Of people, purses and all-time numbers good and bad
Lots of little things today as camp marches on.
It’s a red-letter day for the Heroes Of The Hardcourt, actually. The end of two-a-days is always welcomed.
Remember Brian Skinner? Dude with the weird beard they had here for a very brief interlude way back in the day?
Well, might he be the guy that lands the Raptors Erick Dampier?
Skinner signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Bucks yesterday and word I’m hearing around the league is that Milwaukee is no longer in the race to land the veteran centre.
Am told now it’s down to Houston (24 minutes a night behind Yao) and Toronto (likely a starting spot and an increased role) and Dampier is supposed to be in town to chat sometime today.
Not sure what they’ll do with him, probably give him a tour of the joint and sit him down with Jay and the staff to go over what they want to do here this season.
I have no idea what his thoughts are – and I’m pretty sure he’s not going to do any media today – but you’d have to think that what’s offered here isn’t so bad. I know Houston would have a better shot at a playoff berth and it’s probably a team with more talent but if you’re 35 and looking for one contract after this one, why not go where you’re going to have more of a chance to make an impact?
I will say this, though: I think it’s pretty much getting to fish-or-cut-bait time for all concerned.
Quite an interesting chat with Sonny Weems last night after the evening practice.
You see some of the results here but he also made a couple of other points that kind of made me think, yeah, this kid is growing up a little and more comfortable with his place in the city and the team.
We were talking about him and DeMar going out among the people to goof around and play ball and stuff and he made the point repeatedly that they’re just doing it because it’s what they do and not for any glory or fortune or whatever.
But he’s also wise enough to know that there may be those out among the people who have ulterior motives and he’s wary.
“You just have to know where you can go and where you can’t go. That’s all it’s about. When you get outside your area and try to do things too much, you need to settle down.”
How do they know?
“Our backgrounds. Coming where we come from, you can sense that’s not the place to be and this is the place to be.”
I believe that one thing you shouldn’t do when you’re leaving a practice gym is go and pick up your European Carry-all (aka, purse).
But there was Alvin Williams, who should know better, sporting an over-the-shoulder number when he departed practice yesterday morning to jaunt off to some high falutin’ Henchmen meeting.
Of course he got grief from the other coaches and some of us and it will continue unabated. Wait ‘til he shows up wearing a shirt with a three- or four-inch collar sometime.
Said Jay after Alvin had wandered off to wherever Henchmen go:
“We’re trying to get him one of those clip-on ties so he can just do it a lot quicker and snap it on before he goes.”
Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the bad shooter suggestions yesterday, they really got the list going but, to be clear, I was talking only about guys who’d played for Toronto.
No way I leave Bill Cartwright or Anthony Mason off my list. Or Reggie Miller for that matter.
Cue the spooky music.
I heard on my early-morning coffee run that it’s 50 – FIFTY – years ago today that the Flintstones first hit the air and I get back home, turn on the machine and see that Stoney Curtis died?
All suggestions for ways to kill idle time greatly appreciated. Super Family and I were out there a year ago for a very nice vacation but this is a Grunt Trip and therefore there will be more nights free.
Let’s have ‘em.
David Stern is not to be trifled with. And Ted Leonsis sure found out that the NBA is nothing like the NHL.
In what had to be the quickest fine ever leveled by The Commish on an owner, it took about five hours for Stern to dock Leonsis $100 Large for having the temerity to suggest NBA owners are after an NHL-style hard cap in their next CBA negotiations with the players.
Now, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Stern’s message was aimed at far more people that the new Wizards owner and if you thought there’d be any leaks as the talks continue, think again.
We noted that Leandro Barbosa settled on No. 20 and, of course, it sent us immediately scurrying to the guide to see who besides him, Damon and Alvin wore that number. It’s Fred Jones and Carlos Delfino and it sparked a mini-debate over which was the greatest number in franchise history.
Me? I go with 20, but it’s a close race with No. 15 which was, well, you know the one guy and Vince Carter, too. Third place? How about No. 13, which was Doug Christie, Jerome Williams, Mark Jackson and Mike James? That’s not too bad, either.
Now, as I’m sure you figured, we quickly went from “best” to “worst” and that’s when things got interesting.
What do you think? Is No. 55 – Rafael Araujo and Acie Earl (who for the longest time held the franchise single-game scoring record) worse than, say, No. 9 (Tony Massenburg, Sharone Wright, Roy Rogers, Kornel David, Rick Brunson, Pape Sow and Maceo Baston) or, for instance, No. 25 (Oliver Miller in one of his many incarnations, John Long, Lloyd Daniels and Aleks Radojevic).
Remember way back a couple of weeks when I said I didn’t know if any of the pre-season games were going to broadcast and that I hadn’t heard that they would?
Well, it’s not been announced yet but you might be able to see up to six of them.
TSN or TSN2 are allegedly doing the ones in Vancouver and Montreal and Raptors TV is going to have the four at home.
That’s a whole lot of suspect pretend basketball games to whet your appetite for a suspect real basketball game season.
Long flight tomorrow and need something to do on it.
I believe my new favourite Blue Jay is the kid who wore the eye-black moustache as a tribute to his manager last night.