Another one's gone, but he'll be back
So, another one’s gone for a little bit, I hear.
Reports out of Brazil say Leandro Barbosa’s going to play a little basketball in his native land this fall, he’s signed, or is going to sign, with the storied Flemengo franchise.
It’s no surprise at all, his brother-slash-agent-slash-spokesman had said a month or so ago that he’d check out other possibilities and it makes entire sense that Leandro would stay at home.
Unlike Sonny Weems, though, Barbosa’s deal has an out for whenever the NBA lockout gets settled so he will be back in Toronto whenever there are games to be played.
I know Leandro a little bit and know how he feels about his homeland, his family there and his love of all things Brazil so the chance to play a little basketball there before coming back to the NBA would suit him just perfectly.
It’s good for him, it’s no sweat for the Raptors so this seems to be one of those win-win situations.
I still contend you’re not going to see a flood of North Americans headed to European leagues, there’s not enough money, not enough roster spots, not enough coddling to keep them happy for even a couple of months.
But why wouldn’t a non-North American stay in his country and play? Be with family, familiar surroundings, work on his game, stay in shape and not have to travel back to this continent and sit around and wait.
I’m dead certain you’ll hear about a lot more guys in Barbosa’s situation who stay at home and play until they’re summoned back to North America.
Good for them.
Okay, all this talk yesterday about the Ex got me thinking even more about the olden days.
Two things came to mind:
Those ice cream waffle sandwiches you used to get.
And cotton candy.
Not sure why those two stuck in my head, maybe I’m a traditionalist and don’t know about these new fangled donut-burgers or what have you.
But ice cream waffle sandwiches and cotton candy are the perfect meal.
Too bad this guy’s not playing this year:
Or this guy, RIP
Not much there so go here and get it done, okay?
Like this Irregular did.
Q: Hi Doug, are you missing Summer League yet ? :) I actually am - after having watched Team Canada, Ryerson and the Baylor crew, it reminded me of how there is a lot of really entertaining non-NBA basketball out there.
Wayne P, Toronto
A: I miss Summer League like I miss a migraine.
But you’re right, this has been a good time for the game in the city, I’m really ticked that life got in the way of seeing any of it personally.
But that should serve as a reminder: If this thing drags on and the start of the NBA season is delayed, there are other alternatives for the hard-core fans who want some basketball.
So a guy’s sitting on a stool working away and there’s all kinds of TVs on, one of which has the CFL game.
And the first reaction? Where the heck is everyone?
Yes, I know they were 1-6 (entirely on merit, I’m told) but even when they’ve been this bad, there’s always seemed to be a core of about 18,000-20,000 who showed up.
Did losing finally cost them people? Ticket prices? The stadium? The experience?
I have a friend, a diehard Argo fan from back in the old Exhibition Stadium days, and he’s so fed up with the losses, the transient nature of the roster, the experience at the park, that he’s given up season tickets he’s had forever.
And now he doesn’t even want to drive down to catch a game, knowing he can get the best seat in the house simply by walking up to the box office.
It’s too bad, really.
Used to be that Argo games had an “event” feel to them, even in the mausoleum that a two-thirds empty Rogers Centre is.
I hope they get it back; I’m doubtful that they will.
Still, the worst CFL game you’ve ever seen is probably better than any pre-season NFL football because I tried to watch some of one last night and needed to splash cold water on my face to stay awake.
Oh, from the Department of Utterly Ridiculous, guess what arrived yesterday?
The NBA pre-season schedule.
Guffaw. Guffaw. Guffaw.
Bet they’ll sell a lot of tickets to those games now.
Anyway, in the fantasy world of the HOTH, here’s their schedule and it’s not bad.
Four at home, which is good, and only one neutral site game, in Grand Rapids, Mich., which will mark my first trip to that megalopolis.
The Raptors have been there before and I guess I need to check with my Mighty Old Colleague because, if memory serves, I was able to shuffle off that glamour trip to her back in the day.
You will notice, however, that there are no Canadian cities outside of Toronto on the schedule and you can chalk that up entirely to the on-going labour dispute.
These schedules get worked on beginning months in advance and it would have been unfair – and not business-prudent – for them to book an arena, find local sponsors in some other Canadian city knowing full well they might have to pull the plug on the game at the last minute.
Too bad, though; it’s always been fun to travel around with the circus; hope we get to do it in 2012.
Oh, and this labour thing’s screwing with training camp, too.
Because there’s so much planning needed to pull that off – booking gyms, finding hotels, making other travel arrangements – I fully expect even if training camp starts on time it’ll be in boring old Toronto rather than some exotic locale like St. Catharines or Ottawa or Vancouver.