KO in Southern Cal and CB at the video thing. What a weekend
We’re almost there, almost draft day, almost time to move on to free agency and figuring out that future plans regarding Marion, Parker, Graham and Delfino. Really, the fun never ends.
First, the news.
There is none.
Despite their best intentions, the Raptors couldn’t piece together any workout for this week so we’re left to do nothing but try to unearth news on the phone and texts and then speculate to our hearts content between now and Thursday night.
That ought to be fun, no?
Seriously, though, they were tying to get Tyreke Evans in for a session, as Jim Kelly told us last week, and probably a couple of others like Stephen Curry, who blew them off after every invitation.
They have, however, seen everyone who’d be legitimately on their list for No. 9, at least the list hinted at by Bryan last week. That’d be Holiday and Flynn, DeRozan and Johnson and Hill, if he falls.
What’s it all mean?
I was speaking to a few people in the organization over the course of the weekend and, honestly, they have no idea whatsoever what’s going to go on above them in the draft, and that’s really ticking them off.
They’ll be working the phones harder than I will be this week, primarily figuring out what Washington, Golden State and Minnesota are going to do. Those are the biggest wild cards out there.
They remain, today, steadfast that the top picks are Griffin, Thabeet, Rubio, Harden and Evans but after that? No real clue.
And that’s what’s going to make this week so interesting. .I warn you, however, most of what you’ll read is utter speculation, some of it is blatantly manufactured “news” (like the breathless headlines that say: “Such-and-such a team open to trade” since every team in the NBA is open to a trade under the right circumstances) and some of it is pure fiction.
Have a nice week.
As the wise man once said
Oooooh!!! And. Boy!!!!! KO to USC?
God help the Pac-10 lamps.
Three things questions come to mind:
Don’t they read the Arizona papers?
Don’t they check references?
Is the AD on crack?
Seriously, folks, when I heard that news on Saturday afternoon, that our old friend and nemesis got one of the higher profile college jobs seemingly out of nowhere, I was almost speechless, a very rare happenstance.
Now, I don’t mind KO, kind of like him in his vulgar, quirky “Screw-the-world, I’m-KO-and-you’re-not” mentality and he does have some attributes that would make a good coach. But the dude also, apparently, has about 90 lives and to say it was surprising that he got the USC gig was an understatement.
And I’m not entirely sure that if KO showed up in my living room, asking me to entrust my teenage son to his guidance for even a couple of years, I’d sign those scholarship papers.
I’m trying to think of the best KO story I can tell here and there are almost too many.
There was the time he had us banished – for one game at least – to the other end of press row at the Air Canada Centre because one of us had the temerity to report what he’d screamed at the top of his lungs in front of us on the bench.
There was the time he really played corporate good boy by telling RaptorsTV – when they asked some lame Oct. 31 question about a favourite Halloween memory – “will the (expletive) ridiculousness never end?”
There was the time he came into a post-game bistro on a Friday night after a big win over the Knicks to get cheers from the assembled imbibers and then told one of us: “If you write that, I’ll kill you.”
And there was the day – the day Bryan Colangelo traded Stephon Marbury to the Knicks, as a matter of fact – that I sat with him in that same jam-packed bistro, trying to get reaction to the trade, while he persisted in cheering for the US over Canada in a world junior hockey final, much to the vocal chagrin of the inhabitants of that jam-packed bistro.
I have no idea how he’ll do as the USC coach (although I guarantee you it doesn’t end well whenever it ends) but I also know I’ll be paying more attention to them now.
So I’m flipping through the dial last night and there’s good old Chris Bosh at the Much Music Video Awards and I’m thinking:
Imagine that, on a Sunday night in June, a 25-year-old kid with an interest in video and music is taking part in one of the more prestigious (or so I assume) events on the music video calendar instead of being in some gym working on his drop step and jump shot before he lifted weights.
Trade his sorry, non-competitive ass, I say.
This is pretty big and even if you don’t care about such things, you probably should if you want a grasp on where the Canadian teams are sitting in international play.
The Cadets – 15 year olds coached by Roy Rana – beat Venezuela yesterday at a qualification tournament in Argentina to grab the third and final berth in next year’s Under-16 world championships in Germany.
Cadets (and Cadettes for the girls) is being contested world-wide for the first time under the auspices of FIBA and it’s a pretty big deal that Canada qualified for the worlds.
It’s another step to give our young players great experience and exposure to the international game, which is a much more realistic long-term goal for them to pursue.
Oh yeah, I had no idea who Lady Gaga was until that flipping through the dial thing last night but now I believe I must run out today and buy all her 8-tracks.
And this goes to that early point:
Q:Hey Doug, My question was concerning the top Canadian recruits like Tristan Thompson opting to not play for the country and instead choosing to attend the summer camp. From your reaction, it would be fair to assume that you expected them to play for Canada.
My question can you really blame him for skipping the tourney? I mean, there's no guarantee that he's gonna make the NBA and make a ton of money, so why wouldn't he attend the camp to get as much exposure as he can and also possibly open some doors for endorsements?
It seems pretty reasonable to me cuz if he's good enough to play for Canada, that opportunity will present itself in the future too. Things like money are no guarantee however.
Harsh D, Mississauga
A: As a matter of fact, after spending part of a delightful night in Hamilton on Saturday (yes, I said “delightful night in Hamilton” with a straight face), I can report that both Thompson and Cory Joseph are going to join Greg Francis’s squad for the coming world juniors in New Zealand.
And that’s the right thing to do, as I’ve mentioned often.
And here’s the answer to your question: Everyone in North American who follows teenage basketball (the good folks and the bad ones) know who the top kids are. People in Europe don’t. It makes far, far more sense to me to join a national team program that’s going to be seen by talent scouts of the European Leagues – as well as the NBA – and get your name in front of more people.
Going to a silly shoe company camp to play the same guys in front of the same people making money for the same “advisors” is far less important, in my opinion, that broadening both your personal and basketball horizons by facing the best players your age in the world.
And, believe me, no one who doesn’t “make the NBA and make a ton of money” is getting any kind of lucrative endorsement because they went to some summer camp in North America.
One more on that video thingy:
How come they have all this great young talent on display and then a relatively old group that I’ve heard of, for God’s sake, wins the big award? Seems odd to me.