A star turn by a young Raptor and what's next?
Okay, think today might be a day to sit back and figure out precisely what this space is for the summer since basketball is going to be such a small part of the next few months.
And while I do that, here’s a series of rather unrelated items to keep you wildly entertained.
So the world juniors come to an end, Lithuania wins the gold and Your Boy Jonas averages 23 points, 13.9 rebounds, about 3 blocks per game, shoots 81 per cent from the free throw line and 59.5 per cent from field and is the most valuable player of the tournament.
And some of you, judging by the e-mails I get and little tweet things I read, are all agog over him.
And why not?
The kid does seem to have something that makes people sit up and take notice although I couldn’t get anything official from any NBA guy who took in the end of the tournament because they’re not ready to eat the $1 million fine for talking about players during the lockout.
Suffice it say they were impressed by him, so much so that Toronto’s selection of him with the No. 5 pick in the draft is now thought in some circles as the biggest steal of the night.
Now, the world juniors isn’t the highest calibre basketball ever played by it is good, it is very emotional and intense and for Valanciunas to elevate his game on that stage speaks as much to his personality as his talents.
Good players who have a chance to be great always tend to dominate when they should and that’s precisely what he did. He didn’t play down to any level of his competition, by all accounts he never loafed when he was playing weak opposition and that’s as impressive to me as anything he did statistically.
And his summer is going to keep getting busier with greater challenges ahead.
He’s likely to be named to Lithuania’s senior team – the one that will try to qualify for the 2012 Olympics when it hosts Eurobasket 2011 later this summer and I think that’ll give us another, truer, indication of what seem to be prodigious talents.
Missed the Festival Of Loud Cars again this year.
I’m not sure what would top the list of Things I’d Avoid Like The Plague but if I had to come up with three, it’d be:
I don’t get it, it’s always too hot and way, way, way, way too loud.
Davis or Fed Cup tennis
Yeah, I usually poach a day or two of the men’s or women’s event up at York and it’s not a bad time at all; watching relatively unknown Canadians play totally unknown players from other countries on the off-chance they win and become fodder for the really good countries does nothing for me.
Seriously, you cannot imagine the depth of my disdain for that.
Maybe three things I like to steal each summer.
Hey, you guys all saw that Ettore Messina hooked up with the Lakers, right?
He’s something called a “coaching consultant” to head coach Mike Brown and, no, I’m not sure exactly what that means, either.
I don’t imagine they would ask a coach of Messina’s pedigree – a handful of EuroLeague titles amassed over the years – to do a lot of the scut work normally done by assistants and I bet he’s more a resource for Brown than someone who’s going to take orders and carry out wishes.
And, no, I don’t think he’s nearly head coaching material yet because he’s not fully cognizant of what goes into an NBA season but, maybe, if he sits and watches and sees the interaction between coaches and players, coaches and GMs, coaches and the media for a year or two, he’ll be ready to move into the big chair.
If he wants and I wonder if, when he sees how much of a players’ league this is, he might not run from North America like his hair was on fire.
So, because I don’t particularly have a life and spend too much time of it reading stuff on this machine, I noticed that Nolan Richardson resigned as head coach of the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock.
Just another college guy who couldn’t cut it in the pros.
Seriously, name me the last high-profile guy – heck, name me the last no-profile guy – who went from the NCAA to the NBA and succeeded?
Guess it carries over in the women’s game, too.
One of the great treats of the weekend was getting some stuff done Sunday afternoon around the house, hanging out on the couch after the Jays game and getting to listen to Vin Scully work solo on the Dodger-Padre telecast.
I cannot imagine how hard it is to carry a TV baseball game by yourself, but Scully carries it off like no one else, dropping in anecdotes and stats and personal reminiscences that simply make it a joy to listen to.
I’d hope that in every sports broadcast school in North America that kids are made to listen to endless hours of Scully games to find the right conversational tone to carry it off.
To me, the excess verbiage of a multi-man booth, where broadcasters must think they’re being paid by the word, is the worst thing about sports on television.
Hey, did those wacky Royals get out of here yet?
Guess they couldn’t find time to knock on the door here and say hello; after all, I tried to by his parents’ place when I was in London in March and you’d think they’d pay a return visit.
I’m not sure what happened at the coaches meeting on Friday night but for some reason, the ‘e’ key on the old Blackberry Curve has stopped working and if you think it’s easy to spend a weekend answering e-mails while out or conversing on BBM without that letter, you’re dead wrong.
That means a trip to the office where they might once again suggest some sort of IPhone thing which I will resist at all costs.
I don’t know about you, but I really need the tactile feeling of a raised keypad when I type.
Old fashioned? Maybe. But who cares, right?
Hey, I hear we might get official announcement of Dwane’s coaching staff this week, perhaps as early as today.
Guess they just want to get it over with so there are guys with titles and nothing to officially do.
Imagine it’s as has been reported: The only holdovers will be Micah Nori and Scott Roth (goodbye, Alex; so long P.J.) and Johnny Davis will move up here from Memphis.