Back to the real Raptors work world
Finally, back to work.
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|It's back to work after an eventful all-star break for the Raptors.|
Like go to practice, talk to players, write stories for here and the paper, get ready to cover an actual game live and in person.
Might be a shock to the system.
And it’s also going to be a little late. Practice today doesn’t even start until mid-afternoon, I presume it’ll be long because they have to show Marion and Banks what they do so dinner plans are already delayed or dashed.
And for all you folks, you’re not going to get hear any words of wisdom from the new fellas until the supper hour, I don’t think. Makes your day long, too. Ha ha ha.
I’m told Chris Bosh didn’t get much work in at the Raptors practice on Monday night, mainly some shooting and not much contact, if any.
That’s going to make today’s practice doubly important because if he doesn’t do anything this afternoon, I can’t see him playing tomorrow night against Cleveland. He’s always maintained he needs some practice time before getting back on the court and we can call last night a virtual washout.
It’ll make this afternoon more frenzied around there, since it’s also the first time we’ll get a crack at Shawn Marion.
Speaking of Marion, he never expected to work out yesterday and I’m told he didn’t even arrive in Toronto until about 11 p.m.
Because he was with Miami, and because the Heat played last Thursday night, Marion had Monday off; it’s a rule that every team has to have four days off at the all-star break – if they played on the Thursday before the break, teams couldn’t hold practices the Monday after. Conversely, because the Raptors had last Thursday off.
If Bryan’s going to make another deal – and I don’t think he is because most of the calls he’s getting are about Anthony Parker and he’s loathe to deal him because his value in the locker room and on the court – he’s absolutely got a big man on his mind.
There’s a thought around the team that maybe Marcus Banks will surprise some people and actually contribute consistently so they’re okay with the smalls but Hump’s probably a month away from being back on the court and the concern about the backup bigs is acute.
I don’t think it’s enough to make Colangelo do something risky but he is making calls to see what’s out there.
One from the past:
Q: Hey Doug, I was just watching some old dunk contests on Raptors TV, and I was wondering where you were, and what you were thinking when He Who Shall... pretty much took the all-time dunk crown in 2000? How about the Olympic dunk later that year? With a bunch of years having passed since then, these moments still hold up as being really unbelievable don't they?
Dave M, Toronto
A: That night, I was sitting at the other end of the Oakland arena trying to figure out how to write running copy on a dunk contest that was going to end right on deadline. And, I was also thinking what a promising future was ahead for the team I covered and how it might be fun.
And in Sydney, I was a slack-jawed in the arena there as everyone else.
I’m pretty sure you all saw this story this morning.
Let me get this straight:
Phoenix has a 36-year-old Grant Hill, a soon-to-be 37-year-old Shaquille O’Neal, a 35-year-old Steve Nash, has traded away Boris Diaw and Raja Bell and now wants to go back playing at a “breakneck” pace?
Yeah, that’s going to work really well.
Seriously, I think the Phoenix management has to get out of the sun; brains are being fried out there
I’m torn, folks. Absolutely torn.
Sifting through the history books doing some Raptors trade deadline research I’m wrote ‘em all down and I could not for the life of me decide which was more inconsequential:
Feb. 20, 1997
Shawn Respert in, Acie Earl out.
Feb. 21, 2008
Primoz Brezec in, Juan Dixon out.
Those, my friends, were not deals to shift the balance of power.
It makes the 2007 acquisition of Juan Dixon for Fred Jones look like last year’s Pau Gasol deal.
But when it came down to it, I gotta figure the 1997 one was bigger, Acie at least held a franchise record for a long time. Plus he had that wacky gait that made him memorable.
We’ll go over some of the Raptor deals that actually mattered later on in the week.
Speaking of the Suns, there’s a thought now that maybe they don’t deal Stoudemire this week because it’d be too much change at one time.
But don’t for a second think Stoudemire will be there next fall if he’s there on Friday; the way money’s tight these days, it’s a virtual lock they move him somewhere in the summer.
One game suspension? Seems chintzy to me. Maybe the league will tack one on later.
A question of geography:
Q: Random question Where is the raptors practice arena I always see on Raps TV? Is this part of the ACC or elsewhere? Thanks
Thomas N, Milton
A: It’s on the third floor, tucked back in a corner so they can have some privacy. If you ever get there during a practice day, you can find it by searching out beat grunts standing in the concourse waiting to be summoned in.