Of workouts and wacky WWW fantasies
All kinds of fun stuff at the moment. Some from here, some from there, some from the world wide web, which is either the greatest thing invented or something created just to make my life a living hell (I’m torn as to which it is.)
But, before the fun and frivolity, some good news. Or bad news. Or non-news.
Some stuff’s come up that’s going to keep my busy tonight so the delightful in-game blog has to take an evening off. We’ll be back Sunday, for sure; but tonight? Tonight you shall be left to your own devices.
And now …
Here’s the thing about these workouts that go on before the draft: Sometimes, they’re not workouts at all.
Bryan mentioned earlier this week that they want to get DeMar DeRozan in next week, what’s likely to be the last big session in Toronto, but that the kid might only come in to meet, not to work out.
Seems silly, no? Not if you understand that teams don’t drive this process, which sort of sucks. The agents – who have a fiduciary interest in not having any flaws in their players exposed – are actually running the show.
Here’s a somewhat exasperated Jim Kelly:
“Again, that’s part of the draft procedure, we don’t actually control it, we do what we can with what we have.”
The interesting thing yesterday, to me at least, was Ty Lawson. When I mentioned that very fact to them, that some kids – and their agents – run scared at this time of year, Lawson said that wasn’t for him. Something along the lines of “If you want to show you’re stuff, you have to show it against the best.”
I like that kid.
Oh yeah, the Finals.
You’ve read the local stuff here, I presume; but not sure if you’ve read what they’re saying in the specific cities.
Seems this whole point guard thing is still gurgling down in Orlando, as Brian S. writes here in today’s missive.
I will say this: If they both play like they did the other night, Rafer has to play about 40 minutes because Nelson was horrible. But if they both play like they did in Game 2, I can see no recourse for Stan but to play Turkoglu at the point down the stretch.
This is where coaches earn a chunk of their money, managing egos and personalities in the biggest games of the season.
Okay, let’s stop this insanity right now.
From the mail:
Q: Hey Doug, i am hearing that theres a good chance that Kris Humpries gets traded to the Nets for Dooling on draft day + swap picks 9 and 11. Any truth to it
Sam A, Toronto
Q: Hey Doug, long time reader … I read somewhere that Raptors were interested in a trade involving Humphries and Keyon Dooling. Is there any truth to this?
Joel R, Mississauga
And from the Comments section:
well, theres a guy on real gm who has been VERY reliable in the past, knows someone high up in MLSE and apparently its being discussed, not someone to make a rumor up and the mods verified it. I was wondering if you could check it out, ask some of your sources and see if its reliable.
Ok, you know I don’t usually do this stuff but the sheer volume of questions – this is a representative selection – made me.
So, I discovered the “hearing” and “read somewhere” came from the “very reliable” source and it’s all crap, like about 95 per cent of the junk floating around these days.
Because I had some time, and because I figured it’s a good way to make a point, I bounced this off a couple of people in the organization.
“Got a good kick out of it.”
So, reliable is bullpoop (the guy or gal either lied or was lied to) and the energy anyone spent talking about this would have been better spent cutting the grass or something.
Here’s the deal: Unless you dig and have multiple sources and are trusted and legitimate, you’re not going to find out facts. You’re going to find out fiction and waste the time of a lot of people.
The internet and chat rooms and discussion forums, I guess, are wonderful things in some aspects. But, and I will say this for about the thousandth time, they are not places where legitimate news breaks.
Now that I’ve wasted some of my time, and yours, we’ll return you to the usual drivel.
So, Alvin Williams, what kind of advice can you impart in your new gig:
“(B)eing a professional, that’s the biggest thing. Don’t disrespect the game or yourself or your teammates. Be a professional. Come in on time, give 100 per cent for yourself and your team.
“Sometimes, once you get to a certain point in the NBA, you get paid, you get some notoriety, some people get lazy. And it’s a natural thing but you’ve always got to push. It’s hard to get here, but it’s harder to stay in the NBA and that’s what you have to tell the younger guys.”
Oh, and what do you have to learn about coaching?
“You have to manage people, you have to build relationships, you have to know each individual and how they respond. That’s the toughest part. I can go out here all day and tell somebody what to do, you just have to know how to get it across to them.
I’m going to listen right now, listen to coach Triano, coach English and coach Iavaroni, these guys have been involved for so long, I’m just going to pick up on those guys.”
Yeah, I think the kid’ll be all right.
Oh yeah, the Finals
This always has been, and always will be, The Kobe Series and my man Mark Heisler’s got a good one right here.
Back to the workouts for a bit.
A rather odd sight greeted us when we walked in the gym and survived the huddled masses perched on chairs along the sideline. It’s the domain of coaches and scouts and GMs usually, with the regular assortment of Raptors Worker Bees charting every move every kid makes.
So, what’s John Bitove Jr. doing there? Ready to buy the team back? A front office coup?
Nah, seems he was checking out James Johnson of Wake Forest, which is John’s old school.
I’m told Johnson was really good, too.