Boring off-day so early mail and more to come Sunday
Aside from the teen girls beating Turkey to open the world under-17 championships, the Raptors winning another one at the summer league and a day ahead that includes sitting in the office making sure nothing blows up, there’s nada.
So take this as an early mailbag and rest assured there’ll be a more complete one in the morning.
Have a good day folks, you know where I’ll be. And if you'd like to get something in, do the usual and click right here.
Q: Hi Doug. Your blurb about the league's claim of financial hardship made me wonder - do you have any idea how the Raptors have been doing? Not that anyone should be remotely concerned about MLSE as a whole, but have the Raptors on their own been turning a profit on a yearly basis?
Errol T, Toronto
A: Along with where the keep the secret pictures that allow them to get civic leaders to bend over to make things easy for them to develop anciliary properties, the financial figures of MLSEL are a closely-guarded secret.
But take into consideration they play to more than 90 per cent capacity, reap the benefits of a national US television deal that gives them close to $40 million a year ad don’t pay a luxury tax and I would assume – even with my rudimentary knowledge of high finance – that the picture is petty rosy.
Q: Since the woeful Grizzlies left Vancouver we have but one NBA team that could become Canada's team if the Raptors would just do some marketing in the west. We could have some exhibition games/home games in the west not to mention Raptor memorabilia. Do you think this might happen?
Linda S, Westbank, BC
A: Well, they’ve been west but I guess not far enough. But don’t fear, the details are still being finalized and I don’t have a firm date but if you were to think about a pre-season game at GM Place this October, you’d be thinking ahead of everyone.
And once I get an idea of when, you’ll be the first to know.
As for memorabilia, I can’t imagine they’ve left all the store shelves empty? Someone’s falling down on the job in the merchandising department.
Q: Hi Doug. Losing Chris in free agency is a blow to the team, no doubt. However, I would like to believe that this gives Bryan to truly develop this roster into his own vision of what appears to be a team that is long, athletic, and fast. Do you think that the loss of Chris gives Colangelo the ability to truly build his "own" roster rather than attempting to build around a player that he had no part in bringing to TO? Thanks!
Mike R, Calgary
A: Well, I would except for one fact: Chris was a guy Bryan re-signed to a maximum-value contract in 2006 and a guy he tried to placate with any number of different teammates in the intervening years. But there is indeed a chance now to build a “team” rather than “a bunch of players surrounding The Man” and it’ll be interesting to see how the whole situation plays out.
Q: Hi Doug. Great to see the blog going strong through the off-season.
My question is: How much influence does Jay Triano (and his staff) have in player acquisitions/transactions? For instance, when Bryan Colangelo deals for younger, more athletic players to play what he calls a more up-tempo style, is Triano bound simply by what Colangelo gives him or has Triano requested players that would suit an up-tempo style, because that's what the coach feels will be successful in the NBA?
Alan W, Toronto
A: Very little influence, actually. They are apprised of moves the general manager is thinking about, or trying to, make but they do not “suggest” any particular addition. It’s up to the staff to figure out how best to use the pieces the GM has put together. And it’s commonplace throughout the league.
That’s not to say there’s absolutely no interaction between the front office and the head coach during deliberations but Bryan tends to keep things close to his vest.
Q: Hi Doug! Big fan of your blog. I have a question I think only you can answer: Where can I buy a Raptors summer league jersey? I'd love to have one. Just to be different. Thanks!
Andrew D, Toronto
A: They’re like shooting shirts with names on the back, you sure you want one? I have no idea if they make them or if you can buy them if they do. Tell you what: Let’s say they cost $50. Why not save that money since the product doesn’t exist and send it along to the Jim Proudfoot Corner of the Star’s Santa Fund this winter. It'd be greatly appreciated by all.