That Shaq guy can really stir it up, no?
Boy, that was a nice quiet travel day, wasn’t it? No practice, no game, no news, no nothing.
I’m not entirely sure but I would imagine the most-searched phrase on the entire internet yesterday was “RuPaul.”
A firestorm or what?
Over nothing or what?
Seriously, this is the most “much ado about nothing” thing I can recall in recent months.
It was a throwaway line – caustic, but a throwaway line – from a guy who makes ‘em all the time.
He saw Bosh’s comments after Friday as a whiny over-matched big man pointing out what hundreds have pointed out before (Shaq gets officiated differently than anyone in the league) and O’Neal lashed out.
I don’t think there was lasting psychological impact or diminished thoughts of the Sacramento Kings when he called them the Sacramento Queens way back in the day; this is just the kind of thing guys say.
It was nothing. It will be nothing going forward.
It was, to borrow from the seamheads, Shaq Being Shaq.
Mildly entertaining but, really, nothing more than that.
Oh, I'd be willing to bet that if you lined up 450 NBA players, showed them the comment and asked them for a reaction, the winner would be: "Who's RuPaul?"
Let the arguments begin
If you thought it was tough to come up with a list of top five centres, try point guards. Seriously, it’s impossible. But we do impossible around here so what the heck:
First, what’s the criteria? Stats? Championships? Game-changing skills? Longevity?
How about a combination of all of them? Something like a “feel” for who’s best.
And there’s no shortage of candidates; it’d be easier to just throw out a Top 10 and let everyone else pick five in whatever order they like.
But after exhaustive thinking, here’s how it shakes out
I have him near the top – like Top 3 – of best players ever, he’s got to be at the top of this list.
Okay, maybe it’s a tie with Oscar.
Every time anyone anywhere ever runs a fast-break, think of the Cooz.
Heart? Determination? Championships? Forget the last five years, think of his career.
Lethal pick-setter, he’d be the one that might come off the Top 5 with the right compelling argument for someone else.
But here are some questions that are legitimate:
Is Stockton really that much better than Jason Kidd or Steve Nash? Yes, he played on one team forever and was part of a dominant duo but was he that much a better player?
What about Walt Frazier? Or Tiny Archibald? The Logo? Or Lenny? Was Earl Monroe worthy of consideration or did he sacrifice too much for his team? Gary Payton, can he be in the conversation?
I think the consensus would be that the Top 5 there are pretty bang-on. But I imagine there’s an opinion or two floating around out there.
Here in Houston, where there’s some big rodeo thing going on apparently, they found a few inches in the paper to run this.
Speaking of Bosh, I will say it one more time, and I know many will disagree but so be it: The thing that’s keeping Bosh from getting his team to the vague “next level” is the team he’s been on. He’s a 20-10 guy, a four-time all-star (three times voted by the coaches, who know infinitely more basketball than you or I do) and he’s coveted by 29 other teams. Surround him with better players and that “next level” (which I presume is a second-round playoff berth, or perhaps a bit more) is more than attainable.
I guarantee a lot of you are going to miss him when he’s gone.
A letter making a point:
Q: You've probably read this already, but thought it was a good bit of Raptor trivia about one of our most loved assistants.
In his big night on Friday, Shaq became the fourth player over 35 in NBA history to score at least 33 points in consecutive games; the others being Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and... Alex English.
Pretty good company Alex!
Ryan M, Kingston
A: Um, I think I'd put it: “pretty good company, Shaq.”
There is a growing feeling that not nearly enough Raptor fans, casual or so-called hard-core, have any idea of who good a player Alex English was.
And that’s a shame.
I also believe, as I have forever, that someone – anyone – has to be first concerned about the education of our teen prodigies because the chance of making a dime playing professional basketball anywhere in the world are miniscule.
And the chance of every putting on an NBA uniform are exponentially less than miniscule and the last thing I want to see is kid with a shattered dream and the inability to find significant work because education went by the boards in a futile journey fueled by unreal expectations and people looking out for their own interest rather that a kid’s.
Things You See In An Airport, Vol. 1,340,873:
DFW, Gate 33, waiting for the flight to Houston when what comes walking by: Two little birds. Happily chirping, wandering like the owned the place and all I’m thinking is, “well, hope they stay inside ‘cause I don’t want ‘em anywhere near the engine of my plane.”
I’d get to more mail but 95 per cent of it since late Sunday night has been about Shaq. There was, however, this:
Q: Hey Doug, any clue on when, if ever, we will expect Humphries back?
Dustin J, Minneapolis
A: Hmm, I smell some old Big Ten allegiances.
But I think it’s going to be at least 10 days before the Hump’s ready to go. He just off the crutches a while ago, and glancing at the schedule for practices and games, you’re looking at the start of the week after next.