Some this, some that and some news
Hey boys and girls, everyone get all the housework done on that dreary Sunday? Get caught up on reading, hanging out, drinking coffee, doing family stuff? Cool.
It might be a slow week this week, I don’t expect much happening with the local Heroes Of The Hardcourt and with summer league done in Vegas, things my dry up a bit.
Which is okay, actually, since I’m Golf Boy this week out that the Abbey (lucky golf readers, I say) but we’ll still endeavour to get something marginally interesting and informative in here each day (besides, slow or not, you folks still like to fill up the inbox with questions).
On to the good stuff:
So Carlos Delfino’s going to Russia and there are reports out there this morning that Josh Childress may be headed to Greece. Is the sky falling? Are these other leagues going to raid the NBA and turn it into just another league?
No disrespect to Carlos or Childress, but these are hardly NBA ‘stars’ we’re talking about. Neither has ever been as much as a starter in the league and if they can get boatloads of more money playing overseas, good for them.
Maybe it’s simply a fact of NBA GMs coming to their senses and not doling out lucrative long-term contracts to players of not dubious talent, but guys who are just pieces of the puzzle.
I can certainly see more young players going and spending a couple of years making big bucks overseas and I can certainly see players at the end of their contracts heading to Europe for one more big payday and one more life adventure.
But will the NBA miss either Carlos Delfino or Josh Childress? I can’t imagine it will.
The impact on the league: Shorter-term, shorter-money contracts for guys like Childress and Delfino.
Not sure when they’ll get around to announcing it, but when they do, remember you read it here first:
I’m told CSKA Moscow’s coming to Toronto this fall for an exhibition game against the Raptors.
No dates or anything but I hope for Toronto’s sake it’s near the end of the pre-season because if the Raptors don’t bring their ‘A’ game, they’ll get their heads handed to them.
A visit to the mail:
Q: Hey Doug, I posed this question to you a couple of weeks back, and surprisingly, you didn't jump at it. Perhaps it was too rambling so I'll keep it brief; how do you think He Who Shall Not Be Named will react in New Jersey since he's now in essentially the exact same situation he was in with the Raptors five years ago?
Alison B, Mississauga
A: Sorry, must have missed it and, believe me, I’m used to “rambling.”
A lot of what turned Carter south here had to do with management, the fact he didn’t believe in his GM, was playing for his fourth coach in about five years and being simply tired of being in the same situation with no real plan going forward. I don’t imagine he’ll love what’s going on in Jersey, but I think there are some different circumstances that won’t lead him to quit like he did here.
I digress but …
I’m watching the Argo game with Super Son yesterday (the Little League game was rained out) and I have to say that no head coach of any professional sports team in any professional sports league anywhere in the world should wear shorts.
And I now return you to your regularly-scheduled basketball stuff.
I see on Canada Basketball's site that Jermaine Anderson parlayed his play at the Olympic qualifier into a gig back in Germany for next year. That can only be good for the national team because the team needs Anderson to really polish his point guard skills before next summer’s qualifier for the 2010 worlds.
Speaking of worlds, you know I told you last week that Canada’s under-18 men have qualified for next year’s global championship in New Zealand (they ended up winning the bronze at their qualifier on the weekend). Well, this week some attention has to go to the under-18 women. They’re in Buenos Aires for a six-team tournament, fighting for one of four spots in next year’s worlds.
I think what we’re seeing in the laying of a foundation, for both groups, that’ll really help in the future. The NEDA program (a residency-training-educational program for many of the elite teens in Canada) is one of the best things Canada Basketball has ever done and we’re starting to see results on the floor.
Remember way back in the day, maybe a month or so ago, we had a story in the paper on Masai Ujiri’s annual big man camp back in Nigeria and how it’s got to help youngsters over there develop?
Well, I don’t know how many of you noticed Deji Akindele out in Vegas with the Raptor summer league team but he’s a graduate of that camp. He took part a few years ago, it got him a scholarship in the states and while he blew it by coming out of college too early, his hopes of one day being in the NBA are still alive. He’s been in the D League and France and will play this year it Italy.
He’s exactly the kind of guy Ujiri wants to help.
A summer league query from the mail:
Q: What do you think CJ Giles chances are of making the big club?
Sean J, Ottawa
A: I would say miniscule with gusts to non-existent.
|We got Good Joey at summer league - but that's to be expected.|
Speaking of summer league, now that it’s over (a stellar 1-4 record for the locals) what’s to be gleaned? Nothing, really.
The thought around team remains that the 13th man is going to be someone on a minimum value contract who’s a combo guard with at least a little bit of NBA experience, a guy who some night in the regular season will jump up and do something to win a game for them, and I don’t think that guy was on the team in Vegas.
And with only two games under his belt, nothing can be taken away about the performance of Nathan Jawai other than he didn’t look out of place.
Joey? Joey killed in the summer league but, quite frankly, if he didn’t there was no hope for him whatsoever.
Greece, Croatia and Germany grab the last three basketball spots in the Beijing Olympics and I can’t say I’m surprised at all.
Guess the only surprising thing was Slovenia losing to Puerto Rico in the quarter-finals, that was the lone upset of those four games.
Guess the other thing of note is that no country from FIBA Americas made it to the Games, other than the USA and Argentina as qualifiers last year, and that doesn’t bode well for the future of the game on this continent.
North, South and Central American teams (aside from those Big Two and I’m not entirely sure how long the aging Argentines can stay near the top of the world) are falling further and further behind Europe in each quadrennial.
It means that while Canada may one day be on par with a lot of the other countries over here, it’s how they stack up against Europe that will really determine where they rank in the world.