Big little meeting today, I hear.
Small groups of the NBA office and union staff, perhaps as a prelude to Lunch With Billy And David tomorrow.
Anyway, I guess the most interesting thing is that we’re now down to some kind of time pressure to get things started on time for an early-October opening to camp and a Nov. 1 start to the regular season.
That’s, of course, the pressure point we’ve been talking about all summer and now is about the time a lot of us thought things would get truly serious.
But how much time, really, do they need between a settlement and the start of a regular season?
I’ve seen anywhere from five weeks to seven to get it all in, which threatens the start already but I’m not sure that’s at all necessary.
It’d be a week to sign guys in a free-agent frenzy, tops; and then they can open the training camps.
Give ‘em three days of two-a-day workouts (the same that was allowed under the old CBA), a day off to rest and then four days of one-a-day workouts.
Then let ‘em schedule a couple or three exhibition games in, say, a five day stretch, and give them three more days before Opening Night.
(Coaches will hate that compressed schedule; players and Grunts will rejoice)
Now, I’ve got the old abacas out here and it says seven plus three plus one plus four plus five plus three equals, um …
Yeah, it equals 23!
(Math genius, I tell ya; a ruddy math genius)
So while there may be a sense of urgency today – and you can hear the bleating about this being doomsday in many regards – I think we’re a week or so away from that.
That said, if they walk out of the room today or tomorrow screaming about the intractability of the other side, we’re in trouble.
Life’s Rule No. 5,201
If the bald guy sitting next you in Starbucks starts singing along with Love Is All You Need at almost full voice, you are allowed to pour hot coffee over his head. In fact, you should be encouraged to do so.
It would get you the thanks of a grateful nation.
To say nothing of the untold appreciation of a worn out Grunt.
The Canadian Shield (remember that?) beats Puerto Rico last night to split the two final tune-ups before the women’s Olympic qualifier starts and now it’s off to Colombia to begin games Saturday.
Well, eventually, that is.
When I was chatting with Teresa Gabriele at practice last week, the small talk got around to the summer and the travel and where they were staying in Mississauga and the usual chit-chat.
When she told me they were being housed in a nice-ish hotel in Hazelville, I was razzing her about living the high life with cleaning service every day, cable TV and all the amenities; the women – and the men – have stayed in empty, barren dorm rooms a lot of summers.
Of course, I know it’s not the lap of luxury and just hearing about their travel today hammers that home.
How’s a 4 a.m. hotel departure in Puerto Rico for a flight to Fort Lauderdale where a three-hour layover awaits.
And then a long flight to Bogota, Colombia where they get sit around that bus garage, er, airport, for another six hours before they get to fly to Nieves, where the tournament’s going to be held.
Some travel, no?
It’s not like the NBA, that’s for sure, where the bus drives you to the tarmac under the wing of the plane, the flight’s never got a stop and the big issue sometimes is whether the chicken parm is tasty.
It’s that time.
Deepest thoughts. Probing questions. Congenial greetings.
Irregulars know about me and TV, right? Like to watch – life’s really gotten in the way of late – and cop dramas, lawyer dramas, old sitcoms top the list.
Well, with some idle time wondering whether the Leaves could go through the eleventy-game pre-season with an unblemished record, I was longing for the olden days.
And thinking about …
Five Shows I Wish Were Still On TV
(With the proviso that they have to have been off the air for five years so The Sopranos doesn’t make the list ‘cause it’d be first)
Homicide, Life On The Street
Oh, and it had Melissa Leo and some Irregulars know how I feel about that.
Now, that was a cop show. Even David Caruso was tolerable. Who didn’t love Sipowitz?
I remember talking to Rick Fox one year about the show while we were having dinner at Staples Centre and I offered the opinion that it was the darkest show on television and how the previous season had been wild.
He said something like “you ain’t seen nothing yet” and my eyes got wide.
“Yeah, how about a guy being sacrificed like Jesus on the floor of his cell?”
Dark. Very dark. But good.
Six Feet Under
Not sure how long a run it had but it was a pretty good show, no? Weird couples, odd premise – dysfunctional family-owned mortuary is the setting – and some very interesting storylines.
(Of the genre, that is)
Really. The writing was off-the-charts great, the acting top-notch, the cast filled with interesting people and storylines that we can all, in some way, relate to.
Now, I know there are other videos out there, that one I liked.
So I’m thinking the absolute worst thing in sports is a two-out error in the bottom of the ninth of a six-run baseball game that prolongs the agony for everyone for about 11 minutes and makes it far more stressful writing with post-game quotes for an 11 p.m. deadline than it should be.
It’s even worse that a basketball team down seven with five seconds to go calling a timeout to set up an eight-point play.
But maybe that’s me.
Anyway, this little item wraps up my Seamhead Summer, I believe; am ceding control of the beat back to Griff to bring ‘em on home for the final eight games of the year.
It was a blast, actually.
Don’t think I embarrassed myself reprising a long-forgotten role, got to cover games at Fenway Park (underwhelming) and Yankee Stadium (gorgeous, huge) and saw some good baseball.
The pace, obviously, and the length of your Grunt Day (be at the park around 3 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start) and the amount of down time on the road.
At least with the basketball, you’ve usually got a morning shootaround to break up the monotony of a long morning; baseball days can drag.
Same old, actually. Good guys on the TOD, seem to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. I can see them growing quite well as a group, although I’m sure there’ll be some comings and goings over the winter months.
Wonder how much free agency I’m going to have to do? Boss? Got any ideas?