Quick path to the Hall and a tough show to miss
Like the mail?
We now return, for a bit at least, to our regular schedule.
Now the debate about Yao Ming’s Hall of Fame credentials can begin in earnest.
Scott Howard-Cooper reports here that Chinese officials are going to nominate Yao as a “contributor” to the Hall as early as next year, bypassing the five-year waiting period for retired players.
Now, the “contributor” description is rather nebulous but I can’t think of a guy in the last decade who’s advanced the cause of basketball more globally than Yao. Yes, they played before in China – heck, Yao wasn’t even the first Chinese player in the NBA – but the boom the game experienced thanks solely to his stature cannot be understated.
No, it hasn’t translated into a flood of NBA-calibre, or even EuroLeague-calibre kids emerging from that country and I’m not sure it ever will.
But the game is the thing, for kids on playgrounds, old guys in gyms, people sitting and watching in the stands and Yao’s ascension to the top of the game did amazing things in China.
The way he handled it, as I said way back when news of his retirement first broke, was amazing. He did it with grace and style and class and that’s what Hall of Famers do.
You can debate the merits of his on-court career and where they put him in the Hall of Fame discussion – they probably don’t make him a selection – but for what he did for the game? No question.
Hope he gets in on the first ballot.
A standing O, a hitless debut, a loss.
Yeah, kind of a so-so debut for the TOD kid, eh?
But we’ll be there to chronicle the misadventures tonight, with the 21-year-old pitcher making his debut.
Join an IGBT? Think I remember how to do ‘em.
Today’s pet travel peeve?
Do people think luggage shrinks when it actually gets into a plane?
They must or why else would so many try to jam so many big bags into overhead bins when it’s obvious from simply looking at them that they don’t fit.
We’re coming out of Baltimore on Monday on one of those very tiny planes, a turbo-prop job that seats maybe 50. They have the gate-check service where you simply dump your bag at the end of the jetway when you board, get it at the bottom of the stairs when the flight’s over. Easy peasy. No luggage carousel, no time wasted, no chance for them to lose the bag (well, maybe not).
So why, oh, why do people try to jam stuff into a place it won’t fit, ticking off tired people standing in the aisle behind them?
Do they have something, you know, valuable they have to keep close? Like this?
Sometimes I have major issues with people.
So, we’re about three weeks from the biggest basketball event of the summer, EuroBasket over in Lithuania with two spots in the 2012 London Olympics on the line.
And for those who need a fix, I understand Lithuania’s playing an exhibition game somewhere today, we’ll get you some Jonas stuff for the morning.
Well, Five Guys at lunch, ribs at dinner, some newfangled thing to hook up to the TV and play games on?
Yeah, I think Super Son had a not bad day.
Too bad I had to jet down the QEW for the night (hello, Mick and Angelo’s, see you Friday) for some morning family stuff ‘cause I hear there was a pretty good show at Ontario Place the lad would have liked.
These guys. Well, these guys 20 or years removed from this one but still going strong.
Okay, sing along, folks.
One more shameless plug.
If you’re interested in seeing the national men’s basketball team in a rather intimate setting, you’ve got two shots this weekend, Saturday night at Ryerson, Sunday afternoon at McMaster.
Tickets are just $10 – the price point they should have all the time to try to pack the house – and if you go here, you can find out how to get them.
Oh, and the folks at Canada Basketball tell me they’ll try to get me a list of invitees today; we’ll see then who’s in and out.
This is the kind of guy Bob Elliott is, and if there’s a better man on Earth, I don’t know him.
Neil MacCarl covered baseball like a blanket for The Star forever, including the infancy of the Jays up until the ’92 World Series and was the first chapter chairman of the Baseball Writers Association of America for 15 years.
Neil passed away Friday, another giant of our industry gone, and the tributes poured in, as they should.
The best one didn’t come on the weekend.
Bob, who is every bit the giant of the industry as anyone has ever been in this country, took over from Neil as president of the BBWAA. Because Bob is man who appreciates tradition and respects those who paved the way more than anyone I know does, Bob refused to serve as president for more than 15 years.