There's no place like home
Super Dog’s glad to see everyone (not the least bit bitter at being left with the friendly, neighbourhood house-sitter, it seems), it was nice to back in the comfy, womfy confines of Casa Doug and now life, we hope, can return to normal.
As normal as it gets, I guess.
Funny thing about vacation, though. Just because you’re away it doesn’t mean the grass doesn’t grow or the bills don’t come in the mail or that life suspends itself completely for a week or so. Guess that means there’s stuff to do today, along with trying to ferret out news and watch Canada-Brazil.
Speaking of …
What now for Canada? Well, a miracle might help.
|Don't count on a wild card spot for Canada at the worlds.|
Seriously, as we mentioned yesterday, it’s probably going to take three wins in four second-round games to make it to the semifinals and the loss yesterday to Argentina – where they didn’t play horribly and we simply beaten by a better team – was probably a killing blow.
There is a way – a longshot of all longshots – for Canada to qualify even if they finish out of the top four in Argentina but I certainly wouldn’t bank on it.
FIBA, in an effort to give relative developing nations a chance to “grow the game” has left open four “wild card” spots for next year’s tournament in Turkey.
But, here’s the gig.
If you’re FIBA, won’t you give one to Africa, where the game is truly just developing, maybe another to Asia and one to Europe because the seventh best team at EuroBasket probably deserves it.
And let’s say that leaves one for FIBA Americas. Do you give it to Canada, a country that hasn’t played in a significant senior international event since the 2002 world championships, where they finished 13th out of 16 countries? I’d be surprised, actually.
I’m desperately trying to come up with some Raptors news, or at least something marginally interesting you might not know and, frankly, I’m out of stuff at the moment.
Wish it wasn’t so, and maybe things will change once I really get back in the swing of things talking to people in the organization but we’re in that dead zone where players are just getting ready to drift back into town and the GM’s busy thinking about the season rather than continuing the demolition of his roster.
Almost five hours in seat 21D with two fighting siblings in 22C and E and a newborn in 20E and a gaggle of screaming urchins in my left ear makes a flight home a very, very, very, very long.
(I know kids will be kids, especially ones about two or three years old but surely to all that’s good in the world, parents need to exhibit some level of control over the urchins out of simple respect for the other 150 people trapped in the airplane. It’s common courtesy and certainly not too much to ask. Oh yeah, the kicking of the seat back? That sucks, too. End of rant).
However, the never-ending journey was made slightly more bearable by the presence of a copy The Breaks Of The Game, the excellent David Halberstam tome about the Portland Trail Blazers that, to me, is the gold standard of Season In The Life Of … writing.
And where does one pick up a copy to replace a long lost one?
Well, at the Elliott Bay Book Store, one of the all-time great bookstores I’ve ever been in; a reason to wander around the lower part of downtown Seattle. Makes one long for the Sonics, indeed.
Why do I think Ricky Rubio played David Kahn like a fiddle through this entire buyout-no buyout, come-not come schmozzle that seems to have finally ended? Why do I think Ricky – and his agent – used the Timberwolves as leverage to get out of his Joventut contract so he could sign with Barcelona with no intention of even thinking about the NBA for two more seasons?
I think Rubio’s a unique talent who will have a great NBA career, there just seems to be something special about his game. However, he hasn’t distinguished himself at all during this whole process.
But it seems he got what he wanted, two more years in Europe, a manageable buyout at that time and it would not surprise me in the least if his rights don’t get traded by Kahn sometime before the 2011 season arrives.
Let’s do one out of the early mail:
Q: About a month ago Jose mentioned in an interview that his leg injury was still healing. Do you know if it has healed? Is their a chance that it won't heal and he'll need surgery?
CJ L, London
A: When I spoke to him early this summer, whenever it was that Bosh was over at his camp, his leg was fine, his finger (on which he had minor surgery after the season) was fine. There is no chance either won’t heal and will require further surgery.
Oh, if you get a chance to hear Jimi Hendrix cover Like A Rolling Stone from the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival, do it. Sitting and listening at the Experience Music Project at Seattle Centre (Thanks, Paul Allen!) was tres cool.
Hey, did you hear they’re having the Olympics out in the Vancouver area? Like next year or something.
Well, having seen a whole bunch of the facilities – the sliding area at Whistler, the ski jump hill, at least parts of the downhill course, I presume, while going peak to peak at Whistler-Blackcomb – it seems to me everything’s under control.
One debate I’ve heard waged among the brethren and sisteren who’ll actually go cover the big event is whether you’d like to spend the entire Games in Whistler or Vancouver or travel to and fro as required.
Trust me, folks (and I say this with all due respect to Vancouverites), I’d get my butt to Whistler and stay ensconced up there for as long as I could.
It’s nice, the venues are relatively close together and if anyone’s thinking it’s going to be easy getting back and forth from Vancouver, they’re nuts.
Okay, so they show some old episodes of Mad Men on the miniature TV screens on the seat back in front of you and as I’m watching one, the one dude looks familiar.
Check the deep, dark recesses of my mind and it seems the guy who plays Sal from the art department was the guy who worked as a “celebrity bartender” one night when I was hanging in the lobby bar of the team hotel in New Orleans
Mixed a mean martini, as I recall.
But no re-runs of 30 Rock on the system, That bites.