Okay, I can barely keep up to you folks. Lots of good ones here and more than a few left to sprinkle in throughout the regular daily blog, which is a good thing given the dearth of NBA news.
Happy reading on a rainy day, Super Son and I are off to a the Glorious Little League Yankee End-Of-Season Celebration and Bun Toss as a local establishment out here that’s known as Cooper’s Pub. A place, by the way, that know gives me locals in both downtown and the home village so it’s a great, great thing.
Q: Hi Doug. We owe a lot to chickens...human civilization, including the development of writing, a development to which we owe your blog and you enjoy your living, was aided by the domestication of fowl ( reliable food source,helped our ancestors to exist in cities, etc.). I am proud of my statuary chicken collection although the collection has been an issue in the marriage! And now a new fad: people are (again?)raising chickens in modern N. American urban centres! See http://www.culture11.com/node/31701
Q: If Kapono gets more playing time might it be because Coach Mitchell judges that O'Neal provides more defensive backup for when Kapono's man beats him on the dribble? Is this one reason The Raps obtained O'Neal?
Charles N, Toronto
A: Excellent chicken link.
O’Neal’s defensive prowess, and his willingness to take charges, alter shots and anchor the area under the basket is indeed a large part of the reason they obtained him.
And yes, his presence will lessen some of the glaring perimeter defensive deficiencies (they hope) and perhaps allow a guy like Kapono to get away with more lapses and play more significant minutes.
Q: Doug, I was thinking how deja vu your comment was about Kapono being the likely starter. On paper it seems obvious but I have a quirky fact for you. Jason Kapono has never dunked a ball in an NBA game. How does this happen? The guy is 6-8. Can the guy dunk? Have you ever seen/noticed it during warmups/practice? Kapono has said his shot is what defines him as a player but how can a team afford to play a guy who is no threat to take it to the rack, only has 15 career (blocks less than 0.05 a game), and draws zero fouls? Yes he is the best shooter in the league by far, but you have to be versatile enough to make your the defending team respect your options. I really hope he does well but this ain’t football and there ain’t no special teams - you have to have some all around skill to earn minutes.
Ryan L, Calgary
A: Wow, lots of Kapono these days.
Yes, he can dunk. And yes, he is multi-skilled enough to thrive in the NBA. And I’m pretty sure he, and his coaches, know he has to be a threat in other ways as well.
Q: This is the first time I've written into your blog, but I'm a long time reader.. Love your insight, and point of view for all things Raptors and some things Olympic.
My question is in reference to the suspension of Chalmers, and Arthur for violation of the drug policy. Specifically, I'm wondering about your thoughts on the appropriateness of the punishment.
I agree that the 2 are boneheads/ idiots/ mind numbing imbeciles etc, for partaking in these activities at this camp, but I can not rationalize the punishment.
So you are going to send home, the 2 from a mandatory camp, that's sole purpose is to teach you how to live your life in the NBA, ie "life skills, handling finances, the importance of character and image, the difference between NBA and NCAA game rules, legal matters and dealing with media".
You don't think that there may be a topic or two on.. "don't take/ use/ get caught with" drugs??
So they kick them out, this year, suspend and fine them, then make them repeat it next year??
And you don't think that next year, one of them won't lean over to another up and comming Rook and say.. hey, this stuff is all horse ****. I've got stuff back in the room for after dinner..
Sorry about the rant, maybe its just me, but I would have kept them in it, fined and suspended them, AND make them repeat it. (cause apparently they weren't listening the first time).
Anyways thanks for all your insight, and keep on with the great work.
Craig F, Mississauga
A: All good points and that certainly would have been a way to handle it.
But making them go home, fining them $20,000, making them issue apologies to their teams and fans and then forcing them to come back next year and be held up as examples of what happens when you blatantly violate the rules of the program works pretty well.
And I doubt they’ll doing anything stupid next year.
Q: As you say the season is weeks away but was wondering what you think the biggest story going into training camp will be
- lack of any buzz
- lingering injuries
- will they stay healthy
- greatly improved play
- none of the above
So I guess you can let simmer for 3 weeks and let us know your thoughts.
John P, Fredericton
A: The biggest story, as I see it right now, is how Bosh and O’Neal interact on the court. I’m sure others (Bargnani and back-up point guard play chief among them) will emerge and are already on the list but Bosh-O’Neal tops it.
Q: Can you provide an update on summer special coaching for 2 Raps. Bargs at the "big man" camp and Moon taking shooting lessons. Did they actually take the time and work on their weaknesses. Any chance of improvement?
JD A, Victoria
A: The update is, really, quite simple: They got coaching, on various aspects of the game, they worked on footwork and post moves, ball-handling and shooting. Just like about every single professional basketball player on the planet. They all work on their games in the summer. Are they better? Guess we’ll have to wait until October to find out.
Q: Hey Doug, great job with the blog - it's my daily read now that the Chuckster doesn't check in anymore..
I had a question and a comment:
Q: About the National team - I'm not sure if you answered this before, but why did Dalembert get sent home from the qualifier earlier this summer? He was struggling, but was he not their best big on the team? I'm guessing it was attitude-related?
C: I want to see a retro Huskies jersey too, but I think a Toronto isn't eligible for a retro jersey because they haven't been around long enough. I'm sure they're dying to cash in on those extra merchandise sales.
Bob D, Kitchener
A: Dalembert again? Well, according to the head coach, there were issues with his commitment to the team and his work ethic; according to the player, that’s not right. I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle and we may never find out exactly what it was.
Jerseys? Oh, they’re eligible. There’s no official time frame established by anyone. If they wanted to market and sell them, they could.
Q: I've got a dilemma and would like your opinion. I recently won a Jose Calderon autographed Spain Olympic jersey off eBay.
Here's the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=320291009398
After the auction, someone who had lost contacted me and asked if I would be willing to sell it to him because he wanted to give it to his son as a Christmas gift. Now this isn't Calderon's regular Raptors jersey. It's his SpainOlympic jersey and I'm sure this can't be found anywhere else. So what would you do? Sell it for say double the price? Or keep it? Thanks for your thoughts.
Ender W, Toronto
A: A moral dilemma and you come to me? Okay.
Well, if you believe in karma and doing the right thing, you’ve got to sell it to the guy for the same amount you paid for it and then hope someone does something nice and honourable for you in the future.
Now, I say that not knowing what your plans are for it, but a kid at Christmas is a pretty big thing.