Time for the mail on a quiet Sunday morn
A rack of ribs, watching a couple of games with Super Son, bed early. Yeah, Saturday as okay.
And this is shorter than usual, which is all right because the game’s at 6 p.m., not 7 p.m., and you all have to be in place for the IGBT, right?
Q: Hi Doug. I hope you don't mind a non-Raptors question about a certain star coach in the news: Jerry Sloan.
Most of the talk surrounding him is that he's lost the confidence and ears of his players, but it seems obvious to me that he's quitting now, so that he'll have a better chance to win by replacing Phil Jackson when he retires. So with all your insight on the league, I ask you: Is this truly Jerry Sloan's swan song, or is he just setting himself up for the best chance at a championship? Thanks a-plenty
Most of the talk surrounding him is that he's lost the confidence and ears of his players, but it seems obvious to me that he's quitting now, so that he'll have a better chance to win by replacing Phil Jackson when he retires.
So with all your insight on the league, I ask you: Is this truly Jerry Sloan's swan song, or is he just setting himself up for the best chance at a championship?
Charlie D, Montreal
A: From what I know of Jerry Sloan, and what I know of the events that transpired this week, I would be absolutely stunned if he ever graces an NBA bench again.
Sometimes, you throw your arms up and it’s time to go. For good.
Q: Doug - who is the all-time leading Raptor in blocks? For points and rebounds its Bosh and assists its Alvin Williams?
Jamil B, Sydney Australia
A: Career? A fellow by the name of Bosh, with an even 600. And, yes, he leads in points (10,275) and rebounds (4,776) and Jose is the career leader in assists with 2,778.
Q: Hey Doug! Read the blog every day and always enjoy when you let us know of different anniversaries of the day. I was just wondering though, when is the Raptor Blog's Birthday? More importantly, is it what you thought it would be when you first envisioned it?
We appreciate all the hard work Doug!
We appreciate all the hard work Doug!
Steve T, Ajax
A: I don’t actually remember it’s specific birthday, guess the epidural must have kicked in but I believe it was in 2007 when we were Italy for training camp.
And I had no idea what it would actually become, I certainly didn’t expect it to take over so much of my work life but as I look at the counter and see we’ve topped 16,000,000 hits since we began, it’s probably worth it.
And indicative of the changing media world I live in.
Q: Hi Doug. What a week that was. Seismic shifts all over the place. And not the least among them was Jerry Sloan's resignation. I sure hope it was more a case of him leaving on his own terms than any other scenario. Because he deserves that, in my opinion. And while it's true he never coached the Jazz to a Championship, if Jordan and those guys from Chicago not been around while Utah had some of their best teams, I don't think that would have been the case. Which makes me think about Championships and timing. As Sloan and the Jazz bumped up against Jordan and the Bulls, can you think of other teams that were very good, but just not good enough to beat the Dynasties of their Day? And players and coaches whose legacies were perhaps "unfairly" impacted??
Lorie P, London
A: I’ll give you three teams off the top of my head.
Cleveland, when the Cavs couldn’t get past those Jordan-era Bulls; Atlanta, as I recall, couldn’t ride Dominique Wilkins past Boston and while this may be a stretch, those Wilt Laker teams that could very seldom beat Russell and the Celtics might be the third.
As for individuals? I guess you might be able to say Wilkins but that’s probably be it for me.
Q: Hey Doug. I posted this in the comments this week and you didn't have time to answer then so I thought I'd try again here, as this is likely a better place to ask this kind of question. And since they will have just left town, it rates as somewhat timely:
Brandon Roy is poised to return to action for Portland, and the fact the Trail Blazers have posted a winning record in his absence, prompted me to look up their current active roster to see if it was readily apparent why their record is significantly better than the Raptors. They have experienced a similar injury profile this season (worse over the last couple of years) to the heart of what was supposed to be a promising young team. When I look at the Blazers rotation made up of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews, Nic Batum, Joel Przybilla, Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez and Patrick Mills it really makes me wonder how they've managed. I think if you concede that LaMarcus Aldridge is better than Bargnani (which is debatable, but for the sake of this comparison I'm willing to do) I'm still hard-pressed to see that rotation as appreciably better than the Raps. So first, between the Blazer group or the Raptors current 8 man rotation which do you think is better? And second, to what would you attribute the relative success of these Trail Blazers, given their injury woes and having to play in the Western Conference.
Brandon Roy is poised to return to action for Portland, and the fact the Trail Blazers have posted a winning record in his absence, prompted me to look up their current active roster to see if it was readily apparent why their record is significantly better than the Raptors. They have experienced a similar injury profile this season (worse over the last couple of years) to the heart of what was supposed to be a promising young team. When I look at the Blazers rotation made up of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews, Nic Batum, Joel Przybilla, Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez and Patrick Mills it really makes me wonder how they've managed. I think if you concede that LaMarcus Aldridge is better than Bargnani (which is debatable, but for the sake of this comparison I'm willing to do) I'm still hard-pressed to see that rotation as appreciably better than the Raps.
