Greetings from Izmir and some news about Canada
Welcome from Izmir, a city of about 3 million right next to the Aegean that sprawls forever, it seems.
Oh, and it’s 40 C and humid but that’s okay; the air-conditioned comfort of the hotel room will do until I get this done and then it’s time to explore
So a fella spends about a total of 18 hours traveling and it kind of pays off with – get this! – some news.
Ran into some Canada Basketball folks on the final leg of the journey and they report some very good financial news.
Seems Bell Canada is coming on as a major sponsor – you’ll see the company name on the jerseys when the team plays tomorrow – and that’s huge news.
It’s a multi-year deal that’s “very lucrative” according to the poohbah I spoke to and covers both the men’s and the women’s teams, which is significant.
I’ve been saying all along that organization seems headed in the right direction and some smart company would jump at the chance to get on board early.
It’s welcome news and even though I have issues with Bell (don’t get Super Wife and her cellphone plan started!), it’s good they’re ponying up some cash.
Speaking of Canada – and this is more news after a long slog to get here – they’ve finalized the roster and made what I think are some wise decisions.
They decided to cut point guard Tyler Kepkay and forward Kyle Landry, which means they’ll have both the young kids Kelly Olynyk and Robert Sacre and guard Andy Rautins on the 12-man roster that cannot now be changed.
Kepkay barely played and the thinking was that they’d maybe get more out of Rautins later in the week if his knee improves than they’d get from keeping the veteran point guard around.
But the experience that Olynyk and Sacre will get is immeasurable and it’s a wise, wise move to keep them.
Random travel question:
Why do the people who run Pearson – and, yes, I’m talking to you GTAA! – not get it at all?
Don’t they realize that, oh, every day there are a plethora of overseas flights that leave, you know, late in the afternoon.
Wouldn’t these brainiacs think to schedule more that three lanes of security checks – one reserved exclusively for big whigs – open while they manage to leave at least two closed? Honestly, do they not think? Or walk by the check-in at various times in a day to see when it’s at maximum use and needs maximum staffing?
It is, without doubt, one of the least-efficiently run airports in the history of aviation. End o’ rant.
By the way, I can fully recommend The Pursuit Of Happyness as a fine flick. Sad and emotional at times – nearly brought a tear to my eye during the Toronto-Frankfurt stretch of the journey and that might have been embarrassing.
But still, a darn good flick.
Toss episodes of 30 Rock and Entourage and it sure made an eight-hour flight go a lot quicker than usual.
This gets to an earlier issue and gives up a dip into the mail:
Q: Quick question regarding any sort of code of conduct that NBA players are expected to adhere to. Is there the potential that the brawl that occurred in the FIBA game a few days ago will net Nenad Krstic some NBA penalties? Surely, the NBA doesn't wish to have its players taking part in public games and be throwing chairs at people; even if they're not NBA games.
Matthew G, Toronto
A: No, the way the Collective Bargaining Agreement is structured in the NBA and because of the working relationship they’ve struck with FIBA, there is nothing the NBA can do. It can be upset, as I’m sure it was at the sight of one of its players throwing a chair during a wild brawl but there will be no repercussions to Krstic from the NBA. There can’t be.
Okay, I have to say the final leg of the journey – about three hours from Munich to Izmir to cap something like 18 hours from home to the Kaya Prestige hotel – was utterly marred by the incessant crying of a babe in arms.
Yes, I know, parents must travel and kids might not to like to fly but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, does it?
I’m sure this makes me an even more crotchety old codger but, “no kids” flights might not be a bad idea.
I presume you saw the suspensions handed down by FIBA to Serbia’s Nenad Krstic (three games) and Milo Teodisic (two games) and Greece’s Antonis Fotsis (two games) and Sokoklis Schortsanitis (two games) for their part in that wild brawl a week or so ago.
Much hue and cry from both federations, who are whining about the length of time it took FIBA to hand down the banishments, which begin Saturday at the start of the worlds.
My advice to them: Shut up. It was glaringly apparent when the fight started and the chairs went flying that some repercussions had to come, they should be thankful they weren’t banned for longer.
You know, I’ve just flipped through the dial and there’s not a single repeat of a Law And Order or a CSI Somewhere or Another anywhere on TV.
More random travel stuff then I’ve got to go write for the paper and website and get out and see some of this city since it’s Friday evening already.
Munich airport? Out-freaking-standing. Spacious, all kinds of shops and restaurants, easy to navigate.
Frankfurt? Not so much, under construction, confusing and dingy.
Izmir? Well, the volunteers who are helping run the shuttles from the airport to the downtown digs could not have been more helpful or earnest and that bodes well for the next week.
Speaking of the next week, I better go figure out precisely what I’m going to do with it. Presume I’ll be back at the regular time tomorrow but with trips like this and seven-hour time differences, you never know.