Time to make a move and Canada Basketball's new look
All right, it’s getting to be fish or cut bait time for the Raptors, roster-wise.
And as we have though all along, the only decision they’ve got to make will be to keep one of Joey Dorsey or Ronald Dupree and the time’s about here to make that call.
Now, neither has been spectacular in the pre-season and we are talking about the 11th or 12th or even 13th man on the roster but, still, on a team lacking news, it’s what passes for it.
If it’s going to be Dorsey they keep, they have to waive Dupree by Thursday so he can clear waivers before the Raptors need to be down to the 15-man limit on Monday night.
If they’re going to keep Dupree, they’ve got a few more days to move Dorsey thanks to the way his contract is structured.
What it also does, in some way, is put some added time pressure on Bryan Colangelo. If he’s going to do a deal and needs one of those two guys as either roster fillers or cap ballast, time is of the essence.
Again, it’s not the biggest issue in the world but something we will keep on top off for the next couple of days.
So, not sure how many of you have been at a game but there seems to be a new post-game tradition.
Buzzer goes, congratulations offered and the whole team gathers in a circle at midcourt. They say something to each other and then turn and wave to the crowd before leaving the court.
Seems it’s an “organizational” decision I was told, something the players were asked to do rather than something they came up with on their own.
I think some of them might be doing it grudgingly for one primary reason:
There will be nights after bad losses when the fans are, um, restless and standing out there as human piñatas might not be the most fun thing in the world.
Maks and Brandy were pretty good last night, eh?
And how about Rick Fox and Cheryl showing up at El Segundo and the Laker practice facility to say hi to Kobe and Phil?
When worlds collide …
Gotta love it when the kids grow up.
Alvin Williams, in his front office role, is off to some high-falutin’ NBA meeting in New York, I’m told; to talk about player development programs with execs from other teams.
Will keep away from a practice or two, I believe, but the kid’s getting on with life and becoming a big whig.
Good for him.
Rather than me just throwing this out there, why not use an early submission to the mail:
Q: Hi Doug- So much earlier on re: Dampier. What's up? Is he just waiting for preseason to end before joining a team? Would he benefit us or is he to old, to slow and to expensive?
Doug L, Toronto
A: Funny you should ask. I was asking someone who’d know about these sorts of things that very question this morning and I’m told a decision should come “soon” and it’s probably going to be either Phoenix, Houston, Chicago or Toronto. There is no “favourite” nor is there a definitive order of preference.
And I still think he’d be a good fit and he certainly wouldn’t be too expensive see how all they can offer him is the veteran’s minimum of about $1.4 million.
But, hopefully, this saga ends soon.
Dilemma time over here.
As you may recall, part of the gig in my PBWA duties is to sit on the committee that determines the all-star ballot you all can’t wait to see and the first of a series of conference calls to figure it out is this afternoon.
Now, there are a lot of people on that call who are brighter than I am but I do have some expertise when it comes to this team and that’s where the dilemma is.
As you also may recall, each team has to have three players on the ballot, even if the third, often the second, and sometimes the first, have no chance in Hades of making the game.
So, who gets on from here?
Bargnani as a centre? Yep.
DeRozan as a guard? Check.
And the third?
I don’t know either.
Wish me luck.
Okay, the Canada Basketball moves, one last time.
I will reiterate what I said yesterday about Leo and Allison and that is that it’s not an issue of coaching – the teams finished where they finished on merit and talent – and having them back for maybe two more years is a good thing.
But the news is the other two hires and what it’s going to mean long-term for the game.
Renato Pasquali as technical director and Michele O’Keefe as director of basketball operations are, in my opinion, inspired hires that can only mean significantly good things in the development of the sport across the country.
Not sure if any of you remember this piece I did on Renato out of the world championships in Turkey but it kind of gives a glimpse of what he is and what he feels is important.
I think one of the things lacking in the sport these days is good, fundamentally-sound coaching for the young kids and if Renato can coach the coaches, it can only mean good things.
Michele? I’ve known her for years and I know how passionate she is about the game, bringing together the disparate sides from across the country and she has some very good ideas that should be implemented.
“I think one of the first things I need to do with the crew and the provincial sport organizations is find a system that works, that the kids play less games, train more but feel like their building to something. Not just to play for Canada but also to play for their future.
“The lure of the AAU is what the kids have now and we have to find a way to keep those kids home.”
Now, she’s not talking about every kid, there will be one or two who need to go south or somewhere else for whatever reason. It’s the middling talent that – truth be told – is little more than fodder for some prep school with little hope of truly realizing every bit of their potential who need to stay here and be a larger part of the growth of the game at the young level.
I said when Wayne Parrish took over as executive director way back in ’07 that I didn’t know if the job could be done but that they had the only man I could think of who could do it.
I feel kind of the same away about Renato and Michele.
Mail? Sure, let’s start the process.
I don’t know how it’s all going to pan out or whether he can keep it up long-term but Reggie Evans was channeling his inner Oak yesterday with the long, rambling, working-man-blue-collar-drive-your-truck quote that’s in here.
And on a team starved for colourful quotes, I’m hoping he becomes something of a go-to guy for us.