All in their places with bright, shiny faces. Or something like that
I know, we’ll all miss having the urchins under foot and bored like they have been for the past couple of weeks now that they’re back in school but there is something, oh, I dunno, liberating about seeing them trundle off, isn’t there?
Super Son’s off to begin Grade 8, in The Big Class On Campus and all I can really think of is, Grade Freaking Eight? How old am I?
Nevertheless, this is one of those watershed days of the year, no? Kids gone, summer kind of over, time to get back into that workaday routine some of us have forgotten over the course of very lazy August.
Which means back to the office every now and then to figure out how the heck we’re going to cover this team this year.
I miss summer already.
I saw with a bit of wonderment the quote attributed to Leo Rautins about possibly adding – specifically – Nash, Bonner and Magloire – to next year’s Canadian national team and it struck me as odd.
Not once in the many times we’ve spoken this summer, not just to Leo but to Wayne Parrish and others connected with the organization, did Nash’s name ever surface.
Well, I’m told by people who were in the press conference room in San Juan, and people I trust beyond a shadow of a doubt, that something got mangled in the translation, that in fact Leo lauded the team he had this year, said it was about them and not guys who weren’t there and never mentioned those three as close to possibilities, let alone definites.
I love Steve Nash and all but this is now about building a program, not living in the past.
There’s no doubt he’d help – he is a singular talent, after all – but if you’re looking forward, you need to have kids gain as much international experience as they can.
Even with Nash, I don’t see Canada being a top eight country, top 16 might be a more realistic goal and letting some of the young players who are the future of the program gain some much-needed experience is the way to go, in my opinion.
Consider it some short-term pain for long-term gain; taking dead aim at the 2012 Olympics – which are exponentially more difficult to qualify for with a smaller field – and the 2014 world championships is what has to be the main focus now.
Forget for a minute that Nash has long said he’s done, that he’s got family considerations and he’ll be 36 years old when the tournament rolls around next summer. This shouldn’t be about a one-shot deal grasping at some world championships ring, it has to be about the future and Steve’s not part of it, at least not on the court.
So I’m clicking through the dial last night and what do I come across? The very first Naismith Cup game in Winnipeg.
Vincenzo, Oliver Miller, an aging Byron Scott in Vancouver, Big Country Reeves and some of the most gawdawful uniforms in the history of uniforms.
A couple of things stand out in the recesses of the memory of that game.
It’s over and it’s time to present the Cup and they trot out this huge table, had to be 15 feet long, and then they bring out the trophy, with a base that’s maybe – tops – 18 inches across. Man, did it look cheap.
That, and the arrival of Harold (Baby Jordan) Minor, who had been obtained in a trade for Victor Alexander, only to have the trade rescinded when Victor flunked his physical. We were something of neophytes when it came to the intricacies of the NBA, at least I was, and it was hard to figure out how a trade could be made an unmade.
Oh, and in one of the brief minutes I stayed with the game, I did hear Leo laud the shooting skills of Vincenzo, which I guess made sense since we had been told how good he was. They didn’t fool us for very long, that’s for sure.
Back to the potential Canada add-ons for next summer.
To tell you the truth, I’m a bit ambivalent, the same way I was about Chris Kaman all of a sudden becoming German, or J.R. Holden becoming Russian, both out of convenience.
I understand Bonner married a Toronto woman and loves the city and his shooting skills as a big man can only help.
But, again, for how long?
If he’s going to come, and his interest is genuine, I’d like to see them get a three-year commitment out of him – the worlds, the Olympic qualifier in 2011 and, perhaps, the 2012 London Games – before rolling out the red carpet.
You check out anything from Eurobasket yesterday?
Spain’s upset by Serbia was the big news of the day – think any Spanish fans were lamenting the absence of Jose after they scored only 57 points? – but remember this: Three teams from each group advance to the next round, where things will really start to get important.
Oh, and Hedo had a big game for Turkey, even the estimable duo of The Legend and Robert Archibald couldn’t lead Britain to any substantial upset and Roko got his team off and running
Here’s the official site and we’ll get much more in-depth as the tournament goes on because it really doesn’t start until the second round.
I honestly think Jamaal’s major contribution to the program going into next year will be as a supporter rather than as a player. Magloire’s still highly, highly respected by a large segment of the Toronto basketball community and if he can preach the gospel of the national team, it may give some kids who are waffling about committing a reason to get with the program.
Can he play? Probably. Will he make a huge on-court difference? I’m not entirely sure about that.
You wonder where everyone connected with the Raptors has been?
I heard Alvin Williams was out in LA working out some players, Bryan and some of his henchmen will be in Poland to check out Eurobasket and the rest of the coaches are headed back into town this week to get ready for the arrival of various players.
All right, be careful out there today, there are little people cluttering the highways and biways.