Okay, if you get on a bus out of the arena about 1:30 a.m. and then find refs to sit and tell stories with at Mike’s until the bright lights go on just after 3 and then there’s more stories to be told for half an hour with some of the cronies, it’s awfully hard to get usual fare done by the usual time.
Okay, wonder if Gregg Popovich gets any free passes today because he’s the lovable curmudgeon?
I doubt it, at least not from all corners, because as much as you’d like to think the Heat won that Game 6 last night, I think you can make the point that the Spurs lost it and a lot of it had to do with decisions Popovich made late in that brilliant game.
But you know what?
He stayed true to his philosophies and you can’t blame a guy for that, can you?
He took Tim Duncan out on defence because he switches everything on inevitable screen-roll and doesn’t think Duncan can get out to cover shooters. Yes, it cost him dearly with the two Heat offensive rebounds but that’s what he does.
And he didn’t have the Spurs foul when they were up three in the final 10 seconds because that’s not what he does. Yes, it cost him dearly with the Ray Allen three but that’s what he does.
I’d say yes, to tell you the truth.
You stick with what you do and you live with the results, I think I’d rather have a guy who stays true to himself than someone who vacillitates and changes one game to the next.
The players didn’t seem to care that much, each one that came to the podium after the game were asked about and each of them – Duncan, Parker and Ginobilii – were fine with what went.
I know, it’d be shocking if they said publicly that they weren’t but you can tell be inflection and mannerisms and tone that they had no problem at all.
But it does get to the original point and I suppose it goes to the basics of fandom:
Did the Heat win?
Did the Spurs lose?
Not that it really matters, I guess, it is a bit of semantics but I do think in this situation it’s far more a case of one team losing rather than one team winning.
Missed free throws, Manu’s Festival of Turnovers, Pop’s decisions. All on the Spurs.
And yes, Allen’s shot was incredible under crazy stressful circumstances and LeBron at the start of the fourth quarter was otherworldly but that was, in many ways, a gift of a game.
Now I’ve got all today to figure out Game 7 and what might happen, as impossible as that will be.
Okay, need a report.
Heard Joni Mitchell was in Toronto last night. Was it good?
As good as this?
I still find it entirely odd that two of the four “retired” numbers hanging from the rafters of the American Airlines Arena are Dan Marino’s No. 13 and Michael Jordan’s No. 23.
(The others are Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway and that makes sense; honouring players from other teams and other sports is just weird)
You know, the more I think of it – and this runs counter to oft-stated impressions – I think the Raptors need a D League team of their own.
Maybe in Mississauga? Maybe at Ricoh? Maybe in Hamilton? They need one because I had this chat with Sean Marks some day during the final – and I don’t recall what day it was since they all run together – and he made some excellent points.
If you own a team you can do with it as you please, you can staff the front office with your own basketball people and run the team the same way you run the big club.
It can a proving ground for executives, maybe coaches, front office people of all kinds.
Sure, you’re still limited in the number your own signed players you can assign there but you would have control over the rest of the roster as well, stocking it with players who might – might – eventually grown into end-of-the-rotation guys who are familiar with the way you run things.
Now, I don’t know about the financial investment that would be needed but if you’re Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment it’s either (a) an investment in the future of your basketball operation or (b) a way to get another city to ante up to help them out.
But, mostly, it’s (a).
Okay, let’s start. Mail, please. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org and since it’s been fun the last couple of weeks and I have the time, we’ll do a question and answer session here tomorrow at noon if you’d like to stop by.
For all the reasons I’d like to be home, and I know in your minds you can figure out what they are, there’s one that you might not think of:
Seeing an Argo game at Varsity Stadium.
Yeah, it’s only pre-season and it’s more a smaller, bastardized version of Varsity Stadium but an outdoor game in the heart of the city would be really cool, wouldn’t it?
I know it’s not plausible and to think someone is going to drop a 20,000-seat stadium somewhere downtown is ridiculous but how good would it be if that team playing outdoors in a small park could be a constant?
You know I think the Argos should be more relevant than they are because of their history and the good stories that abound and if they could create a buzz by having something unique about them, it’d be a big step towards that goal.
Hope it’s a good night and a big success for them. And the fans.
Okay, as much as I’d like this to be a day where I did nothing but sit by the pool sipping margaritas it can’t be.
Flights to book, practices to go to, stories to manufacture and I’m pretty sure a nice dinner before Fellowship Hours at Mike’s awaits.
Anyone want to join me?