The dog days aren't here quite yet
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that NBA teams like their Augusts to chill and do nothing. That’s executives and players and, yes, beat grunts, who try to catch a breath.
What’s the context? The context is that Bryan did not come back from Vegas with a new player or two and it’s July 19 so he’s got about 10 days to work his magic on the point guard, small forward, backup big things he has to deal with.
Here’s hoping sooner rather than later.
(Of course, national team stuff and a trip to Turkey kind of eat up some of August but what’s a fella to do?)
One guy who isn’t coming back – maybe to clean out a condo but that’ll be it – is Marc Iavaroni, as I’m sure you all read in this piece that came up late Saturday night.
Now, if I believe head coaches get too much credit and take too much blame, you can imagine what I think of assistants.
And while there seems to be a lot of slagging of Marc out there, mostly from people who’ve seen him interact with players or colleagues, it’s pretty baseless.
Yes, he’s a quirky guy, no question. Yes, the team’s defence was subpar all season.
But to think he single-handedly decided what they’d do, or single-handedly turned perimeter defenders into statues is folly.
He worked hard on skill development with the bigs – he spent every pre-game period and a lot of post-practice time working with Andrea on the block – and he suggested some defensive systems that didn’t work.
And then they changed some things, as all smart staffs do when things weren’t going well and they didn’t work, either.
Coaching is very much a collaborative effort, discussion and suggestions and debate until the man in charge – Jay – makes the final call and says, ‘yes, we’ll do it this way.’
Marc was brought in a year ago to provide some fresh ideas, on both sides of the ball with a focus on defence, and they didn’t really work out all that well.
So you move on. Try something new. See how that goes.
The word I got from a couple of People Who Count when I asked if they’d replace Marc was: “Perhaps.”
If they do, I’d expect it be someone young to focus on skill development as much as in-game strategy.
I think PJ will help Jay a lot in that regard, Alex showed last season with his work with Amir Johnson that he’s good at developing players and I know Micah’s going to have the staff prepared for whatever opponent is up next.
So if they do hire someone, I don’t think it’s going to be a “name.”
I know there are some asking about news conference thingies with the new dudes, Linas Kleiza and Leandro Barbosa.
Not going to happen.
We got all the time we’re going to get with Kleiza when we ran into him – nudge, nudge, wink, wink – the day he signed his offer sheet. (And here’s the result of that conversation).
And Barbosa, I’m told is back in Brazil and they aren’t going to bring him up.
So it’ll be training camp, or maybe in Turkey late next month, when we next get words.
Oh, and it’s not a given that Kleiza will be playing for Lithuania at the worlds, funnily enough in the same group with Canada. When I asked him about it that day, he was kind of ambivalent and suggested Lithuania may send a young team to the worlds as the vets take the summer off before the country hosts the European championships in 2011.
Not sure what that might mean for Canada but having an inexperienced team in their group can’t hurt, can it?
This might rankle some but over the weekend the realization hit me – again – that if they ran a car race on my crescent, I’d go sit on the back deck.
Really, I don’t get it. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that I don’t see the allure.
Hey, you’ve read about the Canadian teen girls, I presume (if you haven’t, it won’t take long to get through this) but I don’t know if many of you know about the Canadian women.
The senior national team began its preparation for the worlds later this summer out in Vancouver over the weekend, beating Chile on Saturday night. The details are here and I see they go again tonight in Richmond and if you’re out that way, you might want to take it in.
I know the men are going to get the bulk of the attention in the next little while (they’re starting pretty soon as we turn our attention to the world rather than the NBA) but the women’s team is pretty darn good and might surprise one or two of you later this year.
Ken Berger’s got a nice piece here on Michael Jordan and the whole LeBron James thingy and, not surprisingly, he makes a lot of the same points a lot of us made about what would have happened in the olden days.
(Of course, Ken didn’t ask Jordan why he screwed over the Raptors but that’s not his gig).
Anyway, James, far more than Bosh or Wade, is getting hammered these days, isn’t he? I was wondering what the fallout from his whole summer of tomfoolery would be and it’s been a bit more drastic than even I had thought.
For a guy who handled himself pretty well at the start of the process, I’m not sure he’ll ever totally be able to make up the way he screwed up the finish.
Okay, here’s the deal. Wee family issue popped up over the weekend so I’m not Golfing Boy today, not sure when I’ll get to all the comments but I will.
It’s not personal if they don’t get up right away.