So first, between the Blazer group or the Raptors current 8 man rotation which do you think is better?
And second, to what would you attribute the relative success of these Trail Blazers, given their injury woes and having to play in the Western Conference.
Richard E, Toronto
A: I’d suggest that, today, it is appreciably better because Miller and Przybilla have loads of experience and Fernandez has been in more big games than anyone other than Calderon on the Raptors and I truly believe that experience is a huge factor in the success of a group.
I think Fernandez would be the starter here and I know Przybilla would have a huge role in a Raptors frontcourt.
Now, I’m sure Nate McMillan has his team playing defence at a higher level than the Raptors, which would also have something to do with it, but that’s also a matter of the skill level of the team.
Q: Has there ever been a case where a player gets traded, plays a game for the new team and then an unforeseen problem voids the trade and the player is sent back to his original team?
Detliff B, Toronto
A: No, not if he’s played a game, it can’t happen. There have been trades rescinded for medical reasons after they’ve been agreed to and approved by the league but once a guy plays, there is no looking back.
Q: Hi Doug, this isn't a Raptors question but a Kevin Garnett question. I just read he cursed out Spike Lee at a Knicks game. He allegedly made comments about Charlie V being a cancer patient early in the year and a couple of weeks ago he punched a guy in the groin during a game.
Is there any kind of cumulative action discipline in the NBA for this type of behaviour It seems like no one wants to say anything bad or do anything about KG.
Is there any kind of cumulative action discipline in the NBA for this type of behaviour
It seems like no one wants to say anything bad or do anything about KG.
Jeff F, Toronto
A: Yeah, it’s been quite a couple of months for Garnett, hasn’t it? He’s getting crankier in his dotage, like we all do.
But, no, there is no method by which the league can look back and add up prior, unpenalized transgressions when he finally does something that warrants a suspension.
Q: Hey Doug, got a random question for the middle of the season, but I may forget by the end. Are head coaches allowed to work out their players in the summer, go over tape and, you know, coach them? I know that when players come back into town before camp starts coaches are not allowed to run the workouts. I also know that assistants, especially player development ones will travel in the summer to check on players and help them with their game. I ask because if a team is really high on a player, in the raptors case maybe DeRozan, would Triano go spend a chunk of the summer, say at least 2 weeks, going over things like tape and any aspects of DeMar's game he felt he could help with and would help the team greatly? I'm sure it could also be in some cases a depth player, maybe a young guy who hasn't had a chance on a veteran team but may get a bigger role with changes in a coming year or some such.
Feel free to trim this question down, but I'd appreciate a simple yes or no with any explanation or clarification that may come along. Cheers
Feel free to trim this question down, but I'd appreciate a simple yes or no with any explanation or clarification that may come along.
Alex S, Toronto
A: Yeah, head coaches could go but the trust their assistants, whose job it is to work individually with players, to deliver the messages the head man wants delivered.
Q: Hey Doug. Karl Malone was on NBATV discussing Coach Sloan's abrupt departure, when he mentioned that he wants to carry on Jerry Sloan's coaching legacy. Chauncey Billups has also expressed interest in a front office job with the Nuggets. What level star do you have to be before you can just start asking management for those coveted jobs. Do you think it affects coaches and scouts and GM's who put in years before they reach any position of real importance?
Tilak J, Buffalo
A: I don’t think there’s any real “level” except to say that having an accomplished career like Malone or Billups might get you into an interview process more quickly.
But that’s what sells ambition: How you present yourself and your plan to perspective employers. It’s a long way from saying you want a job to actually getting one and I hold up Mark Jackson as a prime example.
And I don’t think it affects the ambitions of anyone, actually.
Q: I have followed the team for many years but the expectations have hit an all time low. Since this season seems to have gone South what would be the best way to go in the draft? Assuming no work stoppage/top 4 pick, trade down and go for volume or keep the top pick and hope for a difference maker? I know you think it's way to early but it's been that type of year.
John P, Vernon Hills
A: It is a bit early but this is kind of interesting to me because it doesn’t have to do with any one specific player.
With this team, as young as it is, I try to hit a home run rather that add more kids.
Q: Hi Doug. I had a question regarding the rules of the game. How come on some possessions when the shot clock's running down and when the other team fouls the shot clock gets re-set to 14 but on some occasions when they foul the shot clock remains.
Saad H, Woodbridge
A: It’s only re-set if it’s under 14 seconds; if there’s more than that, it continues on. Why did they pick 14? I can only guess that at the time, it was 10 seconds – the time then allowed to get the ball over midcourt – shorter than a full shot clock.
