How bizarre is this.
In search of wireless and morning respite, a bedraggled grunt makes his way to Starbuck on the Lane in Niagara for an hour or so of peace and quiet and a wee bit of work.
First guy he sees when he walks in the door: Another Niagara Falls guy, former NBA head coach and it turns into a couple of old friends chatting.
Yeah, Jay’s doing all right, actually.
It is, as we all know, a very quiet time around the NBA – even if there wasn’t a lockout – but it doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do.
One of the very best programs the NBA runs is its Basketball Without Borders events each summer and Jay’s off this weekend to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a week or so to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the camps that bring together the best young players in Europe for basketball- and life-skill lessons.
The fact it’s on in Slovenia is rather significant.
It’s the first time a camp’s been held in one of the former Yugoslav republics, which was the site of the very first one and was for young kids from that former country.
It’s an excellent program and it’s good that the NBA and FIBA kept it going (they’ve been in Rio and are going to Johannesburg next month) in this odd summer.
Of course, because of the lockout, no current players can take part as they do every other summer.
So, the NBA has invited a handful of former players to each camp and, yes, he will be there.
Ah, I miss the big lug.
Senior men beat Czech Republic yesterday.
Took ‘em overtime to get the 89-83 win (there’s a brief story here courtesy of Canada Basketball) but a win’s a win’s a win.
Beats the alternative and if they get the one today, the finish to the trip will be far better than the start.
I cannot believe he never won an Emmy.
Because, as we know, it’s all about me …
Q: Good morning Doug. I was just wondering why you write your blog so early in the morning? Since your beat job mostly has you working at night and sometimes into the early hours why not write it then so you can actually get a good nights rest?
Richard H, Whitby
A: Good question, one I’ve actually asked myself, too.
And the answer always goes like this:
“Self, what in tarnation doing getting up so early to get that blog up by 8 or 8:30 in the morning?”
“You know why. That’s when the Irregulars in this neck of the woods are getting to work, high traffic time on the interweb before they start their jobs.”
“Self, you’re a dope. Why not do it after the game, get it done by 2 or 3 a.m. and get some sleep?”
“Who are you calling a dope? You know how it is. There’s a bit of an adrenaline rush when the night’s finally over and you need to decompress. Plus, a guy really likes decompressing most nights. Just as easy to get a few hours sleep and start quasi-fresh. Besides, some days I have germs of ideas done in the afternoon or early evening and it’s not that hard to simply expand on them.”
“Self, you are wise old soul. Sorry I asked.”
Traffic thing of the day
(And, yes, I’ll move on to something else soon, I promise)
I’ve been lucky enough to have been in Athens, Istanbul, Rome, Madrid, Beijing, London and Barcelona over the course of a career and have seen first hand some of the zaniest traffic known to man.
Scooters, buses, roundabouts, pedestrians, guys waving arms out windows, horns honking and, frankly, chaos.
You know how it is: Six cars come to one corner, six are at the other, people walking and gesticulating like crazy.
Know what I don’t remember seeing?
I don’t know it is but, man, those people can drive. A little crazily, sure, but no one seems to get hurt.
So a guy’s searching for the right Bubba Smith video (because that’s what we do here at a Raptors blog, search for video of now-deceased ex-football players and thespians) and, of course, these all pop up.
If there was a series of TV commercials better than Tastes Great, Less Filling, I’m not sure what they were.
I have a Sopwith Camel flight to Baltimore today and while I’m sure it’ll be bumpy and cramped, could use some work to keep my mind occupied.
And, have an entire night of crabcakes and stools so …
So Billy Hunter does a speaking engagement yesterday and says it’s likely the entire 2011-12 NBA season will be cancelled, the league filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board the other day while suing the players association in federal court as pre-emptive strike against decertification and, as a friend said the other day: