Of Rockets and the confusing world of business. Or, and some DWTS
I don’t know where you all are, but in these parts, the light show and thunder production and torrents of rain were pretty shocking. Violent even.
As a guy who once, in a former life as a newshound, had to cover the aftermath of tornadoes that hit in the Barrie area way back in the day, the pictures in the paper and the video on the news were shocking.
Hope everyone’s safe.
This is how the news of the day played in the Houston paper?
What kind of way is that to treat a guy? Seriously, I hope Pops goes on and has a long, productive and financially lucrative career in the NBA.
It just was never going to be here. It was apparent from the day the season ended through conversations I had with people all over the organization that it was a longshot – a huge longshot – that he’d get more than cursory interest from Toronto and was, at the very best, a fallback position if a lot of other things failed.
That’s not to say he can’t play, it’s just to say that people in the organization I speak to regularly didn’t see a way for him to play here.
And if you look at what they’ve done with that position, doesn’t it make sense? Reggie Evans is tougher and they needed tough; Rasho’s a veteran who knows how to play and what his limitations are, Amir Johnson is younger, bigger and may hold more promise; Patrick O’Bryant is younger, longer and was the beneficiary of having a guaranteed contract for exactly the same money.
It just wasn’t going to work here. Never was. Glad there’s closure, glad he’s got a gig.
If I knew anything about business, I’d know what this means, or at least I’d know a little bit more about what this means.
But from my quite limited knowledge, I’d suggest the empire’s doing quite well since the Teachers Pension Fund demands a certain return on its investments (someone correct me if I’m wrong but I think I read it’s somewhere around 20 per cent annually) and they wouldn’t be buying if they couldn’t get it.
The downside? Well, it seems to me that Maple Leaf Sports, because of that fiduciary demand of the Fund (you like that? Fiduciary? Pretty high falutin’, no?) pretty much exists just to make that money and if it means they ever have to cut corners to hit the number, they’ll cut corners.
I know anecdotally from people in basketball that the financial knife is being wielded – smaller, if any, raises for staff; budgets kind of frozen; corners cut where possible (Hi, RaptorsTV!). It’s not hugely serious, the basketball budget has allowed the president to spend right up to the tax level – which is exactly the same as it’s been for years and will put Toronto in the top 10 in NBA salaries once it’s all said and done.
And, I’m also told that the board would still consider – on a case-by-case basis – any thought of going over the tax threshold for the right piece, if it was available. I would guess, however, that it’d be a harder sell in these relatively tight economic times but the chance would still exist.
Okay, my head hurts from all this serious junk. On to other pursuits.
Hey, here’s one, in response to a couple of comments yesterday. I mentioned it there but I imagine there are some who don’t look.
All this kerfuffle about Carroll being a waste at the end of the bench in 2011 may not take this into consideration:
There could be so many roster spots open by that time – the contracts of Wright, Douby, Belinelli, Evans, Rasho, O’Bryant all expire in before the 2011 season rolls around – there could very well be a need for a guy to play a ninth, 10th or 11th man role.
Me? I’d be okay with a guy making less than $4 million in that situation.
Here’s the thing: No one knows for sure what might happen in the next two seasons, you don’t and I don’t and even Bryan doesn’t know with certainty. But having a relatively low-cost asset under contract can’t be a bad thing given that one of the alternatives will be going out shopping for players with unknown price tags.
Hey, you know I like Debi Mazar as the morning line DWTS favourite? Well, I’m told by someone more fanatical than I (Hi, Super Wife!) that she’ll be cutting the rug with that Maksim dude and that can't be a bad thing.
All the pretend games are over for the Canadas now after they were drubbed by what looks like a very potent Brazil team down in Puerto Rico last night.
What they’ve got left is a weekend of hard work to iron out whatever kinks Leo’s seen over the past three nights.
I’m not saying this is the biggest tournament the Canadian group’s ever been in but I am saying this: Failing to qualify for next year’s world will be a setback of Biblical proportions for a program that seems to be going in the right direction.
With the under-17s headed to the worlds last year, the under-19s having had some success on the global stage, it’s imperative that the senior team get back to the worlds so that the good people in charge of finding money to support these programs have something to take to the market.
The Canadians seem to have drawn the better of the groups going against Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uruguay and Puerto Rico – the other group has Brazil, Dominican Republic and Argentina as its three powerhouses – and that has to be a boon for the first round of play to build some momentum. The schedule looks like a help, too. After a first-day bye, they get Mexico, Virgin Islands, Uruguay before Puerto Rico and it may allow them to solidify a second-round berth quickly and take some pressure off.
I figure there’s no time for sleep what with all the suggestions for passing time in Vancouver, Whistler, Seattle and Victoria and now I’ve got to spend the weekend working out some kind of itinerary.
Just like last year going to Ottawa for camp, and just like 2007 when we had that time in Rome and Madrid, you folks answered the call and it’s much, much appreciated.
(And if it’s too personal for some, tough noogies).
Okay, get those cards and letters rolling in, I’ve got to figure out a weekend schedule that includes a Jays game tomorrow with the Yankees, a bash after and a Sunday with nothing to do while Super Family heads west and I get ready to go Monday but it’s got to include a lot of questions and answers.