Q: As a senior trying to learn the ins and outs of the game, I am curious about the ten day contracts. When a player comes in on a ten day, he certainly brings some equipment with him but what exactly does the team supply. Besides salary, does the team provide a per diem for food and lodging or is that paid by the player from his salary. Do all players provide their own shoes or do the wear their preference and the team pays.
Thanks in advance
Thanks in advance
Gerry T, Halifax
A: Actually, the team provides everything from workout clothing to shoes (at no cost to the player) and housing. There is no per diem while the team is at home but every player gets a $106 per diem, even the 10-day guys.
The shoes are kind of interesting in that all players have a deal with some manufacturer that gives them free footwear. Hardly any are paid to wear them, though, because a lot of shoe companies have cut back on that kind of thing. But they are provided free of charge.
Q: A technical question if you may. Given it's the year where refs have been handing out technicals left and right, I was wondering what would happen if a technical was called after the end of regulation in a tie game? The game would be headed to overtime, but what happens if during the intermission, a player gets over demonstrative arguing a call, and gets t-ed up. Do the other team shoot the shot before OT for the game? Or do they still play the 5 minutes afterwards.
R C, Toronto
A: If it comes during the break, the team would shoot the technical foul before the five-minute overtime began. But it would still be an overtime game.
Q: Hey Doug: Great job keeping us diehards connected to the Raptors--and the NBA in general--when folks like myself either cannot or choose not to watch those woeful Raps. I also enjoy the general emphasis on the positive, though I know it must be a stretch at times. The question: what, exactly, is a brick? Is it just any miss, or a certain kind of miss? Sometimes it seems to be used synonymously with the term miss, other times, like during an NBA game I watched recently, the commentator/analyst said "briks and misses killed them." Please clarify if you can.
Marc Z, Ottawa
A: Nah, to me, a “brick” is a particularly ugly miss. A line drive that could shatter the backboard, a shot that has no chance whatsoever to go in. It’s one of those “I don’t know what it is but I know when I see it” kind of things, like my old buddy, whatshisname, the Supreme Court judge guy said.
Oh, yeah, that’d be the Potter Steward dude.
Q: Hey Doug. I was at the Spurs game the other day and ran into Malik Rose (who looks like he could play today). Any idea what he's doing here? Is he a Spurs scout, and if so, wouldn't it be wiser to send him before the game? Does he serve the Spurs in the same capacity as Jerome Williams works with the Raptors ... does JYD still do that?
Thanks and have a great weekend!
Thanks and have a great weekend!
Jarrod H, Toronto
A: Ran into him in the media room before the game, he’s doing some TV colour commentary filling when Sean Elliott can’t do a game for some reason or another. Malik also does some studio TV work in Oklahoma City and, I believe, New York and seems headed in that direction, career-wise.
Q: Hey Doug. In honour of home game No. 500 on Sunday, just wondering if there's anyone out there who'd be in the running with you in terms of being on hand for most - if not all - of those 500. It can't be easy to both have been around since '99 and trudge out to see the Heroes of the Hardcourt every night.
I'd figure that J. LaBumbard would be right up there, as well as Kevin DiPietro and Ray Chow. Not to mention, of course, Nav "Super Fan" Bhatia. Anyone else come to mind as being in the 490 range?
I'd figure that J. LaBumbard would be right up there, as well as Kevin DiPietro and Ray Chow. Not to mention, of course, Nav "Super Fan" Bhatia.
Anyone else come to mind as being in the 490 range?
Ben F, Toronto
A: Oh, I know I’m going to forget somebody so if it’s you I miss and you’re reading this, I’m sorry.
I’d say there’s probably four or five members of the scoring and timing crew who are in the same boat, a few back-of-house workers like ballboys and locker room attendants; Kevin’s trusty sidekick Paul Elliott might be in that group and don’t forget Eric and Jonsey on the radio and Jack and Leo on the TV side.
There are a few of us.
Q: Doug, just wondering, has there been anyone who presents you a trade-scenario just to get your insight, then a few days later the actual trade happens? Thanks.
Justin S, Sudbury
A: Not that I can recall, no.
Q: Hi Doug...blogs great, you're great yada yada...ok now to the question. I've read before that when a player is drafted he goes through a rookie contract first with his team and then he HAS to sign an extension with the same team once before he can decide to leave for nothing when his contract is next up (unless his team want to trade him of course). So does this mean Bosh HAD to sign his first extension with the Raptors and he couldn't just leave for nothing?
