News? You want news? Well, we've got some (sort of)
For now, that is.
So much for news.
Just heard the NBA pre-season schedule that was supposed to be released today has been delayed a week so what you are about to read is a tad premature.
Still, it's hugely interesting (and I use the term "hugely" in the loosest possible manner).
Anyway, the Raptor news we have is right, the rest ... well, we'll see.
Big news today next week, kids.
Yes, we find out where and against who they’ll spend eight games running different combinations of players in and out of the lineup and the other sorts of wonderful things that go with games that don’t count.
Two games we know already:
As visitors on Oct. 6 against Philly in London – that’d be the Ontario one, not the big one over the pond – and as visitors on Oct. 23 against Minnesota in Sioux Falls, Whateverstateitis.
(Visitors in London because the company that owns the Sixers owns the rinks there; visitors in Sioux Falls because the Timberwolves have some deal with some regional bank or something and always travel to such far-off locales, by the way).
So, my best guess is that those are the first and last of the eight, which would mean four at home in between and a couple of more on the road.
What I’ve also been told is that there is no visit here planned for any of the EuroLeague teams that are visiting North America. I know Maccabi’s coming again, and so is Partizan Belgrade but neither are stopping here.
Anyway, that’s what passes for news at the moment, I’m sure you’ll all be breathlessly awaiting the official announcement some time this afternoon.
This is why I love Super Son, among the other zillions of reasons.
We turn on the Blue Jays last night:
Him: “Dad, look at the guys behind the plate, looking and acting like umpires.”
Him: “Do they think they’re funny or something?”
Me: “I don’t know, I guess so.”
Him: “Well, they’re not.”
Okay, so what are basketball fans to do these days? (Besides continually hammering home the silly suggestion that Toronto make some kind of move to get Allen Iverson, that is).
Well, it’s August so it must be international basketball time and if you’ve still got any interest in what the Italian team is doing – besides getting into tiny dustups with Canucks – check this story out.
Italy, France and Finland are in one of two groups fighting for one last spot at EuroBasket 2009 next month in Poland and it would appear to be an uphill fight for Andrea and Marco and the boys now.
We’ll try to stay on top of this – I would imagine the Raptors wouldn’t be totally crushed if Bargnani and Belinelli had September off – as the days go on.
Speaking of the Raptors and the pre-season and training camp, one thing I haven’t heard is just how many extra bodies they plan to transport to Ottawa for the fun of a week in the nation’s capital.
(Oh yeah, we’ll be looking for dining and dancing suggestions – well, maybe not the dancing part of it -- as we move closer so all you Ottawans start making those lists).
There are two schools of thought:
1. Just stick with the 15 guys you’ve got so the coaches can work with them without having to worry about guys with no legitimate shot at making the team.
The downside is the wear and tear, of course, but with the way the NBA restricts camp workouts – no more than three two-a-days, only one of them can involve contact drills – I’m not sure how big a worry that is.
2. Bring in three or four others who can lessen the load and give you a chance to scrimmage with a fair number of subs.
Not sure this works because (a) you’re devoting time and effort on guys you’ll never see again and (b) if one of them gets injured (hi, Jamal Sampson!) you have to keep them around and on the payroll for a while.
If I had to guess – and right now it is a guess – there’ll be 15 guys at Carleton whenever we get to Carleton.
Hey, check out this boxscore and see if you see a familiar name.
So, I see from the various comments the past 24 hours that we have some people interested in political history – especially that of the United States – here.
Seriously, where else can you get info on Sioux Falls pre-season games and a mini-debate on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution?
Oh, on an entirely related note, can you gals and guys send some questions so I can get a mailbag together for one of the next few days. Thanks.
I’m ArgoBoy yesterday (check out this piece of CFL scribbling if you don’t believe me) and I have to say, it’s quite a cool gig.
You get to sit outside on what was a glorious day watching a full practice (if I had any idea what I was seeing, it probably would have been really good) and there’s just a nice, relaxed atmosphere around there. A very nice way to spend a summer work day.
And it beats sitting on the concourse of the Air Canada Centre for a couple of hours every morning waiting for Raptors practice to end.
I always get the question: Why do NBA teams close practices to the media (except for the final half hour, when we usually get into to see shooting drills and free-throw shooting contests) when all the other sports open theirs? You can watch a whole Leaves practice, see everything the Argos do and sit in the dugout and watch batting practice ‘til your eyes glaze over.
The main one is teams want some semblance of privacy to allow coaches to bark at their players using whatever colourful language they like and to allow players to, um, get after each other if they want without having every move chronicled. It’s the way it’s been for about forever and it’s not going to change.
Brendan Malone, at the urging of bosses who weren’t entirely sure if the people talking and writing about the Year 1 Raptors knew whether a ball was blown up or stuffed, did let us in to watch every minute of practice if we wanted. And I can honestly say, by March if we saw one more three-man weave, it was time to gouge out our eyes with a spoon.