If it's Saturday, the weekend mail begins
Well done, my friends.
Late flurry made this pretty good and there’s more left over for tomorrow including some lists. Still time if you’d like to get into the fun.
You know the drill.
Q: In honour of the Ontario election, today's question:
Best politician/ basketballer?
Dave Bing, Bill Bradley, Barry Obama?
Musically reflecting the election results...How about J Cash's " I don't like it, but I guess things happen that way."
Bob E, Kanata
A: I’ll give you Bill Bradley for sure but I think I might be putting Kevin Johnson, His Worship the Mayor of the (not so) Great City Of Sacramento ahead of Bing and that kicks POTUS down to fourth at least.
And is this what you were talking about? With a bit of a bonus.
Q: Hey Doug. Sorry for the lack of mail lately - I'm having a hard time coming up with questions when there might not even be a season (yes, we fans like to be dramatic sometimes).
I find it interesting that Adam Silver (Deputy Commissioner and COO for those who don't know) seems to be getting so much face time in the media during these latest labour talks, and it seems clear to me that with David Stern close to 70, he's starting to think about handing the reins over to someone else.
My question is whether you've noticed the same thing, and if so, what you think Stern's legacy will be (besides allowing the Grizzlies to leave our beautiful, if wet, city). I've also read interesting things about Silver, who appears to be no slouch himself.
Graham V, Vancouver
A: Oh, I’m sure David’s starting to at least think about the end of his tenure and I’m also sure these contract negotiations and how they turn out will be a huge part of his legacy. But right now, and if they don’t miss any regular season games, I think he will be remembered as a guy who presided over a period of unimaginable global growth and economic prosperity that made billions of dollars for a lot of people. We’re talking about a truly global industry worth more than $4 billion a year that 30 years ago couldn’t get games in its championship series shown live on network television.
As for Adam, it’s widely thought that he’s the leading candidate to replace David but I don’t think he’s being more “public” than Russ Granik was the last time something like this happened. Russ was David’s right-hand man forever, it seemed, and was always around.
Q: Doug, you have to admit though that the retro Nets, or Golden State Warriors jerseys are worth their weight in gold! Retro NBA, not all of course. That green Mavericks one should be worn more often.
Drew L, Edmonton
A: I will absolutely concur on the Warriors (I love those old cable car jerseys and hope they wear them a lot this season) but I can’t find much love in my heart for the green Dallas ones.
I’d say Golden State might have the best series of alternate jerseys in all of sports.
Q: Doug: When do the players actually start to lose money? For e.g. does training camp cost them a certain amount, or is it just games in the regular season that are lost?
Ken B, Matheson
A: First paycheques are handed out in the middle of November, all they’d miss in training camp is some per diem money that’s a drop in the bucket. There are still a few weeks to go before the real financial pinch hits.
Q: Hello Doug! Well, say what you will about the fear, the greed, the inane tweets that have reared their ugly little heads during this lockout, I for one have enjoyed seeing you spread your wings and cover baseball, the NFL and even (and I never did think I'd see this one) pucks - and not just any old pucks, but Leaves pucks. And you know what's even more fun than getting your take on stuff going on in other sports? It's reading and/or joining in on the interaction between you and Griff, you and Cathal, you and...not sure who it'll be for pucks: I would've enjoyed you and Beezer! So, I'm enjoying all this sporty wit - or is it witty sport - and I'm wondering whether a well-developed sense of humour is a requirement to being a sports writer? Or does it just help? A lot! Or are The Mother Ship's Tall Foreheads merely suckers for writers who can tell a tale and tickle their funny bones all at the same time? Thanks!
(Now, think you might want to try some rugby on for size next? If so, will you be taking part in Cathal's live blog? And before you answer, it will probably be starting at 8PM New Zealand time. That's 4AM Hazelville time.)
Lorie P, London
A: I would say, as a whole, we’re a rather jolly lot with a few stories to impart and quick repartee honed over years and years and years of sitting it through endless, oft-boring, regular season sports events, wasting time in airport waiting areas or sitting around media rooms before and after games mocking each other, what we just saw and whatever else strikes our fancy.
Now, I do think the bigger picture is that our bosses want more “engagement” with the readers and if that means putting a little bit more of ourselves out there, and becoming more conversational, well a bit more of our personalities will come through.
And we’re basically good fellows.
But, no, there will be no 4 a.m. discussion of rugby at 4 a.m. involving this guy.
