Moon, and a fashion statement
Okay, here’s more Moon, although it was also explained over in the comments section yesterday.
I was told by a very senior, disappointed member of the basketball braintrust that he wasn’t in town to work out due to unspecified “passport problems” which I’m sure is true but probably something that could have been worked out earlier.
No one’s saying he has to be here (and by contract he doesn’t have to be), it’s just that he should, because a second-year player coming off a so-so end to a rookie season who figures to be in a fight to retain his starting position should be in town a week before training camp begins. He doesn’t have to be here, and players have been returning in dribs and drabs since early September but, and trust me on this, people in the organization notice these things.
It’s not a huge deal, but it is a deal. The guy I talked to was disappointed and if the bosses aren’t happy, it can’t be a good thing.
I’m sure he’ll be in this week – there was some suggestion he was going arrive last night – and things will get back to normal.
I only mentioned it because it was mentioned to me in a casual conversation.
Fashion Show Thursday.
Finally, the third jerseys get unveiled when Bosh and Calderon do a little media thing to show off the new look at their Olympic medals.
In case you’ve been sleeping, the jerseys are black, say ‘Toronto’ on the front, have a little Maple Leaf on the back at the neckline and have red piping.
The medals? Now, they’re cool.
Never mind the gold, the thing to look for is the white jade on the front; that’s the thing that made them stand out.
We now get the heck away from fashion and jewels.
Apparently, and I’ll have to mention this to Sam and the coaches before their next retreat, you never split 10s. Glad that was all made up.
Oh, and Micah stripes it down the centre of the fairway every time, I’m told.
Q: So I was watching some Hakeem Olajuwon highlights the other night, and I was amazed by his moves around the basket. Now I know that they technically play two different positions but with Jermaine in town I imagine that the 4 and 5 will become interchangeable. Do you think it would be possible for Chris to pick up some of his moves by watching video of Hakeem? Or does Bosh not possess the fluidity that Hakeem had?
Alex D, Toronto
A: I love Chris Bosh’s game but there is no way in the world it’s humanly possible that he becomes anything close to Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Dream was, in the opinion of many people, the most graceful, fluid big man in the history of the game.
So, no, it’s not possible for Chris to match Olajuwon’s moves.
This is for Felix and to head off the many questions that may arise
The Raptors should not and will not sign Stephon Marbury to a minimum-value veterans contract when, and if, he’s waived by the Knicks and clears waivers.
They should not because, while his game may be okay, he will never accept a backup role on this team, I don’t imagine. And, as the well-respected Allan Hahn of Newsday wrote the other day:
Marbury, who created a huge divide between himself and teammates after he went AWOL in Phoenixlast November, stayed to himself with his workouts at the MSG Training Center this offseason until yesterday, when he joined the other Knicks veterans in pickup games. One observer from yesterday's workout noted the uneasy atmosphere among the other players. "You could just feel the hate," the person said.
Just the kind of guy you want around.
They will not because Bryan Colangelo knows better. And Sam Mitchell, who was a teammate of Stephon’s in Minnesota, would certainly not clamour to have him on his team. Marbury left a very good situation in Minnesota because he wanted to get paid, as Mitchell knows, you think he’d be accepting of a minimum value deal here?
A compare and contrast, which I don’t usually like but this is unique:
Q: Was watching some classic NBA games on RaptorsTV and have this question.
It seems like at one point or another Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway were destined for great things in the NBA. However, injuries stopped what would have been even more stellar careers.
My 2 questions to you are:
1. Between Hill and Hardaway, in your opinion, who do you think was the better player?
2. Do you think any of them in terms of skill and playing ability are comparable to Michael Jordan? I'd always hear during broadcasts of classic NBA games that Hill/Hardaway (Hardaway in particular) were being touted by some as the next MJ.
Sadiq M, North York
A: That first one’s a horribly difficult question. I would venture to say Hill might have been the better player because he could do a few more things and didn’t have a young Shaq to play off. But it’s close. Very close.
The second one’s easy: No, no, no, no. A thousand times no. Jordan was in a class by himself.
Action: Shareef Abdur-Rahim retires.
Reaction: Impressions, and a story.
I always thought he should have been better than he was, there is no doubt his overall career was diminished by injuries but he never, really, had the skills to take over a game in a fourth quarter. Quite the opposite, in fact. But he was one of the more classy individuals I ever dealt with (and that was quite a bit during his Vancouver days).
Now, a story. To perhaps set the record straight.
Abdur-Rahim came out the same year as Marcus Camby and there was some debate on who would be drafted second and third (after Allen Iverson went No. 1). I remember sitting in Isiah’s office about a week, maybe 10 days before the draft and he told me, in no uncertain terms, that Camby was his guy, regardless. I know those are the days of disinformation but the conviction Isiah showed telling he was taking the consensus college player of the year made it clear to me he wasn’t blowing smoke.
But out in Vancouver, they weren’t sure. I remember being in my hotel room the day of the draft (it was in Jersey) and getting a call from someone at the highest level of the Grizzlies who was sure the Raptors were going to take Abdur-Rahim.
In fact, the guy gave me his direct phone line into the Vancouver draft-day war room so I could call if I heard anything other than what I’d told him, that I was sure the Raptors were taking Camby.
Q: I recently moved to Edmonton and as you know, in a month, me and the 108 other transplanted Raps fans will attend an utterly meaningless game to get our fix. Question: since this is one of those 'grow the game in Canada' occasions will there be any public events? Do you know who I could contact to get such info? I'd love to meet Sam and get his sig on two prime Sam Mitchell playing cards, for instance (and then sell them on EBay for millions).
Andrew H, Edmonton
A: See how it’s the third game in four days after a back-to-back in Los Angeles and the final pre-season game of the year, I don’t imagine there will be any public events with the players. Maybe the Chicken goes, or the Dance Pak, but the players will have other things to deal with. Keep checking the team’s website, though, that’s where you’ll find out stuff like that.
As for the Sam thing? Don’t tell him about the e-Bay stuff or he’ll want a cut (I’m joking!).