Chaz E, London
A: No, it was the same CBA as the one that exists now, the Raptors were able to extend Bosh without him having anything to say about it for his fourth year but he could have played out the fifth and become a restricted free agent if he wanted. He didn’t. He decided to re-sign here
Q: Doug, in a tough season, the Raptors are promoting this Matt and Jack night (celebrate the commentators, not the content - waiting for Doug Smith night - it will be some T-shirt- excuse a digression), but it seems they have a genuine connection/chemistry. I was always a fan of John Saunders and Leo back in the day, personally. Are Matt and Jack really that tight/good of friends? Do you get a sense these two are particularly closer than any of the prior combinations?
Geoff H, Toronto
A: All three of them – Matt, Jack and Leo – are pretty tight and genuinely like each other’s company. I’ve seen, and heard, about them hanging out on the road, actually. But they’re also all professional broadcasters who know how to inject some personality and colour into what are sometimes quite dreary games.
Q: What is Rasho up to? Last I heard he still owned a home here, so is he living in TO?
Alexandra G, Toronto
A: The Legendary Rasho is killing it with Olympiakos of the Greek league. Talked to him a while ago and life’s grand; he does still have a place in Toronto and may get back to visit sometime in the summer, he said when we last traded e-mails.
Q: The Super Bowl just recently had great viewership with the battle of small market teams Pittsburgh and Green Bay. Granted, that both teams are actually legendary franchises but the point is in the NFL with its economic structure smaller market teams can exist and excel. Contrast this to the new "Player in control" NBA where there are limited "destinations of choice" (Toronto, Cleveland, Denver can not keep their stars...Orlando, Utah, New Orleans, Clippers already on the watch)...
Do you ever envision an Indiana vs Sacramento final in this new NBA? Do you think the new CBA will attempt to address this preceived problem? Does Stern see this as an issue? Any idea how this can be fixed? Deep down is this Carmelo thing eating some players/agents because it may turn into a rallying cry for the owners to take back control.
Do you ever envision an Indiana vs Sacramento final in this new NBA? Do you think the new CBA will attempt to address this preceived problem? Does Stern see this as an issue? Any idea how this can be fixed?
Deep down is this Carmelo thing eating some players/agents because it may turn into a rallying cry for the owners to take back control.
Jim S, Whitby
A: This “player in control NBA” is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but it is one of the things that will be central to the delicate CBA negotiations that are about to take place. Having a mechanism that makes it more possible for “smaller” market teams to truly compete can only be a good thing for the league as a whole. As for a final that’s something like Indy-Sacramento? That’s going to come down to management in cities like that; after all, we have seen a San Antonio-Detroit final and a Spurs-Nets one and those are hardly “major” markets.
Q: Hi Doug, I know you want us to focus our brain cells on the present rather than 5 months hither but I'm afraid curiosity has already got the cat. If the Raptors have 20, 25, 30 M in expiring contracts can they just use this amount to sign free agents or are there restrictions? I know there's a 5.6 M Mid Level Exception amount & their 12 M Trade Exception, but can they sign free agents as they wish beyond that up to the amount of Raptor expiring contracts? If not, how does it work. Could they end up not being able to use their full 70M cap or even getting nowhere near it? I'm trying to figure out the possibilities of them being able to sign some of Tyson Chandler, Wilson Chandler, Jeff Green, Thaddeus Young, Nick Young, Glen Davis & Kendrick Perkins. I enjoy reading your blog daily.
Steve C, Cambridge
A: Here’s the reason I don’t play these silly reindeer games: We have no idea, no one has any idea, no one can possibly guess what might or might not be possible under whatever kind of collective bargaining agreement is eventually reached.
So it’s all well and good to think about money and the ability to spend it and players you might like to spend it on, it’s frankly not worth your while because the system is so vague.
Sorry, I know it’s the thing fans want to do as a bad season winds down but it can’t be done.
Q: Hi Doug. My question concerns the Raptors scouting department. Is Jim Kelley still in charge of looking after the scouting of players? This team has just drafted quite poorly for a long time. They seem to take flyer picks on 2nd rounders, not taking a guy who may have a better chance. I know the draft can be a crapshoot and all that, but how can a team take a guy like PJ Tucker instead of Paul Millsap in 2005? Everyone knew Millsap was at least the best rebounder in College and had the height. Whereas with Tucker the talk was his size will not find him a position in the NBA. Why Doug why do teams waste picks like this?
Jeff B, Milton
A: “Everybody knew Millsap was at least the best rebounder in College and had the height?”
Um, yeah, everybody except the 29 GMs and personnel bosses who, you know, passed on him. So I’m thinking you’re “everybody” might be a stretch.
This team has had no success whatsoever in second-round picks, you’re right. Now go find me the “gem” that the 29 other teams each found with a second-rounder, I mean a guy who either spent four years in the rotation with the original team that drafted him.
Drafting is a crapshoot, these guys have rolled snake eyes with second-round picks.
And, yes, Jim is still the senior director of scouting. But if you want to put whatever blame you want at his feet, I’d suggest you look above him; I think you give him far too much credit for what’s transpired.