Getting ready to get going for real
Welcome back, kids.
First day about to unfold after some leftovers from a rather uneventful media day.
We’re going to keep going with the usual pap and drivel here each morning but if you’ve got suggestions, I’ll be glad to listen to ‘em. Can’t promise we’ll implement any or all of them but, what the heck, may as well hear what the people want.
What did we learn yesterday?
Not a whole lot, actually.
Bosh is noticeably bigger (the 20 pounds seem concentrated on his upper body and arms), Rasho’s waif (yes, you can be a 7-foot waif) and Hedo talks really, really slowly (which is good for those of us who have to take notes when he talks or transcribe tape of his conversations).
Other than that?
It was pretty much the same old, same old, which is kind of surprising given the number of new faces traipsing around the atrium eating hot dogs for part of the afternoon.
The quote that could come back to haunt. It’s Bryan’s:
“Are (we) shooting for a target of 50 (wins)? Yeah, I think that’s what we should be realistically looking at.”
Now, it’s not like a bold prediction or a guarantee or anything but, frankly, I’m fine with it and I think others should be, too.
There’s no problem with setting a bar high and putting some pressure on some people. I’d much rather have a coach or a player or a general manager say something worthwhile instead of the usual drivel about working hard, coming together and seeing what happens.
Is 50 realistic? Well, no one knows but it’s a nice round number to shoot for. So why not say it? We chastise people for saying nothing far too often, we should welcome it when something’s uttered that’s got some juice to it.
|TARA WALTON/TORONTO STAR|
|Which one's Abbott?|
It appears the Rowan and Martin or Martin and Lewis or Abbott and Costello of this collection of Raptors may be the old college buddies.
Jarrett Jack on Chris Bosh’s dreadlocks:
“The next order of business is to get him to cut them off.”
Chris Bosh on Jarrett Jack’s high comedy:
“It’s just Jarrett being Jarrett. He’s just mad because he can’t grow hair.”
Hey, I didn’t say it was knee-slapping funny.
I’m asking the coaching staff who they think the surprise of the pre-season is going to be, the guy who impresses and makes people sit up and take notice.
Marco Belinelli, in a tight race over Reggie Evans.
Each brings something this team needed.
The word is Belinelli’s got a flare for the game, just a style that excites.
Evans? He’s as tough as a $2 steak. And tough is not something this team had in abundance last year. Or the year before. Or the year before. Or the year before, now that I think of it.
If that under-construction ink on Chris Bosh’s back says I (Heart) New York, we’re in for a very long season.
My abject apologies for that training camp faux pas yesterday.
Speaking of training camp in Waterloo (which is not Kitchener and should never be called Waterloo and I should be severely chastised for doing it) as part of our never-ending pursuit of trivial stories to pass on, we present: One Day At Raptors Camp, I
One thing we’re pretty good at as a group of making fun of each other, or whatever we want to mock, good naturedly, of course. And, of course, you get all kinds of media at these things that you might not see during the regular season.
So we’re sitting around the RIM Park place (it’s in Waterloo, dummy!) busting on each other and whatever, an old grunt who’s gone on to Hollywood fame and fortune comes back in from outside, where there’s a vehicle all decked out and painted with Raptors colours and logos.
It stands out, to say the least.
It is, good naturedly of course, a perfect target for cynical old goofs:
“Hey, Smith, is that your truck out there?”
Much laughter (the last thing any of us would do is show the colours, so to speak) until a voice comes from the media room.
Seems the hard-working young fella (and a bit an over-exuberant member of the media, apparently) was sitting right across from us in the media room.
Sheepish look on older grunts.
What’s up today, you ask?
Two practices scheduled, 9-11 and 5-7 and a whole lot of teaching.
And that will include the two achy Raptors, Bosh and Turkoglu.
Bosh won’t do anything but he’ll be next to the court listening and, hopefully for them, learning, and if Turk only goes through one workout – which I believe will be the plan – he’s going to go through the one that’s instruction rather than scrimmages.
It’s not a perfect situation but, really, it’s not that big a deal if two guys don’t do both first-day workouts.
It was a rather uneventful train ride to Ottawa last night, even if the wireless kept going in and out, which made it quite difficult to keep up with comments, stories and, you know, the world.
And luckily nothing happened like last year when we were about at Coburg Cobourg (I flunked geography) when we got the news Nate Jawai had a wee ticker issue and was going to miss camp.
Guess that didn’t turn into a huge, long-term issue for the Raptors, did it? Here we are a mere year later and everyone’s forgotten about the young fella.
It was an eventful arrival, though, and pardon the digression into Doug World.
Arrive at less-than-ritzy Courtyard (one elevator of two out of commission, somewhat drab surroundings), get key, go to room in somewhat of a hurry because there are fellow grunts at some tiny place at Bay and Albert and we need to have a pre-camp meeting.
Put key in door, open it, see TV on, clothes on chair and then get greeted by a rather startled guest who, I have to say, had malice aforethought for the intruder.
Beat hasty retreat, apologizing as I go, return to desk, find out they gave me wrong key and think, ‘well, this pre-season’s off to a rousing start.’
Speaking of out, I keep hearing Pub Italia is a good spot? That true if a guy’s looking to hang sometime this week? The market, where I’m ensconced once again, is all right but it’s time to venture out in the city, I believe.
Speaking of Nate, I’m sure you’ve all heard he’s got a familiar face to hang around with down in Dallas?
The Mavs have signed Jake Voskuhl to a training camp contract. Not much of a chance Jake makes it, the Mavs have like 16 guys under contract already, but maybe someone sees him and offers him another one-year gig.
Five things you didn’t hear at any of the media days around the league yesterday:
“We’ve got no shot, I have no idea what we’re doing here.”
“Help the team whatever way I can? I’m here to help me whatever way I can.”
“Oh yeah, it’s a great city. Was probably in the top 15 on my list.”
“Sure, coach is a great guy. As long as I get my touches.”
“I got great teammates, just let me figure out what their names are.”