Big computer hiccup, I think.
I know there’s another 2,000 words or so of mail around here somewhere but I can’t quite find them at the moment. Maybe when I get into Control Central later this morning, I can figure out what went wrong.
Until then …. Have fun.
Q: Two questions, two topics.
Not sure if you need to pull out your stat book to do a comparison, but don't you think Jose is a better player when he plays basketball all year around (ie. worlds and NBA) than just the NBA season?
Why doesn't the Mothership report on OUA basketball? It would be nice just to see a small written blurb on local university basketball. (Sorry high school folks!)
Christine G, Toronto
A: I don’t really see a correlation with Jose; he had one of his best years coming off the 2006 world championships win with Spain but a bad one coming off the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I do think, however, that if he has a good worlds this year and stays healthy, he’ll be in great physical shape and should hit the ground running to start the season, wherever that may be.
And, yes, we need to boost up our OUA stuff and I know the tallest of foreheads around here has met with people in that organization trying to figure out how we might do that. I think it’s important and is one of my goals for the coming winter.
Q: Hey Doug, you mentioned that the last time a preseason game was held in Montreal that it was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Is there any chance that this may happen for the October 22 game. I'm a student and don't want to buy a ticket right away because I may end up having a midterm that night and not be able to go. I could use some advice.
Jamie T, Montreal
A: No, I’m told no chance whatsoever. And what happened last time was that the team had planned a game there and after it gauged interest and found it lacking, it never actually go to the point of selling tickets. This one’s a go no matter what.
Q: Regards, Doug: I feel compelled to contribute to the cause in getting us through the dog days. My dad used to say that advertising for the CNE was clear indication that summer was over, but summer seems to have just started at this extremity of the country. These times seem to have more to do with executive/management shuffles, ie, the business end rather than the real stuff, so it exposes the public nature of the sports-corporation beast. My question to you: is the sports corporate world more volatile than the rest of the business world, or does it just seem that way because we hear of it more?
Good work, Doug; looking forward to insightful reports from Turkey - how exciting!
Alfred D, St. John’s
A: I don’t have a lot of insight into the real business world – except for the dire predictions about the future of newspapers, of course – but I would suspect many are just as volatile, if not more, than sports and there just isn’t the intense, daily interest.
Here, for instance, we are cutting staff and offering buyouts and redistributing the remaining people to many different facets of the publishing business but not nearly as many care about that as they do about who gets the Denver GM job.
Q: Enjoy your work. Question regarding the Raptors TV situation. When I am not following the Toronto sports teams I am a UFC fan. UFC president Dana White often lists the company's presence on "free/cable TV" (Spike) as a major reason why the sport grew to the extent it has and why boxing with it's PPV only model (for watchable live events) has faltered. Given that the internet era seems to demand free content (i.e. daily Raptor blogs), do you think that MLSE is making a mistake with their product (Raptors not Leafs) by decreasing their short-term visibility on the network sport channels for long term profitability on Raptors TV? I know that the landscape will change as the internet takes over television and that successful models like YES network and NESN suggest that people will pay for the Leafs....but I wonder if they will pay for the Raps if the team doesn't get better in a hurry.
Will C, Perth, Australia
A: I think they made a big mistake early in franchise history when they had up to 12 games, I believe it was, available only on Raptors TV. But they’ve cut that back now and think they saw the error of their ways and better keep it that way.
But it is also true that if you build a demand, people will find you and if the team has success, even a couple of games not readily available except on the highest tiers of cable won’t be that huge an issue.
Q: Hi Doug. In reading your article about the Raps-Nets game in London UK and that you got this info from "a guy in Jersey", I find it odd that the Raps doesn't seem to want to share some snippets to you Doug who happens to be the regular columnist for the Raps. What gives? Can the Raps do a better job of sharing information?
V C, Markham
A: They didn’t share because I didn’t ask anyone. Really not that big a deal and we would have found out on Tuesday anyway. Seriously, they don’t “share” unless we try to dig stuff up; the fact is I didn’t really give the schedule much thought because of some other pressing matters.
Q: Hi Doug
While you're doing "Best of..." lists/profiles and the mailbag is a little light, how about one or more of the following lists:
- All-time best Raptors listed on the roster at 268 pounds or more
- All-time best summer league rebounding performances by Raptors' players
- All-time best Raptors whose names rhyme(d) with "Horsey”
Mike D, Toronto
A: One list covers it, no?
Q: Dear Mr. Smith,
What news of the Chicken? Does it train during the summer? Does it get sent to the D-League if it shows up at camp out of shape?
Frank Z, Budapest
A: The Chicken rests his/her/its weary bones most of the summer and, I understand, takes money off friends on the golfing course. (Yes, The Chicken has some game). But rest assured, unlike high-priced free agents, the Chicken’s always in shape when camp rolls around.
Q: Hi Doug. After reading that article on Pau Gasol - Have there been any Raptors with interesting passions and/or hobbies? (aside from the usual creating video's and social networking etc)
Mark L, Scarborough
A: You know, not really. Oak was a heckuva chef and I guess that’d be among the more interesting hobbies or passions that I know of. And Kevin Willis was something a clothes designer, which was pretty cool. Other than that, not much.
Q: Hey Doug, two questions about two different topics. First, what 4 countries do you think will be in the final four in Turkey, and in what order do you think they will finish?
Second, there is still a lot of hate and hype about Miami this year. What do you think is their biggest weakness that other teams will try to exploit?
Have a great weekend!
Ange A, Toronto
A: Hmm, the Turkey one’s tough because I haven’t had time to sit down and see how all the groups might shake out but if I had to guess today, I’d go with Spain, U.S., Brazil and Greece.
Weaknesses in Miami? I don’t know how much good outside shooting they might have (I’m not a big Eddie House fan) and there will always be questions about their depth.