A good job opens to start a, hopefully, quiet weekend
Uneventful weekend hopefully ahead, time to sit back and relax, gird those loins because it’s going to get crazy around the league mid week.
Rod Thorn is going to retire president or poobah or whatever his actual title is with the New Jersey Nets in a little while (here’s Dave’s story) and that’s going to open the floodgates to all kinds of speculation.
You’re going to hear Kevin Pritchard because he’s the flavour of the month, you’ll probably hear Danny Ferry because he’s out of work and you’re going to hear a lot of relatively anonymous front-office types who could make the step up.
And you’re going to hear Maurizio Gherardini. In fact, if you read Dave’s piece already you’ve already heard it.
No question about it, there will be some interest from Jersey in Bryan’s right-hand man because of his long connection with new Nets owner The Oligarch (it’s about time the NBA got an oligarch, I say).
Will Maurizio listen?
I fully expect he will. And he probably should.
Look, the chance to really run a franchise from the top has to be alluring, to be the guy with the final say in matters personnel is much preferable, in my opinion, to being a guy in a group who offers advice.
It would probably be a stretch for a guy like The Oligarch to reach out to someone relatively anonymous – he strikes me as a big splash kind of guy – but with Maurizio’s connections and background and familiarity, he should be on the list.
And I would fully expect that if the Nets call Bryan to ask permission to talk to Maurizio, it will be given. No way Bryan holds a guy back from being interviewed for a position that’s a promotion.
Now, before the e-mails and comments start rolling in, I’m not saying Maurizio is going to get the job; I do expect he’ll be considered and I think he should go and listen if he is.
Glad you asked:
Q: Did any NBA team do better than the Grizzlies & the Clippers in (Thursday) night's draft?
Bo K, Mississauga
A: Oh yeah, I think you have to put Sacramento in that category for sure. I don’t know if DeMarcus Cousins will find the maturity necessary to thrive right way (that’s the biggest concern about him because his physical tools are immense) but to get him and then Hassan Whiteside was a home run.
The Clippers – yes, the Clippers – would probably be second on my list because Al-Farouq Aminu fills a glaring need at small forward, they managed to procure Eric Bledsoe (not his brother Derrick) to fill in for the 41 games that Baron Davis misses with injury or disinterest and got an Oklahoma stable pony for Blake Griffin in Willie Warren).
I know they didn’t draft Bledsoe but his acquisition makes them the hands-down winners in my books.
So we’re down to the round of 16, are we?
I gotta say, lots of angst building around here for the Black Stars and the Yanks this afternoon; it’s a tough out for the young Ghanas, who’ve got a bit skittish as the tournament’s worn on. But a fella can hope, no?
I do know that a Super Family outing to Niagara Falls to see relatives today comes at the worst possible moment; I wonder if I can find a stool down there for a couple of hours?
There are only two others in this round that I And I find hugely compelling.
How about Germany-England tomorrow morning? What a perfect Sunday brunch kind of thing, no? This should be hugely passionate but I have to say I have little faith in the Three Lions because they’ve looked so utterly shaky for three games.
I will say this: I’ve seen a whole bunch of games at the same spot so far in this tournament (hi, BP Square 1, see ya Sunday!) and nothing so far has matched the atmosphere of Spain-Chile yesterday. It was very cool and exactly why I love this tournament more than any other in the world.
I can only imagine what it’ll be like Tuesday for Spain-Portugal which has to be the game of the mundial so far. I’m all over Spain seeing as it’s probably tied with Italy as the favourite country not called Canada.
Should be a great week and the big games hopefully won’t get in the way of that pesky free agency stuff in the NBA.
Oh, mail. Right, one more shot.
Click here and we’ll see what we can do after the visit to the Honeymoon City is over and I’m ensconced at the desk killing a quiet Saturday night.
Speaking of free agency, I am quite glad to read this story by ESPN’s Chris Broussard about LeBron James and his plans for the start of the wooing period.
As you know, I always thought traipsing around the continent in some elaborate tour was somewhat unseemly and teams planning huge dog and pony shows was even moreso.
I half expected to read that the Knicks planned not only to fete James at some Manhattan penthouse but also to superimpose a James face (ala Superman) on the night sky.
Sitting back, letting teams make their pitches in one fell swoop and getting on with the business of making a decision just seems more grown up and professional to me and I’m glad that’s the way James is going to go.
Anyway, sorry I’m a tad tardy today, the events of the last couple of weeks and dearth of rest kind of caught up to an oldster. And given what’s going to go on in the next couple of weeks, stockpiling sleep isn’t a bad idea.
Oh yeah, there’s this:
Word from the Raptors cave late Friday was that nothing is going to transpire this weekend, no trades, no moves, nothing too big.
So I’m coasting a little bit. And you should, too.