A long, hard journey starts and the NBA will tease you tomorrow
Kind of lost this on the weekend because some other things got in the way but the senior men’s team is starting its first quick training camp as the run-up to the Olympic qualifier begins.
This is a rather brief appearance, they’ll be here a week before heading out to an exhibition tour in Europe (France, Italy, Czech Republic) and will get together again in August for a final camp.
The details are here, courtesy of our friends at Canada Basketball and I’ll find a day/night to get out there this week, I hope.
And the ramifications of the NBA lockout are going to be an issue as well, here and for the other countries taking part in the qualifier.
As always, insurance issues come in to play, although they’ve already resolved some of them here and given the rather fluid nature of who might come to what camp for which country when, it’s impossible to say today who’ll be in Argentina in late August when things get started for real.
But this week is the groundwork week, re-establishing some familiarity with the players on the court, getting them used to seeing and living with each other and the tour coming up – two games in each country – will be a good benchmark for how far they still have to go.
The road to the 2012 Olympics is hard. Very, very hard. Two countries come out of the FIBA Americas tournament, the next three teams get to go to a last-chance event next summer right before the London Games and I’ll say right now that if Canada qualifies, it will be a hugely significant step but if I had to guess – and this has been a long-held thought – I’d say 2016 is far more a reachable goal.
So the story out of Britain today is that Darren Clarke stayed up all night hammering beer and red wine and soaking up his Open championship and if he’s not my new favourite golfer, I don’t know who is.
Really, what a great champion, great story, great guy.
It’s like someone you know, or someone you want to know, accomplished the greatest feat of his sporting career and took you along for the ride.
Saved this one out of the mail the other day.
Q: Hi Doug! Take your pick (or both):
Best technological advancement for grunts?
Best non-NBA sports memory?
Hopefully, you got enough questions for the mailbag. My only 'must-read' on the web (including email) on a daily basis is your blog - or, should I follow the lead of the British Open, and refer to it as "THE Blog?"
Tim H, Windsor
A: Believe it or not, I honestly think the best technological advancement for us has been wireless. Even if it’s spotty – as it is in so many places so often – it does allow us to do our jobs more quickly and more comfortably.
Now, I’m old enough to remember these:
But I’ve also seen us move from huge, heavy computers that used phone couplers, to ones where we had a half dozen wires to hook up and needed a phone line to work.
Now? Not so much. We can do our jobs more easily, with less hassle and from any number of places.
Super Son’s debut, of course.
The next time someone tells you how easy it is to score on a soccer penalty kick, please bring up the women’s World Cup final, would you?
And you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a handful of baseball writers – and an interloper or two – standing in front of a TV in a press box, stories waiting to be finished, while they watch the drama unfold.
Just goes to show that any sport can capture the attention of almost anyone if there’s a compelling story line to follow and something of significance at stake.
It’s why some of us love the games. You just never know what will capture your imagination.
Boy, some days you just get stinky baseball games to write about, I guess.
I know it’s a stupidly long season – which is the curse and the charm of the game – and some days things are just not going to be too exciting but, man.
A 7-2 game devoid of drama on the hottest day maybe ever, with no apparent story line ‘cause Cathal was writing about Jason Frasor.
Hopefully, the next time’s better.
Speaking of Frasor, it’s pretty impressive what he accomplished, isn’t it?
More mound appearances than any pitcher in franchise history – he went past Duane Ward when he pitched the ninth on Sunday – and for a middle reliever that’s quite something.
Those guys tend to be a dime a dozen and here’s one fact about that guy that I didn’t know:
He’s been here eight years and has had eight one-year contracts. Never had any job security to speak of, was playing a position where there’s always intense competition for jobs yet he’s stuck it out, keep getting employed and kept doing a good enough job that a series of managers has continued to trot him out night after night.
I’m trying to think if there’s a job with less security in sports; I’m sure there isn’t one in baseball and I guess maybe a backup lineman in football, with no guaranteed deal, would be on the list too but right-handed middle reliever on a team that doesn’t win tops my list. What’s on yours?
It’s not like he was ever going to move up and be a closer, or move up and be a starter but the kid hung in there.
Good for him.
How weird is this.
Am reading that the NBA is going to release its 2011-12 schedule tomorrow.
Presume the headline will be:
“Hey, here’s what you might not see this fall.”
Rays-Red Sox got 16 innings on Sunday night?
Man, can you imagine an IGBT for that one?
It was tough enough keeping the attention of Irregulars here Sunday afternoon for a nine-inning snorefest, wonder how you’d ever get through 16 innings.
Not sure how the blog thing worked, actually. Let’s say the, um, pace of baseball makes it difficult to sustain much conversation and there wasn’t a lot of drama that unfolded.
I did, however, learn how to put a picture in it so that’s something to look forward to whenever basketball comes back.