The Morning After The Night Before, XV
Gotta be short and sweet this morning, early flight and there’s talk of weather rolling in here and Lord knows Air Canada and the GTAA have been messing me around all season so they’ve got a chance to do it again. (How, you ask? I had luggage lost for a flight that was cancelled and never actually got off the ground; first two trips had flights cancelled, under-staffed check-in counters, blah, blah, blah).
A rather dreary game again, so there are a couple of outside-the-game things that were weird.
Three Things I Learned
Making money off mourning
I would love to think that the guy peddling memorial Sean Taylor hats on the street outside the Verizon Center for ten bucks a pop was raising money for some good cause. I would love to think that. But I can’t. And that’s a sad commentary on the world and people’s willingness to capitalize on the tragedy of others rather than my cynical, bitter nature.
Obligatory Moon lesson
Seems we talk about the dude every game, don’t we? Here’s another one. Moon’s breath-taking feats of athleticism are pretty cool to watch but it irks his coaches no end to see him leap for some rebound and try to grab it with one hand. Sam yells, the assistants roll their eyes and if Moon doesn’t grab the ball and it bounces out of bounds, it’s eventually going to cost him time.
Game Ops gone wild
You know I’m not a big fan of the noise and shenanigans that go on during a game (The Chicken notwithstanding, of course) and there’s a new one to dislike. A guy on the visiting team is shooting free throws at some crucial point in the game and the home team flashes the logo of the city’s arch rival on the scoreboard, sending the fans into a frenzy. Happened in Washington Saturday with a Dallas Cowboy logo and a photo Jerry Jones., Happened in Cleveland last week with shots of Michigan and the Cincinnati Bengals.
If these people think the fans are such dopes they don’t know when to boo, cheer and make noise, the oughtta stop taking their money and get them some sports-fan therapy. Some of this stuff is cute; much of it is inane.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: A recurring theme in pro sports these days is a reduced focus on "age" in favour of looking at "mileage" on a particular athlete's body. Given that Jamario Moon has spent the last several years playing in minor leagues with only 50-game seasons and at much slower paces, is it possible that he's only about 23-24 years old on the body odometer? This would seem to be relevant for Bryan Colangelo in what I'm sure would be a decision to retain Mr. Moon's services.
Sean Smith, Toronto
A: There are guys who are younger than their age, and guys who are older than their age and general managers always take that into consideration when it comes time to renegotiate.
Moon could be considered a “young” 27 but he could also be considered older than his age because he’s bounced around so many rinky-dink towns and leagues without benefit of the nutritional advice, medical treatment, training advice and comfy-womfy lifestyle of an NBAer.
Q: Please help resolve an argument? Which team paradigm do you think the Raptors closely resembles? Is it the Spurs, Phoenix or Dallas or a blend of all three? Thanks.
Babatunde Ayorine, Oakville
A: I offer this only because you used the phrase ‘team paradigm’ and that’s a good one.
Right now, I think they most resemble Dallas, excitable coach, a team that’s not accomplished its ultimate goal, a great player, a bunch of good ones and depth. Eventually, they want to be San Antonio, just as Dallas does, a group of time-hardened veterans who know how to win.
Q: Let’s talk T.J. and the other guy. Yes, we finally win three in a row. Who's starting? I thought so. Now you can stop your never-ending defence of T.J. T.J. has more skills than the other guy. The other guy has WAY more basketball brains. When the other guy plays WE WIN. When T.J. plays, he scores 20 points. Awesome trade-off. I'm sure you won't post this. So this'll just be between me and you.
A: Keep this between this us? Yeah, right. People need to see some of this stuff every now and then.
I know you wrote this before Saturday’s game so the three in a row comment I’ll let slide. I now you probably forgot about the 47 wins last season (minus the handful that “the other guy” started .
This might be the most classic e-mail on this subject I’ve ever received. Thanks for making my day.
Okay, gotta run. Remember, if you’ve got a good question, send it along by clicking here. Please.