Happy New Year to all! Remember, drink responsibly, but have fun. But try not to wear any lampshades on your heads, that’s so 60s.
This is one wild and wacky city here in N’Awlins.
Went for a jaunt down Bourbon Street last night and it’s a zoo. Really. People on the balconies are like the visitors throwing food (beads) to the animals below. Not sure what that says about society, and this city, but it's not good, I can guarantee you that.
Don’t think for a minute there isn’t some worry coursing through the minds of upper-level management types, who wonder about the intelligence of leaving the team here tonight after the game.
But stay, they will.
I’m sorta hoping Mo Pete’s having a house party we can crash, but haven’t heard about it yet. Maybe Darrell Walker will have a place to go.
Or maybe it’ll be back to the room ‘cause, believe it or not, Bourbon Street is not my cup of tea.
Bruce in Winnipeg wonders:
For your classic lists, here's one: What are the top five ex-Raps still playing who could come back and help this squad (your choice if you include the two superstars.)
Good question. Looking through the rosters, there aren’t a whole lot of them, surprisingly. But five do come to mind. How about:
|TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO|
|Top two ex-Raptors: One a slasher and one slashed.|
Marcus Camby, great rebounder-shotblocker.
Tracy McGrady, you want a slasher? Here he is.
Matt Bonner, for comic relief and three-point shooting.
Mo Pete, you apparently miss him more than anyone
Antawn Jamison, which may be a stretch but I’m the one answering the question.
Not a bad group of starters and backups, eh?
And, as a special service to him, and you, here’s five ex-Raps still in the league who’d come back and hurt them:
Rafer Alston, we need more locker room showdowns.
Mike James, they don’t shoot nearly enough quick shots.
Vince Carter, just for the angst factor and the injury theatrics.
Damon Stoudamire, point guard controversy? Add another.
Rob Babcock, it’s time for a trade.
Speaking of New Year’s, we seem to have been on the road an awful lot over the years. I can remember one night in Phoenix and another in Seattle, both of which were off-nights that gave us a chance at a great dinner and nice time.
Games? Only one other.
It was in Washington back in 1997, the night Butch Carter suggested Tracy McGrady better smarten up or he’d be out of the league in three years.
I can also recall sitting in the arena press room typing, listening to Aretha Franklin or maybe it was Gladys Knight, singing Auld Lang Syne and thinking life was pretty crappy.
It only got crappier when I got back to the Georgetown hotel we were in only to find the lobby bar closed. Two Miller Lites out of a minibar is no way to spend a New Year’s Eve.
Before the lads go to arrive here in the Big Easy, they had to practice in Houston because, well, because they needed it. It’s odd for them to work after back-to-back road games but Sam knew they could use the time in the gym rather than the time in the hotel room.
So, what’d they do?
Not much, I’m told. Got up some shots, went over some offensive sets, hardly intense but it was necessary. There’s really no time to put in any new plays at the moment, they will have two straight days of practice at home this week, that’s when they’ll get it done.
Checking in around the league, I see the shocking news that Isiah Thomas is on thin ice in New York.
Wow! Who’d-a thunk that!
Hey, ladies, wanna come to the game?
Go the Hornets website and download a coupon and you get in free.
Guess basketball on New Year’s Eve in New Orleans is a tough sell. Go figure!
One more from the mailbag
Q: Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm sure you will) but it seems to me that the other team is not covering Moon when he has the ball beyond the arc. They seem to challenge him to shoot the ball from way out there where he his almost guaranteed to miss. This allows them to double up on Bosh and still cover the other three players resulting in a desperation play or Moon jacking one up for a turnover.
Christopher M, Victoria
A: Correct you? Not a chance. That’s exactly what teams are doing because they don’t respect his jump shot. And maybe they shouldn’t. And maybe that’s why Sam is so adamant that Moon drive the ball more often.
And maybe the kid’ll get it soon.
Hey, when you're getting hammered tonight, don't forget the mailbag's open for post-game frivolity and this Friday's usual offering. Just click here to send something along, I could use a laugh before, or after, the game.
Again, kids, be careful out there tonight! We need you all back here for 2008.