Winners and losers and must-wins
How’s that post-deadline hangover? All out celebrating the flurry of activity? Dreaming of Patrick O’Bryant triumphantly riding down Bay Street holding aloft not only the Larry O’Brien Trophy but the Bill Russell Trophy as well?
Well, wake up!
Some time over the next 24 hours, I know someone in New York is going to write the definitively spun story saying, breathlessly and without a doubt, Chris Bosh is going to play in New York in 2010.
I offer the following as a cautionary tale (and if I’ve told it before, I’m sorry to be repetitive, but it is a pretty good one):
We’re at the 2004 finals in Detroit on an off-day and Mehmet Okur is around and since he was to become a free agent that summer, there was some interest in talking to him.
A bloke from one of the New York tabs called the Post starts chatting up young Memo and the next day the blaring headline says Okur is going to New York and Isiah’s a genius and the Knicks are back and all is right in the world.
The Pistons PR staff, fresh from I believe their quiet time at a church social, heard about the story and saw fit to ask Mehmet about his apparent desire to flee Detroit at the first possible chance.
“He asks me if I like New York. I say yes and he make me Knick.”
Take heed of this story when you read the dispatches from New York this week. And forever.
Imagine how different life would have been had Rafer followed through on his suggestion that wintry night in Boston so long ago that he might retire because he and the NBA “weren’t made for each other.”
They’ve got the practice gym in the Air Canada Centre and it’s been named after every shoe company except Buster Brown but after reading this gem from my man Perk, it shall forever now be known facetiously as the John Wallace Court.
I knew everything around that joint was for sale, I hadn’t had confirmed the fact guys back in the day had to bring in their own money to get things done.
My, how times have changed.
Michael Jordan announces his un-retirement with a fax:
Chris Bosh announces his un-retirement, sort of, with a tweet.
(And that will be the last time I speak of Michael Jordan and Chris Bosh in the same item).
Speaking of Bosh, wasn’t it interesting timing? I guess I first heard about this tweet, or twit, or whatever it is (although I do see it in my future, I fear) sometime just after 9 a.m. yesterday.
Interesting in that Bosh has always said he needed a full practice to know for sure that he was ready to come back and had told us on Tuesday he would give it a run on Thursday before deciding about Friday.
Interesting in that the Raptors didn’t start practice yesterday until 10:30 a.m.
Or maybe it’s not interesting at all. You decide.
But if he knew Thursday at 9 a.m. he was going to play Friday, maybe he should have made same determination Wednesday at 5 p.m.
This is what Chris said yesterday about the five games off:
“I’m trying to play at a high intensity. I’m trying to play my best basketball of the year right now. In order to do that, I have to be healthy. It does no good if I play a game and then I have to sit out four more because of the damage that I’ve done. I want to make sure that I’m fully recovered.” “I’m not scared. Even if I’m tired I’m still going to get back on defence. That’s how you get your legs back as quick as possible.”
In that blockbuster Raptors-Kings-Celtics move yesterday, I got the money wrong. It goes from Boston to Sacramento, which I guess eases the Kings cost of taking on Will Solomon.
Doesn’t make a difference, I still say the Raptors won the deal.
Speaking of winners and losers off the day:
Rafer looks like he’s grown up (the fact that neither he nor Jeff Van Gundy are in jail for homicide after being player and coach tells me that) and if continues to act that way, he’s a huge boost for the Jameer Nelson-free Magic. Not enough to win the East, but certainly enough to give either Cleveland or Boston a tough run in the second round.
Knicks got rid of four guys, only one of whom was even remotely a factor, and added two in Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox, who should at least provide depth.
Not so much because they didn’t do anything but because they didn’t do anything and then lost Manu Ginobili for three weeks, which might just be enough to keep them from finishing second overall in the conference and take away homecourt in the second round of the playoffs.
So they facilitate a trade that makes Orlando better and probably helps Houston as much as it hurts them, take on Chris Mihm to show that whatever spell Mitch Kupchak holds over them from the Gasol trade remains and they pick up Orlando’s first-round pick in 2010, which figures to be somewhere in the mid- to late-20s. Yeah, they got it going on down there in Memphis.
A sign? Maybe.
I’m finishing this up about 16 hours after the big Solomon-O’Bryant deal went down and in that time I haven’t had one request to find out what number the new guy is wearing. I’m presuming there wasn’t an extra overnight shift in some sweatshop stitching his name on replica jerseys.
I’d tell you what they said about the trade in Sacramento and Boston but why in the world would any of you care.
So, is tonight a must win?
Or a must, must win?
Or, heaven’s forbid, a must, must, must win?
I’m not sure where it fits on the continuum but seeing how the Raptors can ill afford to lose to any team immediately ahead of them in the standings, it’s pretty dang big.
Of course, I’ll be watching from the comfort of Casa Doug, it’s been a long week already, there’s Phoenix-Dallas-Houston coming up starting next Wednesday and it’s a welcome respite.
Still, we’ll be here with the usual antics if anyone wants to stop by.
Besides ripping on them for losing to Cleveland and busting on Bryan for not turning his roster into a gaggle of Kobe Bryant’s at the trade deadline, I’m noticing the mail contributiosn are a bit lacking. And with Sunday being mail day this week, and me having no life, why not send one if you’ve got some time.