Now we can get back to normal
Good long weekend everyone? Pretty quiet around these parts, a barbecue, a ball practice and still trying to get back to normal after China. It’s taken almost a week, which is the longest time-zone travel recovery ever.
Luckily, though, it’s been pretty quiet around the world of basketball, too. Imagine it’ll stay that way for the next couple of weeks so not sure what we’ll have to fill this little space every morning but we’ll give it a shot.
And on with the show.
Action: Heat sign Jamaal Magloire.
Reaction: Are they now Canada’s team? Does the front line of Mark Bloutn and Montreal's Joel Anthony strike fear in the hearts of the East? How long until we see the first “should the Raptors trade for Magloire” suggestion? How good does Michael Beasley have to be to make sure the Heat have even a snowball’s chance of competing for the playoffs?
One of the biggest stories out of the Olympics was the resurgent play of Miami's Dwyane Wade, who looked like The Flash of old at times.
But I’m wondering how he holds up over 82 games, having to carry that team once again.
The Magloire signing, while good for a local guy ‘cause it’s always nice to have a local guy earn an NBA paycheque, shouldn’t be seen as any panacea for what ails the Heat.
He’s going to be a bit player on a so-so team.
But good for him.
I’m pretty sure you all saw the Knicks traded for Patrick Ewing Jr., dealing Frederic Weis to Houston for the son of the New York legend.
A bit on Ewing in a moment but first a Weis story.
We all know who he his, the 7-2 French centre that Vince Carter jumped over at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in what remains one of the greatest of many dunks I saw Carter throw down over the years.
But it also caused one good friend – who shall go nameless at the moment – to change forever how he watched games.
Some of us like to scribble down play-by-play during games, just in case we need to check something while we’re writing and the running copy sheet they provide us doesn’t have all the information.
Well, my buddy’s doing that, has his head buried in his notepad writing “Antonio McDyess, 15-foot jumper” when he hears a roar like he’s never heard, looks up and sees Carter finishing off the dunk over Weis.
Hasn’t done running play-by-play since.
Now, on to Ewing.
It’s a nice little story and everything, kid goes to team his father dominated for all those years, a cute feel-good story.
But, really, how fair is it to put the kid in that spot? He’s a rookie, which is always tough, and although he comes out of an excellent program, he’s going to be life and death just to make the team.
Seems to me he’s set up to fail.
Some topical mail:
Q: Not a single line regarding the Iranians and Hamed Hadadi, who is now a Memphis player?
C'mon man, we got enough Iranians/Persians in Toronto to at least get a mention in the blog.
Can you also comment on how initially NBA didn't allow the teams to negotiate with him and other Iranians, then working out the political kinks to get him a NBA jersey?
Anyway, what are your thoughts on him and the Iranian team? He played really well against Argentina and in my opinion, he is the only Iranian who has a chance to make it in the NBA.
Also, I think most of the Iranian players played for a contract during these Olympics rather playing for a win.
Rasam T, Toronto
A: If I thought for a second Hadadi was going to have any impact whatsoever on Memphis, or the NBA, there probably would have been some comment before now but the fact is, I don’t. And I can’t imagine he will.
He’s big, no question, and looks strong around the basket. But the game, even in Beijing looked almost too fast for him and I can see him struggling to get up to NBA speed.
He may stick, but I can’t imagine he’ll become a member of any team’s regular rotation.
I’m not entirely sure of the political machinations the Grizzlies or the NBA had to go through but it’s good that they did. The dude, no matter his playing shortcomings, shouldn’t be held back simply because of his nationality. His skill level will determine whether he’ll play or not.
So Donyell Marshall’s a Sixer.
And that’s good for only one reason: He’s a lot closer to his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.
Never saw a guy so wrapped up in the NFL than the ex-Raptor, I can imagine he’ll get all the Steeler news he needs being in Pennsylvania now.
Q: Since the non roster players that will be invited to the Raptor camp will just be fodder, could BC invite one or two of the young Canadians who still have time to improve, to camp? Unless they are not under contract in Europe, every little bit of NBA coaching would benefit Olu or Levon or ??? to help them and advance another step. This could trickle down to the next wave of players. Since BC is part of the National team brain trust, it would seem to be a win-win situation.
William S, Milton
A: I guess he could, but any Canadian worth his salt already has a contract and to marginalize them by inviting them to camp with absolutely no chance to make the team may not be doing the best for them.
The coaching they’d get would be okay, I guess, but, really, coaching in a camp like this one is going to be is going to be aimed at integrating Jermaine O’Neal, putting in systems to work with two equally-talented bigs and not worrying about what the 16th or 17th man on a 16- or 17-man camp roster is learning.
Happy First Day Of School, everyone. Watch out for the kiddies on the street.