With little going on, we're back to some of this and some of that
Okay, with an absolute dearth of Raptors news in the last 24 hours and the NBA Finals stuff on the agenda to carry us through Thursday morning, let’s bounce around a wee bit.
If you have to get a fix of workout tidbits, I’m told that Wednesday, while I was off writing golf and urban planning (yes, entirely delightful except for the part where I didn’t get to hit a ball), the No. 13 pick was not in the practice gym. Not even close.
I’m clicking around the dial after a very boring night of TV (Law and Order SVU was a repeat; Jaclyn Smith was the ex-cop murderer of the wife of a grossly-disfigured former mattress salesman when it looked like Ann-Margret did it) and, lo and behold, what do I find?
A basketball game at Key Arena in Seattle, the Storm vs. the Atlanta Dream in a WNBA tilt. Did my heart proud to see a game in that gym and re-affirmed how much I miss the city, just thinking about being there.
Anyway, my points? Well, I’ve always been in search of a team to support, right? It’s almost too easy to like the Red Sox, the World Cup only comes around every four years and while I quite enjoy the Black Stars, I fear for their future in a Michael Essien-free tournament and I know England will disappoint me somehow and Spain’s too much of a favourite and the Dutch have killed me over the years. So …
I think I may now be a Storm fan. Really.
Sue Bird’s great, I’ve seen enough Opals games over the years to know that Lauren Jackson’s one of the best players on the planet and I figure any franchise that’s keeping basketball alive in Seattle is worthy of support. Besides, it used to be the New York Liberty that caught my attention but when they whacked coach Patty Coyle (the sister of a friend) I kind of lost interest.
So, despite the fact they wear ‘Bing’ on their jerseys, I’m now all about the Storm.
Now, as I was watching a bit of that game, it struck me that a West Coast Irregular once asked me why I didn’t mind WNBA basketball, given my oft-state point that men’s college basketball is virtually unwatchable for a guy who sees the NBA game as the best there is. Why, he asked, could I like the women’s game when it’s at such a low, comparative calibre.
Not sure I ever gave a satisfactory answer, so I will now.
The WNBA, while not men’s basketball, is the pinnacle of the sport for women, the most depth, most talent, best athletes.
Quite aside from the fact I think young girls need role models of the same gender, I appreciate watching the best athletes play any sport. It’s not political correctness or a desire to tilt at windmills around here where the sport is given short shrift; it’s that the game played by the best is fun to watch.
Just a note to those who are proponents of “blowing up” the Raptors this year.
Let’s say Bosh leaves and they can deal Hedo and Antoine Wright goes and they move a point guard and Rasho and Patrick O’Bryant are done and they add the 13th draft pick.
How’s the prospect of seven new players make you feel? That’s, of course, if all the free-agent departures are one-for-one sign-and-trades and any transactions aren’t multi-purpose.
We’ll talk about this more as the moves are made but that’s pretty much “blowing up” a roster, isn’t it?
Oh, and I’m putting the over-and-under at the third practice of training camp when someone says, “it’s going to take time to integrate all these new guys” and pardon us all if we roll our eyes.
It’s about 7:15 a.m. where I am as I type this and Super Son is wandering around the house warbling Peter, Paul and Mary’s classic Puff, The Magic Dragon for some reason known only to his 13-year-old mind.
Yes, he knows what the lyrics are actually about, he informs me, and, let me tell you this: As a singer, he makes a wonderful saxophonist.
Anyway, at least he’s not doing his Angus Young imitation, which is quite, um, interesting
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled stuff.
First call for mail, which can be sent simply by clicking here and depositing a letter in the slot, so to speak. With a relatively quiet weekend ahead (which is exactly what I said a week ago before the whole Hedo Does Local TV thing happened) I’m hoping to get back to the usual Saturday-normal-stuff-Sunday-morning-mailbag schedule that’s served us so well lo all these years we’ve been friends.
I know Henry Thomas, agent to Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade among others, keeps poo-pooing this whole notion of a calling whatever meeting occurs between the big shot free agents this summer a “summit.”
He was on record again yesterday saying the four or five of them would not get together in a room to formally decide the fate and immediate futures of half a dozen franchises.
But, I tell ya, if we hear that the players are going to meet in Yalta, we’ve got ourselves a story.
Some international news of note to pass on.
As you recall, it’s been mentioned here that Canada’s senior men’s team was putting together a handful of summer “home” games, one out in Vancouver and a couple here in Toronto.
Well, details are about finalized and there’s a big shindig Thursday afternoon to tell us about them. Wonder if they’ll find a way to get some home games for the women, too.
Oh, and I read with great interest the news yesterday that Pau Gasol is taking the world’s off on advice of his doctors, who say he needs rest. It probably won’t mean a thing to Canada, even though they are in the same group as the Spaniards, who remain deep and exponentially better.
Now, the next point’s a little old but then so am I so who really cares.
There was a story on the FIBA clearinghouse website late last week about Jose Calderon and how pumped he was about playing in Turkey for his country after taking last summer off.
“I am going to Turkey with a lot of enthusiasm. I hope we can compete for the gold medal, although I am sure that if we continue on this path, we can reach the final.”
Oh yeah, the last paragraph of that story lets us know that Jose and his wife, Ana, are the proud parents of baby boy Manuel.
No workouts for the Raptors today, by the way. They’ll resume festivities Thursday and will also hold a little media chinwag with P.J. so we can ask him all about his new gig.