Lists and hirings and a little bit of Bulls-Heat
A rather fungible series of basically unrelated topics today as we plod along.
How about a list?
There’s a lot of love floating around these days for Dirk Nowitzki, isn’t there?
And because of the way he’s been performing over this post-season, we’re hearing all kinds of discussions about where he’d fit on the list of Greatest Non-American Players Of All-Time.
(The discussion of where he fits overall comes when he wins a title).
Anyway, I’m not always in favour of differentiating between people from here and people from elsewhere but, what the heck, we need some stuff for here, don’t we?
So, taking out guys like Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands), Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) and Steve Nash (Canada), here’s a personal list of five down to one of the best of the rest:
Yes, he died way, way, way too young and probably never realized his ultimate potential but, man, could he play.
Sure, he all but perfected the flop and that probably costs him a spot or two on the list but as a passing big man, he had few equals.
There probably haven’t been five guys in the history of the game with a sweeter shooting stroke. Oh, and he’s the only ex-Raptor to be considered.
No, we never saw him at his prime in the NBA but go find some of his highlights in Portland and when he played in Europe and you’ll find the prototypical passing-shooting-rebounding big man, the kind of multi-faceted player we don’t grow over here.
I know it’s trendy to have him here today but this is more than just a reward for a couple of big playoff series. The dude has been virtually unstoppable for years. Now, he can’t defend on his own to save his soul but …
Of course, No. 1 would unquestionably be Hakeem Olajuwon but I'm taking him out of the loop because he got all his training in an NCAA factory.
And, it was tough to leave off Toni Kukoc and Manu probably gets some consideration as he gets closer to the end of his career and I’m sure there are others you like but I’ll argue those five any old day of the week.
All right, here’s why they don’t put the actual drawing of the lottery balls on TV for those who were wondering yesterday.
It’s mind-numbingly boring and fast. And done with such necessary solemnity that it probably has to be done behind closed doors. I’m talking, for the most part, a snorefest.
A league official goes over the process in painstaking detail including what would happen in the “disaster scenarios” of the power going off (draw by hand), the machine spewing balls everywhere (draw by hand) or balls getting jammed (reset the machine).
Now, if the balls had started spewing from the machine and flying all over the room, that would have been cool.
How come the Rays are kryptonite to the TOD?
Gonna make it hard to climb that division ladder if that rung is always so slippery.
Speaking of the diamond, the Mighty Rockies were flooded out of practice No. 1 last night; we’ll take another shot at it this evening so think good thoughts.
And one last kick at the lottery can and then maybe we’ll put it to bed until next year.
Q: Few things:
Very happy that BC is back with the Raps. I feel that he and his moves are the only hope that we have for a team that contends. For the draft, if the ping pong balls are all in there, isn't it possible that a 25% (or any other team) team could get pulled more than once? Or do this just disregard the choice if the team was already selected? Great blog! Love the insight and I've been following for what it seems like forever!
Very happy that BC is back with the Raps. I feel that he and his moves are the only hope that we have for a team that contends.
For the draft, if the ping pong balls are all in there, isn't it possible that a 25% (or any other team) team could get pulled more than once?
Or do this just disregard the choice if the team was already selected?
Great blog! Love the insight and I've been following for what it seems like forever!
Ho T, Kitchener
A: Yes, it is quite possible that a four-digit number assigned to one of the teams could come up twice in the three draws they do.
And as the nice gentleman explained to us, if that happened they would simply ignore the second and just repeat the draw.
Didn’t see a whole lot of Heat-Bulls last night, the mind got a bit foggy and the eyelids a tad heavy, life kind of got in the way.
But what I did see was the emergence of Udonis Haslem as a bit of a force and that might be the thing that keeps the Heat hopes truly alive.
Yes, James and Wade are going to get theirs but having a big who is strong enough, and savvy enough, and quick enough to at least match the efforts of Taj Gibson and Omer Asik limits Chicago’s biggest advantage.
But I don’t know that Chicago can run its offence any better than it did in Game 1 nor any worse than it did in Game 2, either.
This one’s shaping up to be an excellent series.
You know how I’m sometimes talking about dislike or mistrust for twitter, how it doesn’t allow for nuance or inflection and how the world, to some of us, is simply too fast.
My friend Howard Beck of the Times, um, tweeted this yesterday afternoon and if I could write that well, this is what I would have said.
Makes my point pretty well.
So you run in an election, the people speak, you lose and time to get on with a real life, right?
Or, you could become a Senator.
What a country!
You know how Bryan said the other night after he got his new deal that he had to hit the ground running and make some quick decisions on people? Well, I’d hope he gets it done quickly because there are a lot of people twisting in the wind.
The entire coaching staff, save P.J., is without contacts about the middle of next month and that has to be Job 1. With the draft evaluation process now taking on even more importance given that they’ll have more players to look at, having no distractions or doubt about the future can’t hurt.
And if he is thinking about making some changes, or if Jay gets his option picked up and wants to make some changes to his staff, now’s the time.
That’s not even mentioning Maurizio Gherardini, who is also a “free agent” in June, and needs to come back, in my opinion.
The work that assistants do behind the scenes, facilitating stuff here and in Europe, gathering information, keeping the franchise in the forefront of people’s minds, is big. You may not see it but it’s also important work. Things like making sure the Raptors have access to practices and players and managers is not something anyone sees but if assistant coaches or assistant GMs can do that work behind the scenes, it helps; and every little bit helps.
You’ve done okay with the mail so far but there’s always room for more.