Of bright futures, not talking Turkey and thanks, Mr. Simcoe
How the heck did it get to be August already?
Man, time does fly, no?
Let me get this straight.
The Canadian junior women win eight of nine games, beat the FIBA Americas champion (United States), the FIBA Europe champion (Italy), the FIBA Asia champion (Japan) at some point in the tournament and finish fifth at the world championships?
Something’s wrong here.
But, as a wise man once said of international basketball (and I honestly don’t remember who it was, maybe Steve Konchalski?):
"It’s not if you lose, it’s when you lose that counts."
Does it ever. Kind of reminds me of the 2000 Olympic men’s tournament, where Canada had the second-best record at 5-2 and finished seventh.
I’m not sure what can be done to correct the injustice of that final result, though. The format is what the format is and I guess aside from finding a way to do away with sudden-death quarter-finals to let four teams fight it out for three medals, there isn’t much to be done.
Stinks, sometimes, but what can you do?
I do know this, though:
This is a very, very good young team and it did reaffirm that the Canadian program – at the younger ages and especially on the distaff side right now – is on the right track.
The women who played and played so well – the Plouffe sisters from Edmonton, Nirra Fields of Lachine, Que., and LA, Korrisa Williams of Amhertsburg, Ont., Wumi Agunbiade of Pickering – may not be household names right now but I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about them as the years progress.
Of course, that’ll be up to guys like me to make sure they don’t get lost over the course of the winter because the international season for them is now over and the next time we write about them in that context will be at the world qualifier next year.
But I cannot tell you how significant it is for these young women to have gained the experience they just did. Of course, the loss to Spain was a huge disappointment but when it comes time to compete on the senior stage – and we’re looking at the 2012 worlds and 2014 Olympics and perhaps beyond – they will have all kinds of confidence to draw from. There will be some players, of course, who fall by the wayside for reasons running from skill development to injury to the tug of growing up and getting on with life but there is a core group that provides as promising a future as there’s been in decades.
We’ll get into the men’s side in more depth later in the week (the senior team finishes its first phase of training with games in the Czech Republic on Wednesday and Thursday before taking a week off) but with the junior women having played so well and the senior women off to Asia for a couple of games to get ready for their Olympic qualifier, that side of the program should be on the minds of basketball fans at the moment. And in a good way, too.
Sometimes kids are just raised right.
Super Son’s at the Alomar game soaking up the baseball and the sun and along about the eighth inning he gets all traditional, looks at Super Wife and starts warbling.
Real cheesy song but sounds cool when a ballyard full of Sox fans is singing it; highlight of the work part of a guy’s trip to Boston, as a matter of fact.
We’ve got to find one for HOTH.
Kobe Bryant says he hasn’t talked to that Turkish team in weeks and one report says there’s “zero” chance he goes to play there.
So, talks today?
Stern, Hunter, associates, deputies and a whole gaggle of lawyers are getting together in New York, a month into the lockout.
Now, as has been mentioned more than a couple of times, it’s going to be a long slog to get a deal done, nothing is likely to happen this week, or even next week, or even perhaps the week after that.
The best thing that can come out of today?
That the rhetoric doesn’t get all crazy and they decide they’ve done enough in this session to warrant scheduling more bargaining.
But, if memory serves from other pro sports labour negotiations, this would be about the day where one of the sides – and it really doesn’t matter which one, actually – walks out of the meeting and someone pronounces:
“They don’t want to negotiate, there’s nothing new from the last time we met. We’re done and told them to call us when they want to get serious about things.”
That, while predictable, would be bad.
If you’re lollygagging around the house today thankful for not having to work, think of this dude.
Scorekeeping time and, overall, don’t think I did too badly.
Remember this story from a week or so ago? Tried to figure out which big name ballplayers might get traded and which teams might do buying and selling as the deadline.
Looks like I had a few right.
Got two of the six players moved – damn those Tampa Rays for not doing anything – and hit on four of five teams that added significant pieces and two of five that divested themselves of players.
Overall, that’d be an average that’ll keep me in the majors another year.
Can’t wait for February to see how I might do in a sport I actually seem to know something about.
I chalk this entirely up to it being a holiday Monday and other people having other things to do but somehow they’ve gone way down the list of possibilities and I’ll be on the McCown show on FAN590 this evening 5-7.
Hope we talk a lot of pucks.