How to treat people and winning up a Storm
Let’s start with a bit of a digression.
Someone asked in the comments yesterday what I thought about the Ines Sainz incident, where the TV Azteca reporter from Mexico was reportedly harassed in the New York Jets locker room after a game.
The context was how female reporters are treated in the NBA and whether I’d witnessed anything like that in my years.
Generally speaking, the NBA is well ahead of the curve in its treatment of female reporters, of which there are quite a few. There have been isolated incidents – I remember Chris Gatling being fined $10,000 for some in appropriate comments to a Raptors game-night volunteer years ago – and I’m sure there are more immature boors out there hiding.
But that’s a rare exception in my personal history. The locker room is a workplace, for the athletes and for us. There are specific times we are allowed in and players know to treat us with respect and let us do our jobs. An overwhelming majority of them do.
Women in the locker room of pro sports teams is a simple fact of life – the same as it is men in the locker room of, say, WNBA teams, which have much the same media guidelines as the NBA.
There are idiots who will go out of their way to show their immaturity forever; they are a small minority, they need to be slapped down financially by the leagues they play for and they need to be called out for being the Neanderthals that they are.
Now, on an entire aside, I understand some screaming radio talking head at the FAN590 here in Toronto (some dude named Krystal or somesuch who to this point is an entire non-entity in the business here) tried to make his bones – weakly – by disrespecting a colleague of mine of this issue yesterday morning.
A punk move by guy who shows what’s entirely wrong with all-talk radio and a kid who gives that industry a worse name than it already has. But what else should I expect, right? Guy won’t have a normal discussion of an important issue because he’s too afraid. And it doesn’t make it about him.
Erick Dampier was waived by the Charlotte Bobcats yesterday to get them under the tax level (no surprise there, it’s a move that’s been coming for a couple of months) and I think only one questioner asked whether he’d be a good fit here.
I don’t know what it is – maybe the time of year, maybe the realization that this isn’t a particularly good team on paper right at the moment – but this quasi-fascination with every player released, cut, waived, what have you, is quite interesting.
Dampier is not an upgrade of any significance over what they have, he’s a big and slow on a team that wants to be big and quick and multi-dimensional. A horrible fit, actually, who’d do nothing substantial to improve the team.
It’s my opinion that, having failed to do anything huge in the last month (and not for the lack of trying) that Bryan needs to sit back and wait and see how the first few weeks of the season goes before doing anything of substance.
And looking at anyone waived or cut or whatever at this point of the summer is not anything of substance.
How ‘bout my Storm? Three point winners over the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday and now one win away from the WNBA title, up 2-0 in the best-of-five series.
Do I know how to pick ‘em or what?
Let’s do this really quickly from the mail:
Q: Hi Doug. Now that the worlds are over do what benefits do you see to the Raptors now that Jay can add World Championship Coach to his resume?
Dave M, Puslinch
A: The tangible ones will be in the technical knowledge he picked up being around a great staff and watching so many other good coaches work. As he told me for a story I did in Istanbul, there are sure to be sets and defences and the like that he saw in the tournament that he will use with the Raptors this season.
(Oh, I can hear the groans now, ‘great, he’s going to bring that Euro crap over here even more. What a dope, why don’t they fire him and get a “real” coach in here. And while they’re at it, why don’t they fire Colangelo, too; and Maurizio; and anyone who’s ever been off the continent!’)
The intangibles are that he has to be feeling a sense of accomplishment, a sense of confidence that could very well translate into the one thing he needed to improve on, self-admittedly: Becoming more involved on a personal level with the players.
There was no bad, none, in Jay doing that summer gig.
Oh, mail call.
Really, there has to be a better way to spend $150 than this, right?
Like some Old Beat Grunt Charitable Organization?
Buying food for a food bank?
Throwing it in the garbage?
Seriously, paying money to try out for a D League team seems, to me at least, the last thing you’d want to do.
Wonder how many saps, er, great basketball players who just need to be seen, that they’ll get to this.