Andrea, Danilo and all of Italy will be watching (or not)
Wonder if they’ll set up giant screens in the piazzas? Doubt it.
But still …
At least they won’t play the same cheesy music they did here in the Vincenzo Era. At least I hope they don’t.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a Roman influence to tonight’s big tilt at the World’s Most Over-Rated Arena and it’s the one thing I’ll be quite interested in seeing when I’m watching the game (more on that later).
Andrea vs. Danilo.
Seven-foot set-shooter vs. 6-10 shooter for bragging rights.
It will undoubtedly set off a round of Which Guy From Italy Is Better discussions and let’s just say right now there is no clear winner.
Bargnani has been emerging this season as a very good player, his offensive game is expanding, his defence is improving and, yes, he’s even getting on the boards every now and then.
Gallinari’s good, at least he’s been in the few Knicks games I’ve seen, but he’s different than his compatriot. He does more things now than Bargnani did at the same stage of his career and to compare games is actually unfair to both.
Let’s call it a tie at the moment, with the slight edge to the Toronto guy and I don’t think tonight solves anything.
Here’s one for you, though.
Given the Knicks play at a rather frenetic pace and a somewhat helter-skelter, drive-and-kick style quite unlike any other NBA team, I can see the other guy from Italy – the rather frenetic and somewhat helter-skelter Marco Belinelli – stealing the show.
As far as I can tell, an entire day went by yesterday without one breathless report suggesting this team or that is interested in Chris Bosh.
Thank heaven for small mercies.
But you know it’s coming. This morning, no doubt.
I will say this for Chris, though.
For all the crap that’s been swirling around, about this summer’s free agency mainly but about trade chatter as well, he’s handled it like a true professional and far, far, far better than, say, the guy in Cleveland or the fellow down in Miami.
He’s been steadfast in his public belief that it’s not something he thinks about, he’s never once tweaked the fans here by suggesting some other city is Nirvana, he hasn’t once worn a silly shoe with I (Heart) Dallas on it or anything. He hasn’t been openly suggesting he’s open to suggestions.
He’s been polite when asked but consistent.
And guys like me appreciate that.
I’ll say what I’ve said since, oh, the start of last season: I truly and honestly believe he’s not sure what he wants to do but I also truly and honestly feel there’s a far better chance he’s a Raptor next fall than many others do.
It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the summer but that’s when it has to play out and the way he’s handled it so far has been first-class.
Speaking of New York, readers of Mr. Isola got to read this today.
Someone mentioned the mail link was down for a while yesterday? Well, I’ve passed that on to the powers that be just now and I presume they’ll get it fixed forthwith.
And when they do, click on it (it's at the top right of the blog, I believe) and send a question; the mail’s really slow.
(Note: In trying to fix the mail form, we have changed the link. Click here for the new Raptors mail form).
That DeRozan fella has some confidence, doesn’t he?
Gets in the dunk contest to get into the dunk contest – I still don’t quite understand that – and tells me he plans not only to win that, but to win the whole shebang.
I’m not a big fan of dunk contests as some of you may know. The Vince one way back in the day was something to behold, now it’s degenerated into an hour of fixed schtick it seems.
Superman capes, human props, theatrics.
I don’t know what the NBA can do to jazz it up, I suspect nothing really, so maybe the kid can at least add some local juice to it for us.
I will say this: Friday night of all-star weekend is generally a night to do social networking, not watch the idiocy of the rookie-sophomore thingy (it was so much better when it was Phenoms vs. the Sensations). But, alas, not this year.
Oh, you learn about the contestants in real contest next week, I hear.
I’d like to think that the latest installment of the Gilbert Arenas gun story – which you can read right here – will put an end to this whole affair.
We are just beginning folks, no matter what plea Gil comes up with in court today and what the judge ultimately sentences him to.
A felony conviction paves the way for the Wizards to initiate the process of voiding his contract; it will, I’m sure, also pave the way for the players’ union to fight to have the terms of the deal honoured.
I have no idea how that will ultimately play out but I do know some people who will be watching intently: Other owners and the NBA honchos who are in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
If this contentious issue isn’t resolved to their satisfaction, I can certainly see the “morals clause” or some other language being built into the next CBA that might make it more clear-cut, and easier, for teams to walk away from contracts in instances like this.
That may ultimately be the best legacy of this whole sordid affair.
I’d love to tell you that airport security – all the dozen layers – was a snap and I was at the gate way too early because it was like the olden days.
Super Grandma lost a long, hard fight last night and has gone to be with her husband; Super Wife lost a mom, Super Son lost a grandmother and if there’s been a crappier three months in their lives, I can’t imagine when it was.
Anyway, I’m not in New York and services are still pending so I don’t know how much I’ll be around these parts the next few days. I’m guessing that be dropping into post comments and whiling away time late at night doing mail and usual stuff might work but I don’t think I can chat today or do the game thingy here tonight; I’m sure you understand.
Talk to you periodically during the day.