A bit of rant – not mine, but one I’m proud of – to start and then some of the usual stuff.
I’m on a plane most of the morning, will get to what I get to when I get to Orlando. And it’s looking increasingly like a lobby bar stool tonight since few of you gave me Orlando ideas, which I contend says as much about Orlando as it does you.
Q: Hi Doug. This isn't a question. Well, not my usual sort. It's a rant. And I hope as a Tenured Irregular you'll allow me to say this here. I was sort of amused by your grumping about game ops and how inane you find them. Amused because I watch all my Raptors games and TV and am spared from having to endure them. But during the home opener Wednesday night I found it somewhat insulting to have the camera focus repeatedly during the game on bosomy women jumping up and down waving those bits of cloth souvenirs handed out to all attending the game.
Sadly, I find women sports fans are still often thought of as either wishing to engage with athletes or encouraging their children; seldom is consideration given to the fact that many of us are intelligent fans of the game. These images do nothing to illustrate positive images of women as serious, thoughtful sports fans.
However, that being said, everyone has their own definition of fun, and we all watch and attend games for different reasons, but I wonder whose idea it was to broadcast - and indeed, linger - over those particular images and how does one go about encouraging them to rethink their shot selection? Thank you.
Lorie P, London
A:I think you may just have; I believe a few people with titles in the office may see this. Or have it pointed out to them.
Q: We had a power outage last night and almost missed my alarm this morning - good thing we have a dog that was hungry.
This got me thinking about close calls that you might have had throughout the years. Have you ever almost missed a game because your watch was set wrong, or the snooze button was hit when it shouldn't have been?
Traveling would also be difficult especially with all the different time zones you could cross. Do you have to set your watch accordingly every time you are about to travel?
Lastly, how do you keep track of game start times? Do you have a Blackberry device that keeps track of those things?
S S, Newmarket
A: I’ve actually been very lucky over the course of a decade and a half of a lot of winter travel. The only game I’ve missed, at least that I can recall, was a home game on a Sunday night against San Antonio – it was actually the game Bosh went past 10,000 points, if I remember correctly – and it was because silly Air Canada couldn’t get me out of Logan on time because of weather. Other than that? I’ve lived a pretty good travel life.
But the greatest fear? We book so far in advance that I’m afraid I’m going to be flying to, say, Charlotte, while the team’s going to say, Orlando. Never happened but it’s what I fear.
As for game times and the like? I do it week-by-week and hope I don’t screw up.
So far, so good.
Q: Doug, there are times when I watch DeMar that his game reminds me a little bit of HWSNBN. Could you please compare how you think DeMar would measure up to HWSNBN when he was at this stage in his career?
Jordan Z, Toronto
A: In his third year, Vince was exponentially better than DeMar is right now; he had deeper shooting range, a far more explosive first step and a knack for getting to the rim and dunking that DeMar can only hope to emulate some day.
Look, I think DeMar’s got some major talent but he’s no Vince. I think time has clouded people’s memories at just how good HWSNBN was.
Q: Hi Doug. Thanks as always for your diligence on the blog. Not sure where you find the time/energy to do it. Couple of questions for you.
I saw that Damien Cox wrote an article about the HOTHC. How long before you write one about the Leaves?
You've mentioned many times that it's very difficult to compare stats from one basketball league to the NBA. In particular, you've talked about how the NBDL is probably good for showing who CAN'T play in the NBA, as opposed to who can.
How then is one to judge how well Jonas Valancinuas is doing given he plays in a different league?
Best wishes for you and Super Family for the New Year.
Sohail G, Collingwood
A: You are able to judge him primarily on the development of is skills, not by the success or failure of his team or his pure stats. You want to see if he’s getting more comfortable in screen-roll situations, you want to see if his footwork on defence is getting better, you want to see if the form on his jump shot is smooth and consistent, you want to see his body mature. Lots of ways to find out if he can play even though the relative merits of the two leagues are light years apart.
Me and the pucks?
Surely you jest!
Q: Doug: You were so anti-Babcock in the past. And you have been so positive-Colangelo over his tenure.
Will you now, with this terrible team, admit that Colengelo is a failure. When he entered with the Raps, he had a #1 pick, cap space, a budding all-start in Chris Bosh, and he still couldn't take this dream situation and turn the Raps into a credible playoff team....Terrible!
Doug, I believe your cheerleading of Colangelo has made you a modest accomplice to the sad state we are seeing with the raps.
I truly hope one day you will hold Colangelo's feet to the fire, as you did with Babcock (although undeservedly in that case).
Sincerely, a disheartened Raps fan craving for the media to call it like it is!
Jessu S, Toronto
A: This is one of these great ones: It’s not so much a question as a plea for validation of an opinion and you’re barking up the wrong tree.
When he entered the Raps, he had a No. 1 pick, a terrible roster, some money to spend and – to kind of refresh your seemingly failing memory – he turned that team into a 47-win division champion. Yes, things went on a downward trend after that season and, oh yeah, the playoff team of the next year but they are, in my opinion, on the upswing now.
Sorry to disappoint and not agree with you but I have a feeling you don’t truly want people to “call it like it is” as much as you want people to “hey, agree with me, I’m right and you’re wrong.”