So here’s the deal.
If you want to watch any live weekend action from the world basketball championships and don’t have access to ESPN you’re, well, you’re screwed.
TSN2 will have the USA-Russia quarter-final live this morning at 11 a.m. but after that? Squat.
The semifinals, which go at noon and 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, won’t be on TSN2 until 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday night and the gold medal game, which goes at 2:30 p.m. Toronto time on Sunday, won’t be shown until 6 p.m. Toronto time, again on TSN2.
Kinda sucks, no?
Not sure which of the ESPN franchises will be showing anything, the early rounds have bounced around ESPN3, ESPN Classic and ESPN2 although I’m pretty sure the real ESPN will have the gold medal game live.
Looks like perhaps a weekend on a stool somewhere.
Cue the spooky music.
It was 38 years ago – to the day! – that Russia beat the United States in the 1972 Olympic basketball final, as controversial a finish as there’s ever been to a basketball game on a global stage.
The final three seconds were played three times, as I’ve mentioned, before Aleksandr Belov made the game-winning shot (click to ‘Gold medla match controversy’ here, it’s pretty incredible) and it is almost a contentious an issue now as it was then.
Anyway, long story short, there was a Raptor connection to that infamous incident (there seems to have been a Raptor connection to a lot of things, doesn’t there?) and maybe that’s why it’s in my mind a bit.
Jim Brewer, an assistant back in the Lenny Era,, was on that team I remember talking to him about it in, wow, it must have been ’02 on the 30th anniversary of the game and I recall him telling me how utterly robbed the Americans felt.
Like the rest of his team, he refused to accept the silver medal and I recall asking him whether he ever regretted that. I got a fast, and emphatic, no.
Anyone in the Toronto area notice that it’s, um, brisk out in the morning these days?
Guess that whole summer thing’s done, right? Makes the drive for the 6:30 a.m. coffee and the whole typing on the front porch with Super Dog shortly after a tad cool.
So apparently someone out there has assessed the Raptors a ‘D’ as an off-season grade and I’m getting all kinds of e-mails and comments about it.
In effect, they traded Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, Rasho Nesterovic and Patrick O’Bryant for Linas Kleiza, Leandro Barbosa, Julian Wright, David Andersen, Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi.
That’s three starters and a couple of others for a guy who was in Europe last year, a backup guard, a raw youngster, an oldish big who seldom played in his one year in the league and a couple of kids.
Of course it’s a ‘D’ but, you know what, it doesn’t really matter. You can call it an ‘F’ or an ‘E’ or whatever you like but they’re still going to play the games, win some, lose some and when it’s all said and done next April, we’ll see where they are.
And anybody who says she or he can tell you with any amount of certainty where that may be is simply blowing off-season smoke up your butt.
But it’s what we do. Some of us.
Do I think that’s a playoff team? No, probably not. Not today. But, you know what? How many of you thought last year’s team was? See. It’s not an exact science, which is why sports is so great.
Spain by 10?
Kinda like Spurs by 12.
Spectacular game, though, wasn’t it?
Okay, we’re way, way low on mail, which isn’t surprising given the dearth of, um, issues but if you’ve got something, I’d be glad to hear it. Or at least glad to read it.
You know the drill.
You know, of course, that Milos Teodosic, who hit the game-winning shot for Serbia over Spain yesterday, and Nenad Krstic, who has been his team’s best player night in and night out for the past four games, were the two guys suspended for that pre-worlds brawl with Greece, right.
Not sure what that means but …
I hear the kids are back in town.
That’d be some of the Raptors rookies, a couple of assistant coaches and the start of this whole zany grind really is around the corner.
There won’t be anything official or anything for us to write about until camp starts, really. It’s about a month between the start of practices and the start of the season and there’s no way I’m going to blow story ideas in mid-September that I’m going to need in mid-October.
Anyway, what goes on is they work out privately, maybe do a little scrimmaging but, under league rules, there can’t be any structured workouts until training camp officially begins.
But there are some guys here, more will be in over the course of the next week or so and will be going on around the gym.
Someone mentioned there’s an NFL game tonight?
Guess it is fall.
Can’t say I’m a huge fan of the gridiron – a Super Bowl party’s always a good thing, I guess – and I certainly don’t get all the fantasy leagues that everyone I know seems to be in. Guess that’s a sign of age, or disinterest, or a lack of knowledge I presume.
Think the last time I was lnvolved in anything like that was in one of those “survivor” pools or whatever they’re called, where you pick a team to win each week but can only pick one team one time over the course of a season.
Had to be about five seasons ago (hello, Four Sagats!) and, as I recall, I was on the sidelines by about 3:30 p.m. on Opening Sunday.