A late game and an early flight mean that Doug Smith won't be able to do his usual post this morning. He'll be back soon.
A late game and an early flight mean that Doug Smith won't be able to do his usual post this morning. He'll be back soon.
Ready for another ride on the rollercoaster?
Look at it this way, at least they’re still eighth, right?
And there are still 18 games to go in the regular season. Imagine the angst that can be felt over that period of time?
Anyway, very short night, very long day ahead. But this is for you.
Oh, he’s ticked all right.
I’ve seen Chris Bosh in a lot of moods over the years but I don’t recall him ever being as angry – publicly – than he was Saturday night.
Good for him.
I’ve always thought him to be a bit too publicly passive when dealing with issues of his team’s play and effort, it was nice to hear him grumble for a change.
And to suggest that maybe the players need to be more accountable. And better.
“I’m glad I’m not the coaches, I wouldn’t know what to do either. I don’t know how many times you can change it, I don’t know how many speeches you can give, I don’t know how many lineup changes there can be, I don’t know.
“The coaches can only do so much, we have to take control of this because time is ticking. It’s counting down and if we keep playing like we are now we’re going to be on the outside looking in.”
Now, this all has to be tempered at least a little bit by the fact his own play has been far from exemplary since he’s come back from the ankle.
He was too jump-shot happy in Sacramento and simply not up to game speed against the Lakers or the Sixers.
But there were signs Saturday that he’s coming around. He had 10 free throw attempts, first time in a long time he’s been to the line that often in the game and he shot better than 50 per cent from the field.
And in the how-stats-don’t-tell-the-whole-story thingy, his six turnovers were a lot but don’t forget that three of them came in the first quarter, when we can all agree the Raptors dominated.
Play for Andrea
We’ll get into this a bit more in the story that we call the “plugger,” which is the first edition yarn for tomorrow that can’t include a game result because of deadline but we’ll touch on it here.
It’s in the third quarter, the meltdown hadn’t been total yet and the Raptors were within six coming out of a timeout.
Usually, that signals a play called for Chris Bosh or at least with Turk running something off a high screen but not last night.
It was a post play for Andrea, and I don’t recall too many times this year that they’ve come out of timeouts and run stuff specifically for him. I’m sure it’s happened once or twice but that’s certainly not the norm.
Anyway, he didn’t score but it did speak to something Jay had mentioned at shootaround Sunday morning – that perhaps they had to d a better job of running specific stuff for Bargnani.
A lot of times, like the third quarter in Sacramento the other night, a hot start for Bargnani is sometimes wasted because he just doesn’t get enough shots.
In Sacramento, it had to do with Chris holding the ball a few seconds too long on about three of the first four possessions, and sometimes it’s on the point guards who look inside instead of out.
And sometimes, it’s on Bargnani, too. He’s floats a lot on offence, kind of hanging around the perimeter uninvolved but they know there’s an issue there and are going to try to correct it.
No time for Marco
Six and a half minutes, a couple of missed shots, a couple of steals and, as Jay said after the game: “They went right at him one-on-one every time.” Yes, Marco Belinelli’s return to Golden State was not quite what a lot people hoped.
And with it being time to shorten the rotation rather than lengthen it, I don’t imagine we’ll see Marco again for a good long time, barring an injury to one of the wings that moves him from fifth to fourth on the depth chart.
A bit more?
Sure, why not. It’s a nice quiet day.
You know, if the Warriors had more than 18 wins, it’d be a fun team to watch every night for a fan, I’d believe.
Of course, Nellie can do some weird and wonderful things with his lineup and heaven knows he’s had his share of run-ins with his players, but they do play fast, they play with enthusiasm and they get up a lot of shots.
Kind of the anti-Raptors.
Speaking of the Warriors, here’s how the win played out in the papers today.
I have no idea why I’m bringing this up today given the circumstances of last night but what the heck.
Regardless of what happens the rest of the season, the Raptors own the tiebreaker with Chicago and Miami because they’ve beaten each of them twice with one game left and they can even the season series with Charlotte by beating the Bobcats down later this month.
That would move the tiebreaker between Toronto and Charlotte to conference records; right now the Raptors are 23-18 against the East and the Bobcats are 19-19.
Oh, and all the chatter about fifth should be made with this in mind: The Raptors have already lost the season series to the Bucks.
