Time to really get ready for the season
Here’s another way to tell the season – or at least training camp – is right around the corner.
Am told the local coaching staff is headed off for its annual “retreat” this weekend, a time to bond, figure out what kind of stuff they’d like to do once camp begins, go over some of the bookkeeping and administrative crap they have to deal with and, if I know this staff, they’ll eat very well.
Anyway, it happens every year about this time – used to include some golfing as a diversion way back in the Sam Era, not sure that’s the case now – and it got me thinking.
Why don’t we have a Grunt Retreat?
You know, get the papers to fund a weekend away for eight or 10 of us so we could sit around and develop some of our own ground rules, hopes and dreams and expectations for the coming season.
Like? Well, like …
I’m pretty sure we’d all like nothing but afternoon games. No deadline pressure, still time to spend with the family over dinner. It’d be at the top of this guy’s list.
All for one, one for all
If we’re sitting there and someone makes a big shot and we can’t figure out whether it was 22 feet, 25 feet, 18 feet or some whether it was contested or uncontested, we shall come to a consensus, stick with one description and it shall become fact. After all, no need to confuse people who read more than one place.
After all, if we all say it's fact, it's fact; whether or not it's actually fact.
Put ‘em on probation
If, by consensus, we feel any player is not giving 100 per cent or staying within himself or just trying to help the team or simply trying to run, rebound, defend and do whatever the coach asks, we shall stop interviewing him until he learns that clichés are the devil’s work and should not ever be used.
I’m sure there are more that’ll come to me; I’ll save ‘em for some breakout session at our retreat, which I would like to hold in, oh, Maui.
Hey, Bryan Colangelo’s on a coaching search!
(Stop! That’s not what I mean)
You need to go deep into the news files to find this out but John Treloar, who coached the mighty Erie Whatever They’re Calleds of the D League, got a new gig in the front office of the Phoenix Suns.
And seeing how the Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers share the affiliation with Erie – although you’d never know it by the number of guys the Raptors have sent to the minors – they are being “consulted” on the search for a new head coach.
And, sadly, I don’t believe I’m in contention for the job.
So, Casa Doug, with the notable exception of, well, me, is a Survivor House and everyone, with the notable exception of, well, me and Super Dog, was all in a tizzy with the new season starting last night.
As some may know, my tastes in reality shows runs more to DWTS but if I had to go on one, well …
Since I can’t dance, don’t think I can dance, have no talent and won’t eat bugs, I’m figuring Amazing Race was right up my alley.
After all, it seems a lot like one gigantic (bad) road trip and that’s got to count for something, right?
Let’s start the mail, and remember:
Q: Hi Doug, first off, thanks for the blog, love reading it every day.
This question is kind of a hypothetical one, and might be difficult to answer, but here goes.
Way way back in 1981, Jay Triano was drafted by the Lakers, I believe, but he never played in the NBA. I assume that at the time, with less teams in the league, it was much tougher to crack a roster than it is today. Which brings me to my question, if Jay was playing today, would he have been skilled enough to crack a roster of one of the now 30 teams in the league? I only ask because I know he was a very skilled player, and would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the topic.
Peter R, Regina
A: As much as I’d like to think so, the way the game has changed, with the depth of talent, even though there are so many more teams, I don’t imagine a young Jay Triano would have a spot in the NBA.
You know me and NBA refs, right.
Honourable men who do the best job they can under hugely difficult circumstances, men who need experience and common sense to do their jobs lest every game degenerate into a steady stream of free throws and fouls.
It is, in my opinion, the hardest game to officiate well, there could conceivably be a whistle on every possession and only those who’ve been around have the discretion necessary to allow the players to play.
This story by Howard Beck in yesterday’s New York Times saddens me a little bit because it is another step in a purge that’s been going on for a while.
Now, all refs are not great, don’t get me wrong. There are missed calls and there are those who seem to be too confrontational but it is a job that requires nuance and you only get that over time.
Anyway, on a personal note, I’m going to miss Phil Robinson, who worked the Raptors game in Madrid a few years ago and who I got to know a bit by wandering the streets around the hotel with him and his wife for a little while.
I’m sure the young kids coming in are good refs who know the rules. I’m also sure it’s going to take them a while to figure out the NBA game and what’s required to make one run smoothly.