More fun and games as The Summer of Change (again) rolls on
And it’s not over. It’s never over. Ever.
Gotta love it, eh?
So, what’s new?
Well, as of this writing, am sure some of you heard that Yahoo reported overnight that maybe Michael Jordan’s having cold feet on the Chandler part of the deal.
Word I got from Raptor and league types last night was that there were issues but no major snags and things are in negotiation and, as we know, nothing is done until it’s done.
I will say this, though: Tyson Chandler told my good friend Marc Spears at Yahoo that he’d been traded to Toronto, my own sources said he was coming and Reggie Evans apparently tweeted or twitted his own good-bye message to the folks up here.
Jose? I presume he was still celebrating Spain’s soccer victory and tending to the little fella and I couldn’t reach him yesterday.
So what’s going to happen?
I presume the phone lines will be burned up again today and something will get finalized sooner rather than later and if it isn’t in precisely the same form as we expected Monday afternoon … well, that’s what negotiations are all about.
And what’s it mean for the Raptors? Well, it means they’ll be quicker with the arrival of Barbosa, a little bit bigger with the arrival of Diaw - and I’ll say Chandler, too, because I think that will eventually get done - and it’ll be a vastly different team that takes the floor in October.
I know Jay will want them to run a lot more because they have no offensive anchor to build much halfcourt stuff around and that might make them more entertaining to watch.
The negatives of the guys coming in are this: Barbosa’s play dropped off sharply last year thanks to injuries and off-court issues that sent him back to Brazil for a bit; Diaw has some conditioning issues and Chandler’s constantly hurt.
But even with that, this is a good deal.
Turk had to go, no question. Yes, he could have made his peace with Jay and Bryan and the staff, I’m sure; but he is such a lightning rod of discontent among the fans and wouldn't that have always been in the way of any progress he could have made?
Jose? That’s the tough one. You know how I feel, he’s far better than many fans think and he runs an offence smoothly and efficiently. No, he’s not the greatest on-the-ball defender in the league as we all know but the guy can play and he will be missed. Trust me on that.
So, is this Bryan panicking or fixing mistakes or what?
You know what it is?
It’s a GM doing what a GM is supposed to do, try to make his team better.
As we’ve mentioned several times, building a pro sports team is an inexact science, you take your shot and if it doesn’t work, you try something else.
The Turkoglu experiment failed, no question, for the one year and who knows what might have happened this time around. Bosh is gone through no wrongdoing of anyone here and that’s a fact that has to be dealt with.
We knew at the end of the season that Bosh would be gone, we figured one of the point guards would get moved and we knew when Turk made those statements back home that he was likely to be moved.
Well, they’re gone and no one should be surprised.
The buzzword around the Raps the last few days has been “evolve” and that’s exactly what’s happening.
Whether it evolves for good or for bad is the unknown and that’s the fun part of the business of being a fan, isn’t it?
Hey, remember when the guy told me and I told you that it was almost time to “fasten the belts?” Guess he know what he was talking about, eh?
Who knows what else is coming, and who knows what ultimately happens with this big trade that I expect to be finished sometime today, but you’ve got to admit: This franchise continues to be a better story than a team most times, doesn’t it?
Makes for long days over here but it’s fun just the same.
My man Steve Russell, shutterbug extraordinaire, has done it again.
Remember the very cool Bosh photo thingy? Here’s one dedicated to Jose. Click here to check it out.
While we’re on the topic of plugs, don’t forget about the concert that Matt Bonner’s hooked up with on Friday night featuring, what I’m told, are two very good bands, The Hold Steady and The Whigs.
I think if you click here you should find the details you need to make some money for a pretty worthy cause.
Okay, so David Stern’s miffed at Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert for that rather over-the-top rant the other day in the post-LeBronathon hours and hits Gilbert with a $100,000 fine.
Good for him.
It was way over the top and rather unseemly; yes, it summed up the feelings of some fans but I don’t think it’s the way a team owner should act.
Yes, James’s TV thing was ill-advised and rather stupid and a narcissistic endeavour meant only to further his own agenda and “brand,” but Gilbert maybe topped him.
After all, I didn’t hear Gilbert complaining when he was counting the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars James put in his pocket or when he was looking out over 20,000 people a night for seven straight seasons in his arena.
Sure, James handled himself horribly with that hour-long, stage-managed, puke-inducing “Decision,” but Gilbert was almost as a bad with that ill-advised screed.
Luckily, James made him enough money that the $100,000 won’t be too hard to find.
This whole episode stunk from high heaven and if we never, ever have to go through it again, it’ll be too soon.