Things you see on the Streets of San Francisco:
(Besides Karl Malden, that is)
A dog – a rather harmless looking dog – sitting on Powell Street just after midnight, its owner obviously somewhere in the vicinity, holding a hand-written cardboard sign in its mouth:
(Bleep wasn’t exactly what the sign said but this is a family area and I can’t use the actual word. I believe some of you might get my drift)
“Bleep you, give me a dollar. It’s St. Patrick’s Day.”
Super Dog would not be impressed.
I’m guessing this happens sometime early in Wednesday’s game and Chris Bosh will have done something else no Raptor has ever done.
He needs 31 points to go pass 10,000 for his career, a nice round number for the guy who’s already the franchise’s leading scorer.
Oh yeah, Portland.
Good team playing well, home and rested and getting a group of disgruntled Raptors on the second end of a back-to-back.
Yeah, that’s got close game written all over it, doesn’t it?
Probably will be, though, with the way things are going these days.
Anyway, here’s what the folks out there read this morning.
Things you see on the streets of Portland
(Besides puddles of rain, that is)
A few thousand runners taking part in something called The Shamrock Run, which is playing havoc with the street right outside the hotel, delaying access for a guy going on about 45 minutes sleep.
Fit people and I have issues.
The grand plan was to do a game story for the web, finish off the mailbag and do the usual pap and drivel for the morning before heading up to Portland from San Francisco.
And except for the whole needing-a-little-sleep-because-I'm-not-as-young-as-I-once-was thing, it might have been doable.
Toss in the silly notion of changing time and there was no way.
So excuse the tardiness but we're looking at between 1 and 2 Eastern time before the daily fare is there for your consumption.
Trust me, it's worth it.
(I keed, I keed).
But that does give some of you to sharpen the knives, if not the wit, and I cannot to see what kind of insightful commentary we'll get off that one.
(Actually, I can wait)
Talk to you from Portland and don't forget to plan your night around the in-game blog; you'll be glad you did.
Honestly. You will.
Well, you’ve done it again, folks.
Probably too much here but what the heck, you’ve got all week to wade through it.
Q: Dear Mr. Smith, One of my colleagues just told me he was listening to a popular Toronto sports radio show a day ago and the host said that there is a conflict between Bosh and Triano, that Triano has been directed not to criticize Bosh in any way about play, and that the two are not getting along. As far as you know, is there any truth to this?
In understand you are not necessarily a Raptors fan. I think it would be easier to be such, as this is a pretty frustrating time for us "diehards.”
Good blog. I like your calm approach.
Michelle P, Toronto
A: It may be popular but it doesn’t have that quite right. I’m around this team six, seven days a week, talk to Jay and Chris pretty much every day and not only have I never seen a “conflict” I actually see a mutually respectful relationship.
Does the coach get mad when Bosh makes a bad play? Sure. Just as I’m sure Chris gets miffed at Jay every now and then. But there’s nothing there.
And it is not in Jay’s nature to publicly criticize any player but to suggest he’s been told not to by someone above him is also wrong.
Q: First, I thoroughly enjoy your blog (the only sports blog I read), and greatly appreciate your analysis and your tone: astute, knowledgeable, sensible, and entertaining. My question: Since these slumps involve a considerable lack -- for disastrous lengths of time -- of effort, intensity, urgency, and commitment to the fundamentals you mention (moving the ball, moving without the ball, getting back & slowing the ball & rotating & closing out on defense), what can the coaching staff do? Change the starting line-up, as you suggest. What else? In other words, how do you coach, and/or inspire, consistent effort and intensity?
Richard L, Charlottetown
A: You know coaches have to do more than anything: Teach. They have to keep hammering home the points that need hammering through video sessions where they show specific examples, walk-throughs on the court to repeatedly show players where they need to be and by letting them scrimmage and stopping the play when things are done wrong.
It’s not really sexy and not at all ground-breaking but incessant teaching and talking and showing works best, as we saw when things got turned around so well in December and January from the horror that was November.
Q: Hi Doug - when is the Grunt's Guide to NBA Cities being published? You know, good places to enjoy a refreshing beverage. On that note, I'm heading to San Francisco in the near future. It would be great to hear any recommendations you might have.
Andrew S, Toronto
A: That’d be a heck of a guide, maybe I can do something on each city before I go.
