We now turn our attention to ... I don't know
Well, at least the golf is done. A day later than expected and after a couple of extra holes just to make the whole dang thing longer than anyone expected which leaves a guy to wonder: What the heck do I do now?
Well, there is some vacation to take, some of my own golf to be played and a big ol’ deck just crying out for some companionship (along with a handful of patios, I’d imagine, if there are any that are open and inviting) but for this little neck of the cyber-world, I’m not too sure.
At least last summer, we had Beijing with some hoops, some water polo (how do they get those horses in the water?) and some of the biggest, scariest bugs you ever saw (remember that one?).
This year? Nada.
So, while we try to figure out what, if anything, we do here. I suppose a series of campfire stories and tales from the deck might suffice but I imagine they'd get old in a hurry.
But, for today at least, there’s this to pass the time:
As usually happens this time of year – when the NBA really goes on vacation – attention gets paid to international competition.
And while there was going to be all kinds of hue and cry over Jose playing for Spain in September’s European champions, if he’d decided to, wonder if anyone’s overly concerned about the rather significant number of his Raptors teammates who are going to see action next month and in September.
We know Roko is playing for Croatia and we all know Andrea’s going to play for Italy in the final qualification event – and then maybe EuroBasket – in what’s going to be a pretty busy summer.
But there are others.
I’m not entirely clear on Rasho’s obligation to Slovenia, although I don’t remember him taking a summer off, and Hedo is all set to play for Turkey at an exhibition tournament early next month in London and is scheduled to participate in the big September event in Poland.
Oh, and Pops has been called to the England side – in case the zillion of the Legend Lovers out there were unaware.
I think you know my feelings on things like this: Appearances for national teams means far more to the European-born players than you can ever imagine and, if they want to play, they should go ahead and play.
Doesn’t lessen the angst among fans, though, does it?
But one thing it does is provide some basketball interest in the dog days of August and September and if we’re going to keep this little exercise going in some reduced form, the more games and news, the better.
Oh, here’s a verbatim report from someone I trust on Andrea in an exhibition game against Canada on the weekend:
“He looked very confident, almost “cocky”…..and the team seems to have finally recognized his leadership, working the pick & roll play for him.”
Take that however you like.
Italy beat all three teams at the exhibition tournament – Canada, New Zealand and Portugal – and Canada beat Portugal and New Zealand. The Tall Blacks beat Portugal.
Not sure what that means, if anything, to the Canadians, who have one more exhibition game against Italy on this leg of their preparation tour for the world qualifier in Puerto Rico in late August-early September.
The group that went to Italy included nine, maybe 10 of the players that’ll go try to grab a berth in the 2010 worlds in Turkey and the more games they play has to be a good thing.
We’ll catch up with the Canucks when they get back and get working again, around the middle of August.
Apropos of absolutely nothing, all that rain out at the Abbey reminded me of a story:
Lightning bolts all around, thunder booming, rain pelting down and here comes a guy striding off the golf course holding a club aloft over his head.
“What in the world are you doing,” the crowd screams. “Don’t you know how dangerous it is?”
“Ach, laddie,” said Angus. “I’m fine. Even God can’t hit a 2-iron.”
I’m here all week, folks, enjoy the veal.
You people been following this Lamar Odom nonsense out there?
Short version: Lakers offer something like three years $27 million; he wants four-$36 million. Lakers pull offer, Miami gets in the picture with 5-year, $34 million full mid-level thing and Odom’s eyes light up. One day he’s going back to the Heat, one day he’s going to talk again to the Lakers.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The best speculation I’ve heard – and that’s all it is – is that Odom’s using Miami’s lower offer as leverage against the Lakers and will end up going back to L.A. in the end.
I will say this:
If the Lakers end up, in effect, trading Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest, they are no longer the summer favourites to win the West.
There’s a report out there – well, here, actually – that says the Celtics and Pacers are looking for a third team to consummate the trade involving Marquis Daniels.
Two words: Call Memphis.
After all, aren’t the Grizzlies just the nicest facilitators of trades that do nothing for them but help others?
Oh yeah, the Under-19 girls haven’t started today’s game against unbeaten Spain yet so there’s nothing new to report. But judging by past results, it’ll take an upset of biblical proportions for Canada to win and they’ll need to knock off China tomorrow and hope the United States does the expected and beats Japan to have a chance at a top-eight finish.
Luckily, tomorrow’s game’s in the middle of the night here so we can get something in the morning; if you want to check later today on Canada-Spain, go here.