Who needs mail when you've got ... this
I know, you probably expected mail, right?
Well, truth be told, there are a few little items I figured had to be done today rather than not done at all and, frankly, it takes a bit less time to do this than answer 6,000 words worth of questions. And yesterday (5 a.m. wake up call in Philly, 6 p.m. file main story for paper) was pretty much a long enough day anyway.
So some putzing around on this in the evening, a quick finish this morning and it’s better for all concerned. I think. But not to worry, the mail will arrive Sunday, loads and loads and loads of it.
So away we go:
Imagine our surprise when Chris Bosh showed up in Philly the other night sporting a brace on his right knee. He’d been telling us the entire time of training camp how he’d never felt better, was in great shape and that’s why things were going so well for him.
So, what’s up?
Well, as he told me yesterday, it’s a bit of “preventative medicine.” He’s not hurt, there’s no pain, he’s just being careful that something doesn’t go wrong.
Sorta weird, since he’d always told us that he hated the brace because psychologically he worried that it limited his mobility. That fact was brought up to him in our quick conversation, too.
"I did. But the brace made up with me.”
Hmm. Feelings for inanimate objects.
Those Golden State Warriors are quite the spoil sports.
I think they have the greatest array of uniforms in the league, especially in the throwback vein because the jerseys with The City logo are outstanding.
But they blew it for tonight.
They’ve got a set of orange uniforms in their closets but aren’t, apparently, going to wear them tonight. They’ll go with boring old white ones.
Could have worn orange against Toronto’s black? Today? And didn’t? Someone missed a great chance.
Hey, I’m told they have the kinks worked out in the $8.5 million television set that hangs above the court and that the in-game stats panels should work.
We, as they say, shall see.
Better do this one ‘cause it’s on a lot of people’s minds:
Q: Hey Doug, maybe I'll see you at the home opener if I take my binoculars. Anyways, I have always liked Al Harrington. Besides zero to none (I have been reading you for a while), any chance we get him for say Hump, Joey and Parker. The $ work, but that leaves the team shorthanded.
Bonus Question: Should ownership ever change its heart regarding the mid-level exception, can they use it in the middle of the year?
David S, Ottawa
A: Quite short-handed. But if I know Bryan, and I know enough about him, I’m sure he’s at least thought about making a call to the Warriors to see what’s up.
Harrington’s pretty good and could probably do a good job at the three here but it’ll be a tax-creating move (if they do a two- or three-for-one, they’d have to fill the roster up to 13 and that’ll put ‘em over the limit) so there are financial concerns.
But I also think Bryan, and the coaches, want to see how this team does over a bit of time rather than make a significant change a week into the season. I honestly think they need 15-20 games to find out exactly what they’ve got and what they might want. And, who knows, they might find they like what they have. They might also find that a guy like Harrington from some other team is available, too, because other teams may stumble.
On the mid-level question: Yeah, they’ve still got what’s left of it to spend.
Great Moments In Home Opener History
Not many, actually, they sort of blend into one another over the years.
Of course, the very first one stands out because, well, mostly because it was the first one and also the first day we had to deal with a player arrested (Alvin Robertson).
And glancing back through the pages of the media guide, I see the 1997 home opener was a 104-86 drubbing of the, ahem, Golden State Warriors and some guy named Marshall led the Warriors with 20 points. Yup, Donyell could shoot it back in the day, too.
Oh, and one other thing about that night? The win over Golden State was followed by a 17-game Raptor losing streak, the longest in franchise history. They wouldn’t win again for more than a month.
You know, we’ve held up the Knicks as the poster boys for dysfunction but maybe it’s only ‘cause we live on the wrong side of the continent. The Warriors have to be in that discussion.
Team president Robert Rowell seems to have frozen out GM Chris Mullin on all significant decisions. It was Rowell who decided on the 30-game suspension for Monta Ellis. It was Rowell who signed coach Don Nelson to a two-year extension. It’s Rowell who’s dealing with a contract extension for Stephen Jackson, which has to be done today. You’ve got to figure Mullin, in the last year of his deal, isn’t signing any long-term leases.
Al Harrington’s wanted to be traded for months and made his feelings known publicly on the eve of the season, always a delightful distraction.
Ellis is appealing his suspension and the team’s still got the option of revoking the contact entirely, which would create even more appeals and controversy.
Oh, and the coach stretched his best player out for the full 48 in the home opener, as my friend Janny reports here in today’s Chronicle.
Yeah, that’s a well-oiled franchise out there, isn’t it?
Not sure how the Jackson-48-minutes thing played with public in the Bay area but can you imagine the hue and cry if Sam did it with Bosh here? The reaction would crash the entire internet, I’m sure.
The Lovely Ladies Of The Foundation tell me that ticket-dinner-limo package today made ‘em $1,600. Way to go.
Here’s another mail thingy:
Q: Doug, got to disagree with you on retired numbers. I think that #20 should be retired in honour of Alvin Williams. Not that he was such a great player, but for the fact that he gave way over 100% for the Raptors, playing through injuries and surgeries that would have stopped most players for a season. (was it five surgeries on one ankle?)
Keith W, Whitby
A: It was his knees actually. But to your point, I think there are other ways to honour someone – specifically Alvin – than hanging up a number, which should only be reserved for the absolute great players and not necessarily great guys.
How about an in-house award? The Alvin Williams Trophy for contributions above and beyond the call of duty, both on and off the court? Works for me.