But when you come here, if you don’t have dinner at Scoma and Tomaso’s, dim sum at one of the zillion places in Chinatown, Irish coffee at the Buena Vista and take a walking-riding tour on the cable cars, you will have done yourself a disservice.
Q: Here's wishing you a good trip out West, Doug. May you bring a steadying influence to our team on its current road trip.
Q: I find myself thinking about Chauncey Billups. Many commentators now attribute much of Denver's excellent and improved play to Chauncey. Last night as the game went south vs. Sacramento in the 3rd quarter I found myself thinking, where is our "Chauncey"?
Can you help us understand what a guy like Billups is actually doing when he communicates such a steadying influence on the court during a game? Is it body language? Are certain specific skills in evidence?
What exactly is "that?”
Who on our team can perhaps become "that?” We need it badly in order to make a good run for a playoff spot.
Charles N, Toronto
A: It’s a “calm” that guys like Chauncey bring and I can’t think of a better way to put it. I guess the specific skills would be making sure the right guy in the right matchup got the ball at the right time to stop a run or settle a team down.
But it’s really a combination of body language, not getting ruffled, a quiet confidence displayed that things will be all right that separate guys like Billups from the rest.
I think it has to come from the point guard and while Jose and Jarrett have played well at time, I don’t think either have enough of that leadership yet. I do think it can be developed through experience and age, just like Chauncey never really had it until he landed in Detroit.
Q: Hi Doug, I recently read an interesting piece about the Pistons' struggles this season. Some former players said they felt that the team's free agent acquisitions, Gordon and Villanueva, as shot-happy, weak defenders, weren't 'true Pistons'. There was agreement that, spanning different eras, Pistons were meant to reflect the city they play with a tough, no-frills style of play._Can you envision a day when the Raptors have this kind of clear identity, where it means something specific to be a Raptor? What would the characteristics be?
Steven B, Toronto
A: I wish I could but I can’t, to tell you the truth. Of course, this franchise is still a relatively young 15 years old and it’s not like the Pistons were the Bad Boys forever. I guess right now, Toronto would be known as an under-achieving, middling team populated by nice guys who aren’t mentally tough enough.
Q: Hey Doug, I can't really call myself a "hardcore" Raptors fan, I used to live in Toronto and watched them a lot then, but I do occasionally watch them on the internet as I still like the team--kinda hard to catch TSN2 in Malta.
I agree with you that this is a playoff team, maybe a 5th place team, and that this team is in that second tier of teams after the Lakers, Celtics and Magic (the true contenders).
Before I continue, I want to assume that Bosh stays. It makes the analysis of where this team is going easier than having to guess what is coming back and other FA's coming in if he goes. I want him to stay. I think we're in bad shape if he goes.
So, given all of this, how does this team improve and leap into contender status while having so much money committed to the team next year? You've already come out and said this core of players (Bosh, Bargnani, Calderon) is good enough to win as long as we surround them with other good players. But, how do you surround them with good players when there is so much money committed to them, and now Hedo, without going over the tax threshold? I just don't see how we are able to keep all these players and add others and not go over the tax threshold and become contenders. Unless we trade some of them, but again, you've stated we shouldn't.
Where am I wrong in my thinking? I seek the advice of someone who has clearly shown he knows basketball.
Lude B, Birkirkara, Malta
A: This might be our first Malta question, thanks.
It’s pretty simple: Aside from internal improvement – and I think the likes of DeRozan, Bargnani, Jack and Calderon can get better – they are going to have to go into the tax threshold, either for one guy on a mid-level deal or a couple who split it. And I know Bryan has made that case to the board. It’ll be up to the people who hold the pursestrings to make that happen.
Q: Mr. Smith. I liked the Carlos Rogers story. How much fan adoration have you noticed the players enduring, and how often does it get that ridiculous?
Reminds me of when women would run onto the field just to get close to Dave Stieb.
Sean S, Brooklyn
A: I haven’t seen an awful lot with this group but I tell you, at the heart of Vinsanity, it was like travelling with a rock band. No matter what time of night the team would arrive at a hotel, there’d be autograph seekers; they’d be there in the morning before shootaround and at the team bus after games. It was wild for a stretch.
Everyone still awake?
This should keep you up, we could be looking at some pretty big scoring numbers tonight.
So, how’s eighth place feel?
