On the Hall of Fame and DeMar says all the right things
They did the Hall of Fame thingy on Friday night and I have one bone to pick with the group that went in.
I’m not at all in favour of inducting “teams” into Halls of Fame, I think it should be a place reserved for the great individuals of the game. Yes, the Dream Team in 1992 was something else and the 1960 American Olympic team might have been the second- or third-best ever assembled but to induct them as a group diminishes the Hall in some regards, I think.
It may turn out that each member of those teams gets in (although I highly doubt it) but that’s what Halls are for, individuals.
There are several other issues with the Hall that are very troubling to a lot of people, me included.
I think the selection process is horribly flawed – it’s left to an anonymous group and the vote totals are never made public – and the whole notion of so many categories – builders, players, international players, women, coaches, amateurs – makes it hugely confusing.
I don’t know what the answers are – perhaps a separate Hall for the NBA might be in order but that opens a huge can of worms – but something needs to change for the joint to be taken entirely seriously.
One last Hall of Fame mention of my friend Jackie MacMullan, though.
The Boston Globe writer was a trailblazer for women journalists in the sport I cover, her work covering the Celtics and the league in its Magic-Larry heyday was exemplary and should be held as the standard to which all young writers should aspire.
As I’m sitting there watching France-Canada all I can think of is ….
You need some old-school international basketball chops to know who that is and I’m not sure many do.
He’s the dude, a 6-4 guard, who simply beat up Steve Nash for 94 feet and 40 minutes of the Sydney Olympic quarter-final game and cost Canada a shot at the medal.
First off, I can’t believe that’s 10 years ago – a decade goes by a hurry, doesn’t it? – and, second, I can’t believe how vividly I remember that five-point game.
Not sure who the refs were but they swallowed their whistles, as the saying goes, and Dioumassi manhandled Nash almost at will, taking him – and Canada – out of the game.
Now, I did have to go to old friend Arnaud Lecomte of Le Monde newspaper, who was in town for the games, to get Dioumassi’s name and Arnaud got me up to date.
I knew that Dioumassi was hardly a star in France – I’m not sure he played another game in Sydney – but he kind of drifted off into a peripatetic basketball life and the last anyone heard of him was about three years ago when he was playing in Iran.
The other guy?
Turned out pretty good.
I will tell you one thing DeMar DeRozan has been doing this summer:
Getting media training.
The kid – looking a tad geeky in glasses that can be described as “Poindexter-esque” – stopped by the Air Canada Centre on Friday and you wanna talk about saying all the right things …
“It’s a great opportunity to play on an NBA team in another country. I think it can be big if you take advantage of it.”
Anyway, he went on to say he can’t wait to prove people wrong, that they aren’t going to be that bad and all the stuff you’d expect him to say.
Oh, and why he’s in town?
To sign some papers on the place he’ll live in next year and, no, he and Sonny aren’t going to be roomies, they’re not that inseparable.
Back to Canada for a second.
I had a fellow ask in the mailbag (Hi, Josh of Whitehorse!) and others make comments about the feasibility of playing the game at the Air Canada Centre instead of, say Ricoh or something like Varsity or the University of Toronto or somesuch.
Now, knowing the relationship between Maple Leaf Sports and Canada Basketball, the only place I could see the games being move would be to Ricoh and I’d heartily endorse that idea
A few thousand in that arena would seem to be more than a few thousand in the ACC and there’s something to be said for the intimacy of the venue.
I’ve long thought that Ricoh would be a great venue for a D League team, or even a WNBA team and should be utilized for things like the games against France.
In keeping with a theme, a mailbag sneak peak:
Q: Hey Doug. In light of the Basketball HOF and the 1992 Dream Team being inducted and all. I was looking at the roster and noticed Christian Laettner. He's not really of the same caliber as the rest of the roster. I know he had a very celebrated NCAA career. And, that before the Dream Team, the men's USA Senior Basketball Team mainly comprised of NCAA talent. But, if you could go back in time, who would you replace Laettner with? I would guess Isiah Thomas. Your thoughts?
Anthony M, Milton
A: Laettner was there because USA Basketball wanted at least one collegian on the team as a nod to the NCAA the first time the NBA guys played.
And, yeah, Isiah probably would have been the guy if I’d been picking, although his so-so relationship with Jordan might have been an issue.
Okay, loads of mail for the morning but here’s one more shot to get something in. Click. Send.
One last Canada point.
Please, in the name of all that’s good in the world, don’t think that the results of Thursday and Friday will mean Canada rolls over France in the first round at the worlds.
I’ve seen this so many times it’s not even funny, teams play possum early in the summer of a big event, they don’t show their best stuff and aim only at the start of whatever big tournament there is.
I’m sure Canada’s got some other stuff up its sleeve – the return of injured point guard Jermaine Anderson will automatically give them a different look – and I know France does, too.
But, right now, France is terrible.
And gets the Americans in New York on Sunday. Nicolas Batum put it pretty well:
“If we play like this, we will lose by 50 or 60 points.”
I’m thinking 75 or 80.