If the incessant rain, chill in the air and leaves falling from the trees (stupid, stupid, stupid leaves!) isn’t signal enough, there’s another surefire sign that the summer is over.
The international basketball season is about wrapped up.
Well, as we know, the senior women finished third in their Olympic qualifier, good enough to get into next summer’s global 12-team event for five berths in London, and the men, while not in total disarray, are looking forward to pretty much a non-season in 2012 after falling on their faces at their qualification event.
Two things have to happen right now:
Canada Basketball has to announce – this week, I would say – that Allison McNeill is coming back to coach the senior women next summer. She’s done an incredible job developing that program – getting to two world championships after a 12-year drought, qualifying to play next summer – that it’d be ridiculous not to give her one more year to try to finish a process that’s so far along.
Not sure when they have their annual general meeting, or when the bean counters start parceling out cash for next year, but they have to devote a huge proportion of the available money to that women’s team.
That means as many training camps as they can fit into the women’s schedule, an ambitious exhibition season early next summer to prepare for the tournament and as many scouting, training trips as the staff can make to stay in touch with the core players from the team.
I know the general populace would rather discuss, or watch, or think about, the men’s program because it’s such a higher profile but the women are good and need to be provided with the resources to be as good as they can.
This ought to be a hoot.
Wonder how easy it’ll be to mock while I do?
Feel free to join. It’ll be like an IGBT only different.
And why not a trip down memory lane to start the week:
Q: Doug. It was interesting to see your commercial choices (how could you leave out Mean Joe Greene and the Kid?) but they did reveal a certain 'age' of watcher. So, when I ask you for your most annoying TV neighbours choices, I'm sure you'll have Gladys Kravitz ahead of Kramer.
Gary M, Brampton
A: Um, yes, I am of a certain vintage so I don’t imagine these will entirely surprise you and it’s sitcoms only. If these people moved next door, I might be convinced to put a sign on the lawn. Or a big electric fence between us:
The dude from Home Improvement. Remember him?
A bit smarmy and what’s with the no showing his face?
Yeah, you nailed it. What a nosy pain in the bum.
Ethel, I didn’t mind, especially that one episode where she and Lucy got in some trouble. Fred? A bit of a pain.
I know, not technically a neighbour because he lives a few floors away but you know what I mean.
Not sure why, he just bugged me.
Seriously, today is make-it-or-break-it day in the NBA contract talks.
I know. I know.
Same thing was said Friday, same thing was said Saturday and I’m pretty sure the same thing could very well be said tomorrow.
But, the truth is, I imagine the second week of pre-season games is going to be cancelled either today or tomorrow, robbing us of pretend games early in the exhibition season sometimes dominated by guys who don’t have a snowball’s chance of sticking around.
So the National Basketball League’s got a big deal going on today, naming its first commissioner about noon as it marches on towards the start of the inaugural season.
From all reports, each of the seven teams has been doing a good job in the respective cities getting some advance publicity, getting out in the community and creating the kind of local buzz that’s necessary before any start-up endeavour.
Again, I like the way these guys are going about their business, nothing too flashy, nothing too big, build from the ground up and I think they might just have a successful inaugural season.
We’ll catch up with them every now and then but this is very much a “local” league, not sure there’s a lot of national or Toronto interest until things get going but I’m pretty sure you’ll get your fill of them around here once I convince The Tall Foreheads it’s worth a road trip or two.
Back to the NBA for a second ‘cause we’re a tad wistful today.
You see, today is supposed to be Media Day for NBA teams, a giant free-for-all of interviews, pictures, the renewing of acquaintances and standing around the announces the formal opening of training camps aside.
Some of us whine a bit about it – it can be mind-numbingly boring, there are waaaaaaaaay too many hangers-on getting in the way, news is always in short supply – but it is like the first day of school.
You get to see guys you haven’t seen all summer, there truly is a sense of optimism pervading it and in some ways, it’s fun.
Now we’re left to wonder when there will be one, when there might be some resolution to the mess they league and union have got themselves into and it’s kind of depressing.
I’m sure that’s not lost on the big shots who’ll gather in New York today to talk; at least I hope it isn’t because this is supposed to be a time of goodwill, not apathy with gusts to anger at not having camps, games or anything to look forward to.
Okay, big day at the Mother Ship, I think. We’re trying to figure out ways to expand this little fiefdom and maybe bring some different looks to it.
Oh, and it will, of course, be a week of huge anticipation, excitement and fervor.
Pucks Starts Thursday!!!!!