Leader? That's one of the key things to watch for
There were all kinds of interesting topics broached at media day, most of which will need far more investigation and time to develop than we had in short period we got with everyone on Monday.
One that will re-occur over the course of time, and we’re talking weeks if not months rather than days, is where this team will get its leadership.
I’m not talking about the screaming, yelling, faux leadership we sometimes see, but the kind of calm reassuring personality who, when things are going rough, will be the guy teammates and coaches look too.
And, to be sure, there will be rough patches with this team. Many of them and they will be quite trying.
As all kinds of people mentioned, leadership cannot be bestowed, it has to be earned and it’s earned on the practice court and the locker room rather than under the bright lights of a game.
I think Jay probably made the best point:
“I’ve always said it doesn’t have to be the guy who talks the most. When I coached that 2000 Olympic team, Steve Nash was the leader and I don’t know if he said two words in the locker room to many of the players. He led by example.
“Yes, there can be vocal leaders but if you can’t back it up with your actions on the floor, the players see right through that.”
There aren’t a lot of “old heads” on this team, guys who have been through the wars and have the battle scars that come with tremendous respect.
What I want in the leader of a group I’m in is grace and the ability to help others out when things are not going well. Anyone can “lead” when things are good; the greats lead when things are bad.
The disingenuous, as Jay pointed out, are quickly exposed.
I don’t know who that might be on this team because no one’s seen it in action yet but a youngish group that could very well struggle needs someone from within to be able to settle things down, to soldier on with the same determination win or lose.
Who emerges as that guy might be one of the more fascinating things to watch as this season unfolds.
“We want to prove people wrong”
“It starts with defence”
“Of course I have to rebound better”
“It’s not who starts that matters, it’s who finishes”
“We embrace our European-ness, it’s a heckuva continent”
Still, we hit it pretty close with the list from yesterday, no?
It’s Monday, it’s DWTS and as I click through for a minute, all I can think is:
What kind of Mother would name her son The Situation?
You know who one of the forgotten Raptors seems to be? That’d be Reggie Evans.
Yes, last year was a total disappointment, what with him missing 50 or so games with the foot injury and then playing a tad selfishly when he did get back on the floor.
But of all the guys who seem to have changed their bodies a little bit – mostly the young kids who are simply growing up – I was pretty surprised to see how slimmed down he is.
No idea how much weight he’s lost, one guy put it at 20 pounds, but he does look in far better shape than he was even at the start of last season.
Funny what a contract year might do for a guy.
Ed Davis is a low talker and if one of the coaches shows up today in a puffy shirt, I’ll know why.
From the department of “they all said the right things” both Jose and Jarrett seem quite cool with the competition that’ll rage for the starting point guard spot.
I have no idea who’ll win – and no one does, really – but neither of them seemed at all interested in backing down from the challenge.
“Competition is always good in every day life. You don’t get lax, it keeps you on your toes, it keeps you sharp. I think if there’s competition at training camp every day it does nothing but keep you sharp. At the end of the day, it’ll get settled by us and that’s the best way to do it.”
“I think that’s going to be like always, everybody has to compete for their minutes so I think Jay is the one who has the tough position to choose. We have to work for ht tam win games; we’re different so I think that’s good.”
“I think a lot of it will be determined on chemistry, on how well they play in training camp and that’s one of the things we’re really excited about when we start camp tomorrow is that it’s going to be competitive and it’s going to competitive for starting positions and playing time.”
“It doesn’t matter who starts, it’s who finishes but I still think Jose runs a team on the floor a bit better and probably should be the starter."
Let’s start the mail process.
Had a chance to quickly talk to Andrea before he was shuttled off to do a dozen or sit sitdowns and photo shoots and a massive scrum and, of course, after the obligatory “how was your summer” stuff, the real topic was broached: Me: Hey, saw that video of you and your friend for GQ. That was something.
He: Yeah, it was a good summer.
I couldn’t help but notice that Carmelo Anthony didn’t get traded in some huge and convoluted four-team transactions.
Whole lot of ink was spilled on that one, wasn’t it.
Might have been the most well-attended media day in years. Seems odd, given the low expectations and the lack of real buzz around this team but there were all kinds of different organizations represented.
Figure we’ll be back to seven or eight of us this morning, thankfully.
Fewer people, more chance to get some quality time with a guy or two.
Yesterday was a bit of a gong show (no Unknown Comic, though) because there were scrums going hither and yon, little booths set up when there players hid out doing one-on-one things with TV networks and radio stations and much confusion about who was where when.
In the estimation of some of us, it’s the second-worst day of the year, almost as bad as the day-after-the-season-ends when we’re jammed in a little ante room and sit for six or seven hours while guys clean out their lockers, say their goodbyes and finally come to chat.
Today thought? Today will be good, I have a feeling. Might actually get some work done.