It's slow and late but what the heck, there's something here
It’s not like we missed anything big, either. Another boring day.
Well, not boring, but not news-filled.
I’ve had all kinds of questions about when things will in fact get rolling back in the world of Raptors and the best I can give you is sometime near the middle of September.
There is no firm reporting date for players and coaches, they start drifting back into town sometime at the beginning of the month and those “informal” workouts begin. I know they’d like the coaches back in town as soon after Labour Day as they can but with so many players – Ukic, Turkoglu, Bargnani, Belinelli – perhaps involved in the long and drawn out European championships in September, they aren’t going to get close to full roster back until close to the end of the month.
Camp, if my best guess is correct (and it usually is in these scheduling things) should officially start the last Tuesday in Ottawa after a Monday media day here and they should be in the nation’s capital until that following Saturday.
What happens until then? Well, the players and coaches go about their business of the summer, getting a little work in to stay in shape, but taking care of family and outside obligations so that when it’s time to hit the court, they’re ready to hit the court.
I presume Jay will be here a lot earlier than the others to come up with some kind of training camp plan and schedule and he and his coaches will get hunkered down to decide systems and styles and drills they want to immediately make a part of camp.
Film buffs, take note:
Since we gave people a list of required reading yesterday (well, not actually required as much as suggested), how about some flicks for those quiet nights at the cottage with the DVD player.
This is also entirely subjective but that’s the point of this whole exercise, isn’t it?
Undisputed and undefeated champion of basketball movies.
I know it’s a documentary and probably shouldn’t count but this is my list so it counts.
I saw it once, and probably wasn’t paying as close attention as I should but it seemed pretty compelling.
He Got Game
Who knew Ray Allen could really act?
I know, I know. But you know those movies that you find some time on Channel 4,520 when you’re flipping and you just have to watch it, like Ferris Bueller and Apollo 13? Well, this Billy Crystal as ref one is like that for me.
Oh, yeah, there are all kinds of others, like Rebound, The Story of Earl (The Goat) Manigault, Glory Road, Love And Basketball and the epic Space Jam that could be on a list but that’s a good start, no?
Oh, and a story about one to avoid:
It’s the summer of, I believe, ’94 and it’s hot, stinking, humid, stupid hot, like in the olden days. Super Wife and I, sans Super Son who’s still a glint in Dad’s eye, live in a wee hovel in East York that’s got no air conditioning for some ridiculous reason. Well, we need to escape for an afternoon and since she still really loved me at the time, I drag her to the cool comfort of a movie house to see a sports flick.
Well, it’s a shock she didn’t walk right and head immediately to the lawyers because we had to sit through one of the silliest, worst-acted movies in the history of talkies.
And if any of you ever, ever, decide to watch Blue Chips, you will regret it.
They roll over the hosts down in Mexico and now are off to the semifinals in their quest for a berth next year in the inaugural under-17 world championships.
We’re down to the short strokes in Tripoli and if Pape and the lads want to make the world championships next year,they’ve got some work to do.
(Yes, we’ve spent a lot of time tracking Pape and Boniface but, really, why not?).
Anyhoo, they get Cote D’Ivoire in the quarter-finals and have to win and then have to win one more time to grab up one of the three automatic berths in next year’s worlds in Turkey.
Here’s how those world spots fill out, by the way:
Turkey and the Americans are automatic entrants.
Europe gets six spots, the Americas get four, three go to Africa, three to Asia and two to Oceania.
And then it gets interesting: To fill out the 24-team tournament (and that’s an awful lot of teams, in my opinion), FIBA will award four “wild card” berths in mid-December. There is no strict formula for how they are awarded, geography doesn’t matter; it’s supposed to be competitiveness, history and growing the game, which are all rather subjective criteria.
All right, looks like a nice day out there and I’m sure there’s junk to be done around this house. I best go do it before the patio calls.