Yeah, didn’t think it’d feel that good.
Oh well, maybe it won’t last long.
It seems no changes are coming.
Or maybe there are.
Jay was quite ambiguous when we asked about the possibilities of doing something after practice Friday, a session that included a good long look at some video and an hour or so on the court.
“We didn’t make any decision right now.”
What’s that mean? Well, what I think is happening is that he’d like to do something but he’s not sure what.
It’s not like Jose’s going great guns and far out-playing Jarrett and Antoine Wright hasn’t made a shot in about a week so it’s tough to do him for DeMar.
And, yes, Hedo’s been awful but it’s not like there’s a Hall of Famer waiting in the wings to replace him and if you take Hedo out, what’s the long-term implications?
Tough calls, all of ‘em, and that’s why there may not be any alterations.
“I don’t think anybody played themselves into a spot or out of. Or maybe too many guys played themselves out of spots and not enough guys played themselves into a spot.”
What they need, quite simply, is for Bosh and Turkoglu to play better than they did in Sacramento. If they do, they’ll have a chance to win; if they don’t, it’s going to be extremely difficult.
Story time since we can’t keep hammering home roster moves, can we?
You know, a lot of stuff happens out here with the Raptors.
First year of the franchise, I’m working for Canadian Press and join the Raptors on a road trip out here so I can to up to Santa Clara and do a feature on this Nash kid.
Anyway, there are a couple of days off and they’re practicing at USF and Brendan Malone, bless his heart, used to let us sit in and watch practice, as long as we’re quiet as church mice.
So we’re sitting in the upper deck, quietly watching, when all of a sudden there’s a huge commotion courtside.
Some guy, and I gotta tell you, he looked rather, um, rough around the edges, comes wandering into the gym yelling:
“Carlos, my man. ‘Los! What’s up.”
Seems Carlos Rogers, who’d spent a year in Golden State, had made a friend who wanted to say hello.
I thought Brendan was going to strangle the guy, the team’s security officer at the time went racing down the stands to collar the interloper and Carlos was kind of standing there smiling.
Never saw the guy again, and never spoke at a practice, either.
And then there was the time on the same trip when …
A former Sun grunt and I are sitting in the lobby of the Fisherman’s Wharf Marriott, breaking down the day and, as they say, chilin’.
Well, what to our surprise do we see but John Salley, his bags packed, checking out, having just been released by the Raptors.
It’s way late so we’re not sure how much we can get written before various deadlines and John’s not in a chatty mood anyway.
I remember him getting into a cab as we’re trying to interview him and the last thing he says is:
“Tell the people I love ‘em.”
And then there was the time in 2004 when …
Friday, we’re reading the papers here and they’re going on about the fact the Warriors only scored nine points in the fourth quarter against Portland, not a team record for futility because they once scored two in a quarter in a game against Toronto.
I remember that night well, Raptors ended up winning the game in overtime, Mo Pete went nuts, and then they flew off to Phoenix for a game a couple of nights later.
And that, my friends, was the night a lamp gave its life to Kevin O’Neill’s anger; in that Warrior game, Jalen had broken a bone in his hand and the season was down the toilet.
So, too, was KO’s head coaching career as it turns out.
I notice Toronto’s minor league affiliate down in Erie has signed Mike Sweetney.
In a related news story, a couple of all-you-can-eat buffet joints have suspended operations.
Speaking of Golden State, here’s what was in the local papers this morning.
Wanna go all Basketball 101 for a minute? There’s a good chance you’re going to see a lot of zone defence from the Raptors tonight because they – like so many teams – are followers as much as anything.
And the other night, Portland played a fair bit of zone in a win over the Warriors because it allowed the Blazers to keep their big men on the court. That gave them a decided advantage on the offensive end, where they simply pounded the ball into the post against the smallish Warriors.
So you can see these guys doing the same thing with Bosh and Andrea and Jay even talked about that very thing yesterday afternoon.
Of course, the concern is that when the ball goes to Bosh he holds it too long like he did the other night in Sacramento but maybe he’ll figure out ball movement is the key to any success they’re going to have.
Okay, now I have to figure out when to do what, given the late game that I can only write for the web, an early flight and that whole stupid lose-an-hour time change thing that’s really going to screw me up.
Wish me luck.
At least shootaround’s pretty much next door and not over in Oakland, which may give me a chance to see the San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade which is apparently going to be in the neighbourhood.
