There's movement afoot with the Raptors
All kinds of nuggets came out of the wee chat I had with Bryan yesterday (the main points are pretty much covered off here) and there was one other thing.
Remember way back when Masai left, there was some question whether they’d replace him in the front office or not?
Well, not sure it’s going to happen right away but there are going to be some changes in responsibility, likely minor, in the front office in the next couple of days.
But the big thing, of course, was it sounds like something is definitely happening roster wise before they hit the court here Tuesday morning.
The list of possibles seems a bit underwhelming – The Gangster (who seemed a tad more, um, mature when I saw him briefly in Turkey), David Harrison (washout in Indy), Earl Barron (relative unknown, had one good game late in the year in New York), Peter John Ramos (journeyman) and Fabricio Oberto (he’d be my pick because of his experience but not sure how much he’s got left in the tank)
Because that group doesn’t, in my opinion, hold much promise for future growth, I’m wondering if the trade route Bryan was talking about doesn’t make a lot more sense.
After all, they’ve already got a full roster and I can’t see them paying someone to go away to keep any of those guys around. And the impression I got in the conversation was that he’s looking for more than training camp fodder.
Of course, there was nothing available, even on the QT about who he’s got his eyes on trade-wide. Not entirely surprising at all, given that news leaks on two aborted transactions earlier this summer (the Charlotte one and Matt Barnes) may have been partially responsible for them falling part. Not completely, but at least partially.
One thing I got is that there are all kinds of teams calling about all kinds of players on the roster, though. Many around these parts may not think there’s much talent or guys who are coveted elsewhere but I’m not sure that’s the case if you’re an NBA GM.
Guess it all winds up with this: There’ll be news over the weekend; think today might be quiet on the player front because there are some league meetings but I fully expect at least one or two new faces in camp.
Total aside but if 30 Rock, which returned last night, isn’t the funniest contemporary show on TV, I don’t know what is.
But I have to say, The Big Bang Theory is growing on me a bit. It’s no Two and A Half Men but it’s pretty good.
Here’s why I’ve got a lot of time for the women’s basketball team that’s over at the worlds.
I hardly get to see them, or even talk to them, they don’t do a lot of media but when they do, they are tremendous. Thoughtful answers to questions, their personalities shine through and they do seem to enjoy chatting about themselves, the game, the team and the program.
I’m not saying, for instance, that the men don’t but there’s something a bit more, I don’t know, refreshing about the women that I find endearing.
And they give good quotes, too.
On the phone with Nataly Achonwa yesterday (and remember that name, she’s going to be a good one), I asked the 17-year-old what it was like going against the likes of Lauren Jackson, who’s an all-world big and one of the top five players on earth. China’s got some big size up front and so does Belarus and I wondered whether Nataly found it tough to go up against such size.
“Every day before I got to bed, I pray I grow a little more.”
That’s pretty good.
And the other day on the phone, I asked Kim Smith about the whole matter of recognition and publicity and notoriety that this team simply doesn’t get because not enough people really care.
“I just don’t think people know about it (the world championships) or know about us. When people see us and come watch us play, they enjoy what they see. We’re a very personable group.”
That they are, indeed.
Mail? Love some. This is going to be the last call for it; think this afternoon might be time to sit down and scribble some answers.
You know me and training camp, right?
Too long, too uneventful and only gets you ready for eight (yawn!) pretend games.
Anyway, with one about to start, here are the three worst in franchise history.
(We’ll figure out three good ones on the weekend or Monday)
Second year, dreadful doesn’t begin to cut it.
Stayed a couple of nights at some dumpy roadside Holiday Inn, which was the same hotel the players used and if you wanted to see grumpy, you should have seen them. Practiced in some hockey rink with one court and it was, in a word, horrible.
Dang Kevin O’Neill. Figured there was no sense in travelling anywhere and a few days of two-a-days we couldn’t watch was pretty bad. This year’s gonna bite a little bit, too but at least there’s the allure of Vancouver at the end of it. One thing we like? To get away at the start of the season to get into the swing of things.
Nothing against Buffalo, per se, (well, except that it’s Buffalo and downtown was, um, blight) but camp began about 36 hours after we got back from the Sydney Olympics and dealing with jetlag was tough. Oh, and it was in Buffalo, too. I did bring back some pretty nifty red running shoes from Sydney so that was okay.
In keeping with an early-week theme, Super Son ventured off to school shortly after 7:30 all primed for today’s Terry Fox Run for students at his place.
I’m hoping yours might be doing the same, I hope they raised some money and I hope, most of all, that they listen to the message the day carries.
All right, gotta track the last half of the women’s game on this machine. Be back soon with a wee update.^
Watch twitter, follow me @smithraps and you’ll get it first.
(Yes, a shameful plug for more, um, followers or whatever they’re called)