Q: Doug. Carpenter versus Halladay (two ex-Blue Jays)in the playoffs. Does this make Jays' fans proud of the organization's past or does it make them frustrated about "what could have been"?
Danny H, Fredericton
A: Fans? Oh, I’m sure there’s a large amount of “what could have been” running through their minds, which is too bad because, as we all know, nothing in pro sports is linear and just because one guy left and had great success (Carpenter) doesn’t mean it would have happened the exact same way here.
In Halladay’s case, though, he held such a special place in the minds of so many fans that I bet there were a lot of people happy to see him have success.
Q: Hey Doug, I'm very hopeful that there is some secret meetings going on right now, it seems things get done when the media doesn't know what's up. Anyways, not quite sure what the talent level is going to be for this new league (Division I? III? CIS?), but can we expect some fringe NBA'ers (11th and 12th guys) to sign a deal? Also, will there be rules about how many Canadians have to be on the roster? Not a big fan of rules like that, should always just be the best players play. As well, I've been running four fantasy leagues a year for the past ten years, so pass along my name for Commissioner candidates - thanks!
Shawn L, Bowmanville
A: Given all that I read Friday night, there are no meetings – secret or otherwise – planned at all.
I’m kind of anxious to see what this new NBL is like, too, I’d sure hope it’s of a higher calibre than anything any college or university league would provide but I just don’t know. Guess the greatest hope is that it’s consistently competitive so that fans have fun at games.
And, no, I don’t expect any current NBA “fringe” guys to sign and I hope they don’t because I think these teams need to build some goodwill with their fans through having players become part of the community and I don’t think you’d want a guy who was presumably one of the best players on the team bolting back to the NBA as soon as things get settled.
Q: Hi Doug. Since your blog (with the lack of HOTH news) seems to be evolving partly into an entertainment (for people of a certain age) related blog, I present you with the following conundrums:
June Cleaver or Maureen Robinson?
Samantha Stevens or Jeannie?
Betty Jo/Billie Jo/Bobbie Jo or Elly May Clampett?
Shirley Partridge or Carol Brady?
Ginger or Mary Anne?
Bailey or Jennifer?
And, since you mentioned it yourself, Wilma or Betty?
Sohail G, Collingwood
A: Wow, you are putting me on the spot and setting me up for all kinds of reaction, aren’t you?
Mrs. Robinson (not that one, the one from Lost In Space).
Samantha Stevens (what a cute nose).
Hmm, I guess Shirley Partridge, although that one’s probably a tie.
Um, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to do cartoons although I have a lot of time for Ann-Margrock.
Q: Hi Doug. Very long time reader, first time correspondent. I've spent many an hour on the clock reading through it online, so thank you very much for all your hard work. My employer may not thank you as much.
I have a question about the different NBA Salary Cap implications of the amnesty versus more traditional buyouts.
When a team buys out a player are they saving only the difference between the outstanding salary and the buyout amount? Or do they also get a break on the cap and potential luxury tax hit from the salary in future years from having paid all of the money up front?
Hopefully we'll have some games to watch soon, so we can start talking about the games and players again.
Matt S, Toronto
A: No, there’s no real break – under the now-dead collective bargaining agreement – for either cap or tax purposes but it’s rather moot now since I would presume there would be changes coming so we don’t see guys getting bought out and either signing somewhere else or coming back to their old team later that season.
But the cash savings never hurt.
Q: Hi Doug. I appreciate you keeping the blog going despite a lack of any basketball news. You're even getting me interested in baseball, a sport I never really paid attention to before!
As a basketball fan, the thing that upsets me the most about the lockout is simply that I won't get to watch any NBA basketball. At all. Not just the Raptors either. I like seeing highlights of Kevin Garnett being ridiculous, Derrick Rose making a crazy circus lay-up, Dirk hitting a plethora of one-legged fall away off-balance jumpers and a vast array of highly athletic dunks.
If the season is a wash, or starts late, is there anything that can satisfy my desire to watch high-level hoops?
Thanks Doug, keep up the great work!
Peter R, Regina
A: I think there are tens of thousands of people in the country who feel the same as you do; I’d think there are a large number of “NBA” fans as opposed to “Raptors” fans who just want games.
I wish I had something for you about games at the highest level but, if there are games cancelled, why not take a shot and go see a CIS game in your city, it’s not NBA but it’s not bad.
But for high level professional basketball, all I guess we can hope for outside of a resolution to this thing is that some television network somewhere decides its worth it to show us some EuroLeague games.