Are the stockings hung by the chimney with care?
Okay, it's official, I'm a dope. Did this Christmas Eve morning and for some reason I can't fathom, I only did it in draft mode and forgot to post it. So, better late than never, I guess, so it's up here now.
Going to try to keep this short and sweet today, I presume everyone’s got a lot of stuff to do what with tomorrow being Christmas and all. (I’m off to shop in a bit. I’m told the malls are likely to be empty).
Besides, it’s deathly slow around the Raptors, there really isn’t a lot going on around the league and, frankly, everyone here could use a day to take a deep breath and do some reflecting.
And looking under the tree, of course, to see what presents are there.
May Bryan Colangelo find under his tree some trade offer that he can accept, one that makes his team better at no substantial cost so we can put to rest those wacky rumours (until the trade deadline that is).
May Chris Bosh find the resolve to play more like November than the first part of December, and cascading cheers every time he’s at the Air Canada Centre. Oh, and some more of those 30-point games.
May Jermaine O’Neal find youth, springs for his legs, a spate of good health and a knee brace that has straps that work.
Jamario Moon? His wife’s due to have a baby any day, please let the child bring him great joy and contentment and tire him out so much he cannot bite on pump fakes.
Jay Triano? A southern accent, a zany personality and the ability to entertain the masses in a variety of ways. Oh, wait. Been there, done that, dude got fired. Scratch that.
Jason Kapono? Space, wide open space. So he can work on a gentle draw with a 4-iron, of course. What? You thought it was for shots? Nah. All he needs basketball-wise are some Kareem highlight videos so he can work on his sky hook, or whatever that abomination is.
Andrea Bargnani? Where to start? Santa doesn’t have time to read a list that long.
The rest of them? And you?
Peace, prosperity and, perchance, a jump shot.
If this isn’t the most ridiculous television programming decision since A Very Brady Christmas, I don’t know what is
A topical query
Q: On Tuesday blog entry, in regards to the reported Eddy Curry/Stephon Marbury trade, you wrote, "I’ve been assured that the report yesterday was, frankly, as incorrect as you can possibly imagine." Never mind the absurdity of the trade. I'm wondering, as a beat writer, who do you contact to follow up on rumors like this? What's their incentive to sharing inside information to nosy grunts like you (don't mean to be personal - it is the nature of the job)? How do you decide when a rumor is worth looking a little further into?
Mike P, Winnipeg
A: You contact sources, people who know what’s going on. Here, there and everywhere. You talk to people you trust, people with whom you’ve developed relationships and people who won’t steer you wrong.
That’s what you do with almost every story or rumor, no matter how fanciful or crazy they may sound. If you get a suggestion or hint there’s something to it, you pursue it more aggressively with a wider range of contacts.
And why do people tell you things? Sometimes to serve a personal agenda, sometimes to float an idea that’s being talked about in secret by organizations, sometimes to put the heat on people to get something done.
All right, we can all agree that 24 Hours Of LeBron is a stretch, right? Well, I’ve come across some secret programming in store over at RaptorsTV. Psst, don’t tell anyone about ‘em, it’ll ruin the surprise.
20:10: Just after 8 p.m. each night, the network breaks away from regular programming to show all-time Knicks, Pistons, Heat, Cavs and Mavs highlights, hosted by LeBron James. It’s blacked out everywhere except Chris Bosh’s condo.
Post-up: In a change from the regular show, it’s nothing but highlights of Andrea Bargnani, Jamario Moon and Joey Graham taking jump shots while Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh seal their men off with good position under the basket.
Raptor Classics: The very best games in franchise history, the Game 5 win over the Knicks in the playoffs, Vince’s various highlight games, the first game ever, a Chris Bosh highlight tribute, every win of the 47-win season. Blacked out in Toronto, where it’s only shown on TSN2. Working title: If They Miss A Season Of Games It’s Not The End Of The World.
Riches To Rags: A two-hour retrospective of Sam Mitchell, starting with the coach of the year season and ending with him hitch-hiking to the Denver airport.
Riches to Rags to Riches: A three-hour retrospective of Sam Mitchell, starting with the coach of the year season, carrying on with him hitch-hiking to the Denver airport and ending with him on the fifth tee of a different golf course every day, chuckling and lighting his cigars with hundred dollar bills.
Raptors Heartbeat: No great charitable works by the Ladies Of The Foundation; it’s a continuous loop of an ex-Raptor coach, when apprised that one of his more, um, corpulent centres was complaining of chest paints: “If they find a bleeping heart, take it out.”
Eighty-one: An hour and 21 minutes of Kobe Bryant scoring at will against the Raptors.
Double Dribble: A close up look at backup point guards.
I’m sure there’s more, I just can’t get anyone to tell me what they are quite yet. Be sure to keep checking back.
Oh, us beat grunts? We want easy games with relaxed deadlines, unlimited expense accounts, fine steaks and better wine. Easy travel on empty planes with no lineups. And, perchance, the interweb to crash for six hours a day so we get some sleep.
A final word:
When you’re done reading this, go and find your family or your loved ones or your pet or whatever you’ve got. Hug them, her, him, it. Sit back and enjoy the next day or so as well as you can. It’s Christmas, it’s nice, have fun.
Me? I’ll be back here from Sacramento probably Friday morning, maybe late Thursday night. But tomorrow morning? Tomorrow morning’s for Super Son and Super Wife and, I guess, Dopey Dog, and not typing or anything like that.
Merry Christmas to all.