Of Garbo, promotions and a wild night at the Palace
Not sure how this is going to work out this week, was sort of a weird feeling around the golfing course trying to write without 19,000 fans screaming their lungs out, music being played during the competition and, of course, there are no Chickens in golf.
Odd sport, that.
But I digress, as I do.
On to the hoops
Yes, we know by reading a snippet in our paper this morning that Jose went for 18 points and Spain beat Argentina by two yesterday in some pre-Olympic friendly (as they call it in my other sport, football).
Well, looking further into the boxscore, I notice that Garbo played 14 minutes or so, made a three-pointer and grabbed a couple of rebounds.
Haven’t talked to anyone who’s seen the game but I was told earlier this month that he looks the same as he always did. Doesn’t really run that well, can’t really jump that high but simply has a knack for making plays.
I know there were huge concerns n Toronto about how his surgically-reconstructed leg would hold up over an 82-game NBA season but if he can go 14-18 minutes of a 40-minute Olympic or Euroleague game, I’ve always thought he could probably tough it out for another three or four years, if he wants.
And that’ll make a lot of people happy. Garbo’s one of the good ones and it would have been a shame to see his career cut short by that play in Boston – a play, if you recall, that was pure hustle and work, trying to block an unblockable open dunk.
Still with Garbo, I know there were all kinds of quotes floating around yesterday about him signing with Carlos Delfino’s new Khimki team in Russia but people I talked to in Toronto last night say it’s not quite a done deal.
Could very well happen but Garbo’s got a soft spot for Malaga of the Spanish league and they’re still in the running.
I have no idea what it is, but Detroit’s like Brawl Central when it comes to basketball.
Check out the WNBA scuffle last night.
And here’s the story about it.
It was Promotions Day around the ACC yesterday. They upgraded a handful of execs, awarding them with new titles and, I’m sure, untold riches.
Maurizio goes to senior vice-president of basketball operations from vice-president and assistant general manager.
Masai Ujiri is now the assistant general manager, player personnel from director of global scouting.
Marc Eversley becomes assistant general manager, basketball development, from director of basketball operations.
Jim Kelly is senior director of player personnel after being the director of player personnel (I guess adding senior comes with being old?)
Steve Fruitman’s now the director of basketball operations after being director of basketball finance.
Micah Nori takes over as director of NBA scouting from his gig as the team’s advance scout.
I have no idea what any of this means except new business cards for all of them and, hopefully, gargantuan budgets for Beat Grunt Hospitality.
Quick look into the mail bag:
Q: Nice coverage on the Canadian basketball team but why was it that there were NO Canadian reporters in Greece to get the full story about what happened? Do you think we have anything to be hopeful about in the future of Canadian Basketball? It seems to me that unless we can get guys playing in the top leagues, (Spain, Italy, Greece, let alone the NBA) and a solid coaching staff, we don't have much chance.
Jeff S, Taipei
A: You’d have to ask all of our bosses individually why we weren’t in Greece, it certainly wasn’t because none of us wanted to go.
I think there’s a bit to be hopeful about, as I’ve said, I’ve always thought the 2010 worlds were Canada’s next step on the international stage but with the Olympics being only 12 teams and FIBA Americas usually only getting two guaranteed berths (it’s based on results from the previous worlds, in large part), the Olympics are always going to be tough. I think the only way they’ll get there for 2012 is through the same last-chance qualifier they were at this year. And, yes, getting players on to Euroleague teams – where they actually play and don’t just sit on the bench – is a huge step.
Remember yesterday I mentioned there may be a couple of Raptors lurking about the city this weekend for the 3-on-3 thing and other appearances?
Well, I heard it’s Kapono and Moon and they’ll be flitting hither and yon spreading the Raptor gospel.
And while I’m pretty sure the folks with the team will keep him busy, I’m guessing Kapono might try to find his way to the Abbey, being a golf nut and all.
The esteemed colleague D. Perkins reports that, while out traversing Torry Pines for the U.S. Open in June, he spied a rather tallish fellow among the great unwashed wandering the fairways.
Yep, our boy Jason out for a walk, watching golf.
More mail? Why not. I’ve got a feeling I’ll have some time today and tomorrow to answer your queries while I sit out rain delays at the golf (and that’s the one drawback to the game, rain delays. It’s nice that they don’t play at night – more time to coach the Little Leaguers – but nothing spells boredom quite like sitting around waiting for golf to happen).
Q: Thanks for taking the time to answer my Raptors questions, I think I am one of the few who truly likes this Raptors roster. There are a few gambles, but I think the biggest wild card will be the play of Jamario Moon. I would think Jamario could add about 5 more points a night just by getting to the rim or free throw line a few more times. What is he doing this off season to get better/stronger?
Also, what are the chances of Andrea playing the 3 with Bosh & O'Neil? I don't think it'll happen, but if Kapono is playing in pre- playoff form and Jamario gets hit by a bus, it might be interesting.
Dave M, Oakville
A: We’ve been through the Andrea as a 3 thing about eleventy zillion times and I’ll say it once more: I don’t think you’ll see it very often because he can’t cover threes in transition and he lacks the post-up game to go on the block and punish smaller players. The very, very odd occasion? Maybe.
Moon? He’s doing what every other NBA player worth is salt is doing, working on his conditioning and every part of his game, presumably ball-handling and shooting. It’s not like these guys go home and don’t touch a ball or go to a gym all summer. They work at their craft.
So, in another digression, I read on the weekend where the FC coached slagged the league’s officiating and the media and last night after they can’t beat the Montreal team he’s killing some of his players and all I’m thinking is, man, when did Sam move over to football?