Don’t forget, we’re back just before 10:30 East tonight for the in-game blog.
See ya then.
Man, it’s early out here.
Not an awful lot of stuff off Thursday, actually; long travel day for one of us, a day off for the guys who actually count.
But anyway …
You know what the worst possible thing for the Raptors might be right now?
The Golden State Warriors.
Really. A team with an unorthodox style of play, guys who don’t have a thing to play for except fun and frivolity and a coach who can run out combinations of players that would appear to make no sense whatsoever.
If there’s one thing Jay and his staff pride themselves on, it’s preparation, knowing what the other team likes to run, having counters for what they do and having stuff in on offence to exploit mismatches.
And I know yesterday they were a bit perplexed because you really have no idea what the Warriors will.
As one of ‘em put it:
“They don’t run anything. How do you prepare? You put your guys on the treadmill ‘cause all they’ll do is run you?”
And there’s the big issue – and the big danger – for Saturday night.
The Raptors aren’t a bad team and can be quite competitive when they get teams that play a more traditional, halfcourt style. Like the Lakers, or Cleveland, or Dallas or San Antonio or the like.
Teams like Golden State? Teams that go all helter-skelter? Not so much.
What’s why tomorrow could be 140-138.
This might have been a bit dicey.
When the Raptors arrived at their ritzy San Francisco hotel, they found the Portland Trail Blazers sitting there waiting.
Portland was in town to face Golden State over in Oakland on Thursday night.
Wonder if the Blazers looked oddly at Hedo when he was hanging around the lobby.
Oh, can we get a bit more mail over here. Thanks. With games Saturday and Sunday nights, not sure when I’ll get it up, it might end up being an early Sunday morning bonus.
More time for Marco?
Not sure right now how Marco’s back is – we won’t find out until much later today out here after practice – but if he’s okay, it’ll be interesting to see how Jay uses him tomorrow night against the Warriors.
You know how Jay likes to let players get a shot against their former team – to the point of getting Reggie Evans back a week earlier than expected so he could face the Sixers – and Marco has some history in Golden State.
Figure on Belinelli getting some early run, if he’s healthy.
Speaking of San Francisco, here’s what the Chronicle had off Thursday’s loss to Portland.
Buena Vista story time.
For those who don’t know it, it’s a San Francisco landmark known since 1952 for its Irish coffee; in fact, it boasts about having the finest brew this side of Ireland and they are very particular about how it’s made: Warm the glass first, fill three-quarters with hot water, two sugar cubes, a jigger of Irish Whiskey and topped with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream.
(Late add: Yes, they put some coffee in there, guess it doesn't go without saying)
Anyway, it’s a bit of a rundown place you have to see and last season, on an off-day here, one of the team’s broadcasters (who shall remain nameless) and I do our duty and show up.
So, as Jack (oops) and I are sitting there through three, four, maybe five of these concoctions we do what we do, strike up a conversation with the fella on the other side of the serving area, a guy who happened to a hoops fan. Blah, blah, blah, blah, we prattle on and take our leave.
Next night, Raptors play the Warriors and, if you recall, Jermaine O’Neal first was felled by a flu bug before banging knees with someone and sitting out a half.
But it’s the flu that we’re told is the reason he’s done.
Well, we get back a couple of days later and an e-mail arrives and it says something like:
“I see Jermaine didn’t play because of the flu. Hope he didn’t get the same kind of flu you and Jack might have had.”
It was from the Buena Vista bartender.
Here’s one thing to watch for Saturday night.
How they get along.
It seems to me there’s some more of the finger-pointing and subtle digs that we saw in November creeping into the picture now and that’s a troubling sign indeed.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, nothing helps “chemistry” more than a win or two and nothing hurts it more than continued losses so it could go the other way quite easily and quite quickly.
But right now, the body language I’m seeing and the reading between the lines that I’m doing is showing a team not with a break but one with at least a non-displaced hairline fracture.
It can heal, but it might take time.
And some wins.
Oh, wait, that was Tuesday.
Time for a change
Remember the other day when I mentioned that there were those in the hierarchy who thought change might be coming to the starting lineup?
I am sure their voices are louder now and should be listened to.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the starting lineup in Golden State on Saturday wasn’t Jose Calderon, Antoine Wright, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani.
