Time to get back to normal
Man, it’s late.
Sorry, folks, long night of typing and chatting. Stuff happens.
I’m sure you’ve all been waiting breathlessly, so …
Someone was asking me Sunday night about the feasibility of an all-star game in Toronto.
Yes, the city’s great and has lots of hotel space and convention floor space and clubs and restaurants and there’d be every chance it’d be warmer there than it was in Dallas.
The issue is the Air Canada Centre.
It’s a good building, with good seats for fans in a nice downtown location and most things work well in it.
But it’s too small. No back-of-house space.
Heck, there aren’t even enough dressing rooms for the folks who sing and dance, let alone all the stuff they bring with.
Honestly, the scope of this all-star thing is huge; people, props, stuffed animals, more people and props. The Air Canada Centre, for all its charms, simply doesn’t have the facilities to handle everything smoothly.
Heck, when the Raptors get into the playoffs, they have to feed the media in a hallway – single tables stretched out along a wall – because the joint can’t handle the extra people.
I can’t even guess what it’d be like with an all-star game and, if they apply, I bet the league would have some concerns.
Besides, we keep hearing that after Los Angeles next year, the new arena in Orlando might be a host and so, too, might New Orleans be so you could be looking 2014 at the earliest anyway.
Maybe Maple Leaf Sports applies and gets it for a long-off year and, who knows, maybe they do the Saturday at the ACC and the game at the dome but I’d be surprised.
Yes, I voted for Chris Bosh for MVP. Was the only one, too.
I figured 23 and 10 and the game-winning free throws for a hometown kid might be good enough.
Was checking in with Bryan on the weekend about trades – let’s just say he says things are pretty slow – and talk turns to him and the whole mess that was the alleged interest from him in Jersey.
Now, I never thought it was real anyway but I also thought they were hanging Rod Thorn out to dry pretty quickly. Here’s a guy who’s been a good GM (he put the team together that got to two NBA Finals) and a cheapskate owner more interested in Brooklyn than basketball kind of forced his hand on a couple of things.
Anyway, Bryan had this to say about that:
"I guess it's flattering to be mentioned for other jobs in such a limited space, but I also find it unfortunate for both my good friend Rod and my organization for anyone to speculate freely and erroneously that there's interest from either side."
That’s pretty well put.
And now, we can make that issue go away forever, right?
So what’s up for the Heroes Of The Hardcourt this week?
Well, if all of ‘em get back (and I’m constantly surprised that they can handle the rigours of commercial travel well enough to get back sometimes) they practice Monday night and Tuesday, host Memphis on Wednesday, go to Jersey on Friday and get back home for the Wizards on Saturday to finish three games in four nights.
I was talking to Chris after Sunday night’s game (you’ll read a lot more about it overnight here and in the paper) and he said his biggest worried is that they’ve lost the “edge” they had pre-break.
But I have to tell you, the kid’s got this attitude about him these days that means I don’t think he’ll “let” anyone take a step back.
He seems to be on some kind of mission to assert himself and I think they could run the table behind Bosh.
I’m trying to find a way to accurately describe that stadium we were in Sunday night.
And I can’t.
Really. Take whatever adjective you like – big, gargantuan, gigantic, over-the-top, monstrous – and it probably doesn’t do it justice.
Cavernous might be suitable.
The TV screen at midfield? You can’t imagine how big it is and how clear the picture is.
Here’s the thing: We went up one of the highest parts of the building to the football press box to have dinner before the game. The view of the field from there is pretty bad, actually, it’s a long, long, long way away but it doesn’t matter: You cannot divert your eyes from the screen. It simply dominates your vision and it’s like sitting in your living room watching stuff on the tube.
General consensus of the boys and girls I hang with at things like all-star weekend?
Average to below average, saved only because of the facility on Sunday.
Saturday was mind-numbing, Friday was typically without charm or substance and even the Sunday, close as it turned out to be, was pretty ho-hum.
Usually, there’s enough moments in the first three quarters to make you go ‘wow’ and then things get serious.
But even the first three quarters were dull in long stretches and the closeness of the game was sort of diminished by the fact that the only shots made down the stretch, it seemed, were free throws.
Which brings us to
Three favourite moments, in reverse order:
Walking onto the field for the first time and being a bit awestruck.
Halftime listening to Alicia Keys.
Listening to Steve Nash talk about being Canadian.
The over-riding sense I got about impending league-wide trades – and I saw a few people but not an awful lot – is that Amar’e Stoudemire is on his way out of Phoenix but no one knows where.
What’s happening, I’m told, is that teams are trying to make sure they make their best offers since there’s a few of them in play and I bet Steve Kerr’s just sitting back and waiting.
Might make the middle of the week more interesting and I’m just glad none of this stuff has a direct impact on me.
Okay, late flight today – which lets me get all my typing done at a reasonable hour --