s low. That™s low. But you know what™s strange about it? If a basketball player said it, of if I said it, that would be front page. I would be called upstairs, I would be in trouble, I™d be fined. Hockey player say it? It™s nothing.

Q: It was on the front page¦

A: But nothing™s going to happen. It™s part of hockey. That™s they culture [fingers making those little quotation marks around culture]. If hockey players go in the stands, it™s hockey. Right? Seriously. Basketball players go in the stands? Ohhhhh, the sport is out of control.

Hockey players fight up in the stands! Basketball has one incident and all of a sudden¦.oooooohhhhhhh. It was a major thing.

How long in history have hockey players been going up in the stands? Since time began.

Why don™t you all write about it like you when it happened one time at a basketball game? One time.

I have my theories why, but I™m not going to comment.