A whole lot of sports to digest, finally
What’s this? All kinds of “legit” stuff to talk about?
That ought to keep some of you happy.
Finally, they got a guy and now we can get on with … well, with waiting for the game to come back.
But at least there’s Ed Stefanski to talk about, the new executive vice-president of basketball operations (I see ginormous business cards to get the mouthful on) for the HOTH, signed, sealed and ready to meet the masses later this morning.
Let’s call him Another Set Of Eyes And Ears and you really can’t have enough of ‘em in the Raptors front office.
As mentioned in the story, the front office was not unlike the roster – thin – and having another guy around certainly can’t hurt.
He’s doing to do what a lot of sports front office types do, offer advice on players and acquisitions, chat to agents and other execs, be a sounding board for coaches and his boss.
He’s not going to come in and make a huge impact, that job – whatever it’s called – isn’t designed for that.
It’s designed to be a guy on a team, one piece of many and the fact that Ed’s got a wide and varied background – New Jersey, Philly, Wharton School grad, connections with agents, players, other coaches, organizations, sure isn’t going to hurt.
I’m sure there will be gaffes in the front office and successes, some deals will be good and some will be bad. It’s the way the game operates and anyone who thinks one guy is going to make some immediate impact or prove to be the difference-maker doesn’t quite understand how the game works.
If you were to go through the past of every significant NBA exec, you’d find some head-scratching moves that didn’t work out at all. You’d also find most have been parts of teams that have had success.
You hire a guy, trust his judgement and his past experience and hope the advice he offers works out well.
There are no sure things but I’d don’t mind them having a guy who’s been around the league for a couple of decades, someone who’s been with an organization that played for two championships, someone who knows the game.
What can it hurt?
Not sure if any of you heard the little hit I did with McCown and Brunt on Wednesday night but the name of one NBA free agent I’ve heard the HOTH have, or had, interested in completely escaped me.
Now, I don’t if they still do – I heard the name way back before the lockout hit and no one was allowed to talk about players – but his is one name that was kicked around.
Doesn’t mean he’s going to sign, doesn’t mean they still want him but it was the kind of guy they began the process thinking about.
That could all change, of course, given the specifics of the new CBA and that’s why it’s impossible to determine what these fellas might have in mind.
I will say this: I do think Bryan has positioned them financially and with roster openings to make moves quickly regardless of the new CBA.
Of course, we don’t know what that will be so it’s all guesswork right now.
What? Some of you take yesterday off?
Now that they want a couple of questions answered to run in the Saturday paper, I’ve got to get started before the stools are even in place on a Friday afternoon so get to it, ok?
What to make of this 15-hours-of-talks between the league and the union that broke up about 2 a.m. Thursday?
Well, various reports suggest they made some progress on the “system” issues – tax, length of contract, annual raises and the like – but never got around to the split of the Basketball Related Income, which remains the elephant in the room.
But, I’m going to trust guys like Ken Berger at CBS Sports, Howard Beck at the Times, My Man Sheridan and B. Mahoney of the AP; they all sense something more good than bad went on.
But the fact is, we’ve been down this road before.
Remember the overwhelming sense of optimism about two weeks ago, when everyone figured they had the split done and were ready to wrap things up?
Not so much.
Anyway, much better news yesterday and they’re back at it this afternoon. Wake me when they have a deal.
Appropos of nothing and just to prove we can’t go a day with being all sports, did you know Morey Amsterdam passed away on this date?
And the whole “TV theme songs without lyrics” list grows.
I know there will be a fair amount of angst among some Torontonians about the Buffalo Bills stuff and how the fans who come out are as much about other teams than they are the Bills and how it’s not nearly the same at the Rogers Centre as it is at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Of course it isn’t.
No way people in Toronto can match the enthusiasm of a Bills crowd, won’t happen in a billion years. They’re not the same kind of audience, not fuelled by the same passion, they haven’t been camped out in parking lots for hours getting ready.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.
Now, I do presume more people might be more excited and boisterous this time around because the Bills do seem like a fun team to watch and the game does have some significance but matching The Ralph?
Ain’t going to happen in a month of Sundays; fans here are not cut from the same cloth, they don’t have the same vested interest in the team.
Took a drive down there yesterday (here’s the first of a trio of stories that will eventually appear) and when I told the guy at the border where I was going and why, he wanted to talk about the Bills and knew right away they’d lost all three regular season games up in Toronto.
Stopped at a Starbucks out near the stadium to do a little work because I was way early thanks to little QEW traffic and a smooth Peace Bridge experience and when I told the nice lady what I was doing, she wanted to chat about the Bills and their foray to a foreign land.
The Bills are the topic down there, people of all ilk live and die with their successes and failures. Here? Just another team playing a game people get to see once a year.
Don’t be at all surprised that the players see it as a bit of a nuisance, and some will tell you it’s not the same.