It’s not entirely a knock against Jarrett or DeMar – and Lord knows there’s enough under-performing going on now that everyone shares the blame – but it’s got to be time to do something to see if they can find a spark.
There’s still a quarter of the season to go and that’s plenty of time and they remain right in the thick of a race for fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.
But the events of the past couple of weeks, plus some private conversations I’ve had with a bunch of people, leads me to believe change is afoot.
And, frankly, I think it should be.
One step back
Actually, it’s more like a dozen steps back and it speaks entirely to what transpired early in the third quarter last night, when a winnable game went away.
In every NBA game, when a team rebounds a miss and starts heading up the court, you usually hear someone on the bench yell:
“Stop the ball, stop the ball.”
Yeah, right. Not if you’re the Raptors last night.
Their transition defence was so bad it was laughable.
On one play, Tyreke Evans was leading a break and going about 55 feet straight ahead with the ball. At least three Raptors were back but did even one move into Evans’s path to slow him?
Dude went right to the rim through all of ‘em, was fouled, completed an and-one and it was 55-48.
That’s the kind of lax defence we saw in November and it looked to have been corrected in December, January and February.
Not so much.
That’s simply effort and smarts and if they don’t have that, they have no chance.
To a screeching halt
That was Toronto’s offence and that’s been the issue now for more than two weeks.
The ball simply doesn’t move and, what’s worse, neither do the players.
Chris Bosh was a big culprit last night, spending too much time sizing up his man rather than making a decisive move but he was hardly alone.
Jarrett Jack was the same with a handful of early jumpers, Turk took a bit too long on some possessions and Jose probably fired up a couple too many jumpers coming off high screens when he could have driven or passed.
And unless they figure that one out, recall the days of crisp ball movement, late-clock open shots and sharing, they’re dead.
A wee bit more before I have to head to the airport
What do I think?
Putrid, stinky and smelly.
Turk’s an albatross around a franchise’s neck and not only shouldn’t Jarrett be starting, neither should Jose and if they don’t fire Triano and get a real coach, this franchise will be doomed forever.
Oh yeah, and Bosh is so leaving it’s not even funny and what are they going to do then?
There. Everyone happy?
Seriously, there was a we bit of mud slung around these parts yesterday because, apparently, there isn’t enough ranting and raving and going off the handle to satisfy some of the screamers among you.
Guess what? There’s not going to be and if that’s not good enough, well, that’s not good enough.
What we do here is not yell and scream.
Yes, Turkoglu’s playing poorly; yes, sometimes the players don’t play well; yes, sometimes the coaching moves don’t pay off.
And you can get all your dander up and go nuts; I’m more of a big-picture, voice of relative reason and I simply don’t have the passion a lot of you do.
Sorry, but that’s not going to change.
What we do here is a bit complex.
I hope we inform and entertain a bit; give you some insight into why things happen (that those things often don’t agree with your opinion is not something I can control) and, perchance, give you a look at things you might not get.
The other stuff? Well, there are other places you can go to hear writers go off and you’re welcome to them.
I think we do all right here so I see no reason to change.
No, I don’t think they can catch Boston, in case anyone wants to ask again.
Tough week for Jose, no?
A technical foul the other day against Philly and the cut under his eye suggested perhaps his argument was valid.
Then last night he gets a questionable Flagrant I call while being smacked on the lip and some more blood is shed.
Sorry about the in-game thing last night. Wireless went kablooey and by the time I pushed buttons and reset things, swore a bit and turned a few things on and off (surefire technological methods for fixing things in my limited knowledge), the game was just about over.
I blame Super Dog.
Long flight ahead to San Francisco so I have no idea when we’ll get to comments and the like but I will. That’s after I get settled and perhaps find some for a coffee at the Buena Vista.
Remind me to tell you the Buena Vista story tomorrow morning, would you? It’s not bad but I’m pressed for time and space at the moment.
If you’re lying around today with nothing to do and have some questions, here’s where you send them to the mailbag. Please, though, limit rants to a couple of hundred words.
Doug Smith has been a sportswriter for more than 30 years, a journey that's included seven Olympic Games, numerous and varied championships and more dreary regular season games than he'd care to remember. Here, he'll talk about them all, as well as current events and pop culture. (Just don’t ask him about music nowadays — it's not his cup of tea).