New league doing it right, and it's Hall of Fame time
Been kind of remiss in hitting this hard over the last few days but you have to give the folks at the nascent National Basketball League of Canada some credit.
They’ve had a flurry of announcements of late, mostly of teams in London, Oshawa, Moncton and Summerside and they are truly moving forward to a November opening for the latest attempt at pro league in Canada.
And they seem to be doing it at a perfect pace.
They have chosen markets carefully, not too big where teams would get lost in the hubbub of the city and not too small so that the economics wouldn’t work.
They haven’t made any grandiose signings or plans or pronouncements, they seem to realize that slow and steady and well thought out is the way to go.
Now, I don’t know enough about the economics of each ownership group or what support each civic government is giving (that’s for a story to work on next week) but from what I do know, they are solid. Sure, there are likely to be hiccups along the way, that’s to be expected in any new pro sports endeavour, but so far, everything they’ve done seems right.
The game needs a league in Canada, if for no other reason that to increase awareness of the sport and let fans in smaller cities see games live.
I don’t think it needs to a feeder league for any other, nor should they promote it to players as a step to anywhere else.
It should be self-sustaining, smallish without being bush league and as long as the league office and each of the teams realizes what it truly is, I can’t see any reason it won’t be hugely successful.
Hope it is.
Oh, and the league’s first draft is next week, better get started on my mock draft.
Man, did I get some heat last night.
Show up at Mighty Rockies practice Coach Steve is all over me about the U2 thing and best band of the era and the first thing that comes to mind is, “he reads this crap?”
But apparently he does and ignited a bit of a debate because while he’s all over U2 (and he’s very much a Man Of A Certain Age), he has these guys No. 1 and there’s no debate.
So they’re doing the Hall of Fame inductions down in Springfield today and it’s a huge class.
Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Satch Sanders, Goose Tatum, Tex Winter, Tara VanDerveer, Teresa Edwards and Herb Magee.
Can’t see an argument with any of them now that I’ve come around on Rodman, who I wondered about initially because I wasn’t sure he was enough of an all-around player to warrant an honour I think they give out too easily.
Anyway, the one guy who intrigues me, of course, is Sabonis because we only got to see him at the end of what was an astonishing career. When you look at the gifted big men in the game today – the guys who can run and pass and shoot – he was the first.
Besides, I saw this the other day on twitpic – or someone pointed it out to me, I can’t recall – and while a guy like Rodman did some wild things, I’m not sure he ever jumped rope while wearing a fedora.
A wistful feeling at the ball park yesterday.
Last Mighty Rockies practice of the season and it’ll be sad to see the urchins go.
We’re in The Big Championship Game on Saturday (if we lose in the first of the double-elimination final we go again Sunday) and I think Ticketmaster might have ducats if you look really, really, really hard.
This comes out of the mail and gets to some news I heard about the other day.
(And speaking of mail, I’ll have an afternoon and an evening in Niagara Falls to sit and putter around, please help me fill the time. Pretty gloomy over in the in-box, click here to send something along)
Q: Hi Doug. I just read that "The NBA plans to bring its All-Star Game and weekend-long festivities to Houston for the third time in 2013".
Didn't BC say that we'd get them in TO?
Dead Issue or is he still trying?
Mary-Anne B, Toronto
A: I don’t think it’s a dead issue but it’s not an active one, that’s for sure. There are several issues at play that may make it difficult for them to ever hold one, though.
First, the back-of-house at the Air Canada Centre is simply not adequate enough right now to jam everything in that they’d need without causing major headaches.
I’m also told the convention centre that’d be needed for the Jam Session and stuff like that is booked for some kind of shows through at least 2013 and perhaps beyond.
And I’m not entirely sure how the NBA and its “family” of sponsors and business partners would deal with late-February in Toronto, weather-wise.
Now, all of those things may not be insurmountable but, honestly, I think it’s a long shot they ever bring an all-star weekend to Toronto.
Oh, and consider this: If this season is delayed, or cancelled, they’ll have to make amends to Orlando, which is supposed to hold the 2012 event. So, no game this year, Houston 2013, Orlando 2014 and then we’ll see where we are might be how it plays out.
One last Hall of Fame note, of a personal nature.
I don’t imagine any of you know Brian McIntyre, who is now the senior communications advisor to David Stern and the man who ran the NBA’s media relations department for almost 30 years.
He’ll being honoured today with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement award which, according to the Hall itself, was instituted by the Board of Trustees of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973 and is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame outside of Enshrinement. Named in honor of Hall of Famer John W. Bunn (Class of 1964), the first chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame Committee who served from 1949-1964, the award honors coaches, players and contributors whose outstanding accomplishments have impacted the high school, college, professional or international game.
And that last sentence sums up Brian perfectly.
In an era where too many media departments of too many leagues and teams work as impediments to the media, and see us evil-doers of some level, Brian always had, and always has, the interests of the media in mind.
If you had a problem with a team or a player or needed anything from the league, you called Brian and the thing got fixed. Fast.
They don’t make ‘em like him any more, sadly. This is an honour richly deserved.