If this is Tuesday, it must be hoops
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|Raptors working on re-opening the doors for Rasho.|
Never mind. It’s basketball today. I can’t keep the sports straight these days.
Yes, today is Jarrett Jack Day here in the big smoke and we all knew that was coming for about a week.
But I was talking to a couple of Bryan’s Henchmen yesterday trying to get a read on what else is going on and, frankly, it’s about as earth-shattering as the Jack deal.
Negotiations with Delfino and Rasho are continuing but quite aside from the money issue – and there’s always a middle ground on money issues – things like length of contract and number of guaranteed years are factoring into things. Not unexpectedly, either, because we all know that whatever Bryan’s doing, he’s doing with one eye on potential tax troubles a year or two down the road.
Not sure where the snag is and I don’t get the impression the talks are anywhere close to breaking off but it’s a sticking point they have to work through.
I’d probably draw the line at a three-year deal worth about $15 million total for Delfino but I’m not sure I’d fully guarantee that last year and for Rasho I’d give him two years at the biannual exception.
I will also say this:
If push came to shove and I could only get one, with the roster as it’s presently constructed, I think it’s far more important to get a backup centre than another swingman and I’d get Rasho on board – or someone like him – pretty quickly.
Remember last year? With Will Solomon and Roko Ukic as the only backups to Jose Calderon and how bad that turned out? Well, it’s not exactly the same but starting the season with Reggie Evans and Patrick O’Bryant as your lone backup bigs simply isn’t good enough.
Here’s one from the mail bag (remember that?), which is pretty darn near empty, by the way:
Q: Hey Doug, today someone was wondering about the Toronto reporters being scooped by an Indiana scribe about a Jarrett Jack press conference on Tuesday. A few weeks ago, another commenter wondered about the value of scoops, which got me to think about the question, too.
I can understand if you break something that would otherwise stay under wraps, but what is the value in being the first to announce something that's going to be announced anyway, be it a press conference, signing, trade or firing? We're all going to hear about it in time, so what good does it do?
Is it just that some readers might eventually just start using you and your paper as the sole source? Is it bragging rights? Personally, it doesn't matter to me one bit who gets it first. In this age of instantaneous news, as soon as one gets it, the other reports on it seconds later.
Guy M, Vancouver
A: It gets to the competitive nature of the reporters a lot of times. We’ve got four newspapers here that cover this team, a gaggle of radio and TV outlets and if you’re first with something newsworthy (and I don’t count the announcement of a long-expected news conference to be all that newsworthy, to tell you the truth) it makes a guy feel good… That’s the “something that would otherwise stay under wraps” stuff you’re talking about.
The one thing that bugs a little bit is when I have to have a story out there under my name crediting some other news organization (like ESPN or Yahoo or M. Grange TM) with information, although I do think I’m pretty good at doing that. I’ll put it out there, sure; but then I start working the phones to get independent confirmation so it’s “our” story as well.
But, and I’m sure I’ve said this before, an old friend who’s been on a beat for years once told me: 90 per cent of the stories are ties, you win five per cent and you lose five per cent and you can’t get too high when you win or too low when you lose.
You’re right, in this age of instant dissemination of information, as soon as something’s out there, everyone gets it and it’s how you react to it, or advance the original information, that makes the good ones stand out.
Ready for some more early mornings?
Maybe not but if you are, the next installment of Canada Basketball Goes Global begins Thursday in the wee hours.
This time it’s the women’s under-19 world championships from Thailand and if I know the folks at Canada Basketball, they’ll be on top of it like they were the men.
My knowledge of international junior women’s basketball – and this Canadian team in particular – is not what it should be but people whose opinions I respect tell me this is a very good team of very talented young women and should be a top-8 team in the world.
So we’ll start following them. Just a bit of a heads-up for you, it’s an 11-hour time difference or something so here’s the best place to find out how they’re doing.
Michael Jordan hits a golf ball a very, very long way. And mainly straight. Not sure what he shot yesterday at that Mike Weir Charity Classic out at the Abbey but if I had his swing, my friends’ wallets would be an awful lot lighter.
We can now, finally, put to rest for a couple of years all the speculation about Steve Nash and Toronto, right?
As Paul Coro tells us here, he’s got the new gig in Phoenix that should keep him there until practically the end of his career.
The angle Paul took is pretty interesting, no?
The draft where Nash was chosen by Phoenix way back in the day – and I remember it pretty vividly, it was when Vancouver was sure Toronto would screw ‘em up and take Shareef Abdur-Rahim rather than Marcus Camby that night in Jersey – included Iverson and Marbury and you would have gotten some long, long, long, long odds if you’d bet Nash would have had a better, more productive career than either of those two.
And seeing how Nash has those two MVPs, is still playing at an incredibly high level on a good team and neither of those other two have a job yet, you cannot tell me he hasn’t had a better career.
Speaking of MJ and the golf, my man C Young makes reference to it here in today’s missive from the paper but the little byplay between Jordan, Anthony Kim and Fred Couples was pretty much worth the price of admission to the range at the Abbey. (Of course, the price was free so take that for what it’s worth).
But Kim’s a huge Laker fan and byplay was pretty fascinating.
It was like me and you (if me and you were one of the great young golfers of the era and one of the greats of all time) casually hitting balls and picking the mind of an NBA GM/owner/president/icon as we went about our business.
You get that kind of access a few places – around the batting cage and in the dugout before ball games, sitting on the bench a couple of hours before tip off of an NBA game – and it’s very cool.
As Chris says, Jordan’s big on San Antonio, thinks Portland makes a run at Lamar Odom and thinks the West is stacked. Smart man. Of course, Kim did not mention Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison or Leonard Hamilton.
Spent about 90 minutes with the good folks from Canada Basketball last night at this reception thingy that included players and coaches from the cadet, junior and senior national teams in this kind of team-building social exercise that lets the three groups mingle and get to know one another.
Now, we’ll have more on this in the next couple of days – this is long enough as it is right now – but I’ve been on the fringe of the national team program for a large number of years, like 20 or so and I can honestly say I don’t remember a similar event ever. I don’t know what the ultimate outcome will be but getting the groups together and letting them know it’s one program, not three separate teams, cannot be a bad thing at all.