Weekend mail starts, NBA is back and The Band? Doesn't get better
Good morning. Anything new?
Yes, this Saturday offering a little bit shorter than usual but I figure the hour I was going to spend at 6 a.m. was best spent digesting the new NBA CBA because I smell a work-filled day ahead.
Anyway, have at this, there’ll be lots of other Raptors/NBA stuff coming down during the day – thankfully all that’s planned is a quick trip to Niagara, the leaves can wait – and if there’s something pressing on your mind, here’s how you can get in on tomorrow’s fun.
Q: Hey Doug! A hypothetical question for you: Assuming there is an NBA season this year, will the players the players receive their full annual salary, or will it be prorated? Is that something that would be covered under the new CBA? If so, might it be one of the sticking points?
Tim H, Windsor
A: It’ll be pro-rated now that 16 regular season games have been lost. And that’s part of what the owners’ strategy seems to have been, wait out players and cost them real money.
Q: Hey Doug. As a professional journalist - and I hope this question won't tick off any TFs - is there a publication that you have always dreamed of writing for? Let's qualify this as a "guest appearance" rather than a full-time gig. As a wordy/worldly Grunt of a Certain Vintage, I could see you covering some pretty far-out sports/culture subjects for an outfit like Time or National Geographic. Do writers hold these international heavyweight publications in high esteem or is it just another gig?
Maybe there's something there for you to work with.
Andrew P, Toronto
A: I think most newspaper writers look longingly at some big publications and which they had the space, and time, to do relatively long-form journalism.
Personally, I grew up wanting to write one of those long-form items that used to anchor the back of Sports Illustrated but now, in my dotage, I would love to have the talent, and opportunity, to do something for The New Yorker. Don’t have either but ‘tis to dream.
That’d be about the only one on my list but I do cast a furtive eye toward Grantland every now and then.
Pardon the musical interlude.
Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of The Last Waltz and I’m not sure (a) there’s been a better music documentary or (b) how in the world people can’t love this music.
Q: Doug. I am missing my Raptors basketball fix and am now in Raptors withdrawal. Found myself watching a bad show last night about people bidding on stuff from storage lockers! Are there any TV shows you are watching that fill your "Raptors withdrawal" you might recommend?
John M, Halifax
A: Storage Wars! My goodness, my good man, you need to make that piece of reality crap go away. But, sadly, the more time I spend on the couch with clicker in hand, the more I hear Newton Minnow in my ear (google him and TV, would you?) because there is very little on.
Right now, as I look up, there’s a cooking show, French Food At Home, that’s got a nifty veal-in-a-white-cream-sauce recipe. Other than that, there is no “destination viewing” in my life, to tell you the truth.
Q: Hey Doug, Is the proposed 66 game season long enough to remove the looming asterisk from beside the names of this year's eventual champions (that is of course if the heavenly and earthly stars align and grant us a season)? BTW, I just bought London Lightning courtside tickets for 60 bucks. Courtside! to watch a non-rebounding, defensively challenged, high octane offense. It kind of reminded me of a huberus free version of another team that I could never afford to see courtside.
Rob N, London
A: I think 66 games will be a representative season; in fact, I think 60 might do the trick. Sure, there will be those who discount it – as many did in the Spurs title in the 50-game season of 1999 – but I would presume those would be people who don’t win.
I understand Lightning games are quite fun; and sure sounds like affordable entertainment.
Q: Morning Doug! General sports question... When a team waives a player (Kyle Orton, Broncos for example) and more than one team makes an attempt to claim him, how is it determined who gets his rights? First come first serve? Rock, Paper Scissors? I'm sure it's different from sport to sport but some insight would help and you are the all knowing in this neck of the woods.
Jay H, Toronto
A: The general rule of thumb – and this goes for all North American pro sports as far as I know – is that waiver claims go on inverse order in the standings at the time. The last place team gets first crack, second-last gets second choice and so on and so on. If there are more than one claim, the team with the worst record at the moment gets the player.
Of course, in some sports (baseball I know for sure), if you put a player on waivers and someone claims him, you have the chance to take him back. That might be a way to engineer trades if not to just see who might be interested in your guy.
Q: Doug, have you had any contact with The Chicken during the lockout and ensuing festivities....and if so, what's he doing? My first guess would be that he's spending some quality time with a physiotherapist or two to deal with 15+ years of accumulated injuries.
Mike D, Toronto
A: I haven’t seen hide nor hair of The Chicken since around the draft; am sure he/she/it is either doing Chicken Family things or working on his/her/its golf game or loafing around idly. But I bet with all this down time we’ll be in for some spectacularly Chicken Hijinks if/when things get back to normal.
Q: Just curious Doug, (my apologies if you have answered this already) but when does the average NBA player get to vote on their future? I know that Hunter and Fisher presented the proposal to the 30 player reps, but what happens then? Do the 30 reps contact the players on their team to find out how to vote or is it just the whim of those 30 reps? We are only talking about 450 people, Large corporations round up that many people all the time for much less important matters. Shouldn't each player vote his own conscience? I keep reading tweets and quotes from players who would have taken the deal, but will we never know how close we were to a full season because the NBPA... sorry the union formerly known as the NBPA... never actually asked the people they were representing?
Rob N, London
A: They don’t get the chance, they won’t get the chance, the men they elected or appointed as de facto “shop stewards” like those that exist in other unions, decided to disband the organization rather than let the membership vote. Didn’t happen then, cannot happen know. If there are members of the former union who have an issue with that, tough; they probably should have contacted their reps to make their thoughts known before it got to this point. It wasn’t like the move to disclaim interest came out of nowhere. That they didn’t is on them, they have no one to blame but themselves if they’re dissatisfied with how things turned out.
Q: Ciao Doug. Just a little addition about your "near to be perfect" list of the children of pro athletes.
The best couple in my list is: Cesare and Paolo Maldini.
They both played for one the most famous world's football club, the AC MILAN, winning many titles in Italy, in Europe and in the World. They were both for many years the captains of the team. And Paolo is THE CAPTAIN for ever in the club's history.
Cesare was for years the Italian National Team manager when Paolo was the Italy's Captain.
Probably Paolo is the best defender of the world's football's history.
In the last day of his 25 years career Paolo gave the most respectful and nice answer about a famous father.
The question was: 20 years ago you was famous because you was the Cesare's son, now you are simply PAOLO.
The answer: I am still and I'll always be proud to be the son of Cesare.
Your faithful reader from Roma, always hoping to see your comments about the NBA games during this season.
Paolo P, Roma
A: We should put together some kind of international list some day, thanks for kicking it off.