NBA drops the pre-season ball
Way back a week or so ago, when the NBA and The Litigants finally got around to saving some scrap of a 2011-12 basketball season, one of the big questions around these parts was how were they going to say “sorry” to the fans and others they’d screwed over for about five months.
One of the most logical and easiest things to do – and hardly an earth-shattering statement of apology but at least something – would have been to make all the exhibition games free to anyone who wanted to go.
If memory serves, it’s what they did here in 1999 (the game against Boston that year was at the dome) and while it didn’t go too far to making amends, it was at least a gesture.
I know for a fact the Raptors tried to convince the league to let them offer the game – Dec. 18 against Boston – for free but were rebuffed.
Now, I’m not saying at all that one free exhibition game would assuage the feelings of all the fans; it is, after all, a first exhibition game after about nine days of practice and I don’t imagine it’ll be at NBA Finals intensity or skill.
And I can imagine the league figured ‘well, there are some markets where the teams could use the cash they’ll get so we can’t let one team do it and not others’ but why not simply make ever pretend game in every city free?
Who’s it going to hurt?
Huge fumble on the NBA’s part, in my opinion. You know my feelings on pre-season basketball as it is, I cannot imagine anyone forking over cash to see it under these circumstances.
Not sure what they’ll eventually end up doing as a way to make up for the past few months, I’m sure they’ll find some way to discount some tickets, I bet the Tallest of League Foreheads are coming up with other things as we speak but this was an easy, right-off-the-bat chance they blew.
If you happen to be near a radio between 5-7 p.m. tonight, or if you’re at your computer, I hear the McCown show on FAN590 or whatever it’s called now, is going to be hugely entertaining.
Helluva round table assembled, I’m told.
Hope we talk a lot of pucks.
Is there a more interesting story – in a train wreck kind of way – in all of sports right now than the Philadelphia Eagles?
Here’s the thing with teams that put together seemingly unstoppable squads: Most of us want them to fail.
We all tend to love to root against monoliths – just think back to how much glee so many felt when the Miami Heat didn’t win the NBA championship last June – and the Eagles were the perfect target for what amounted to a lot of fan anger.
They were self-assured bordering on cocky, they had amassed all kinds of talent and everyone knew it.
Now they’re probably going to fire the coach eventually, and their quarterbacks are either hurt or not playing well and they are stumbling and bumbling along every week.
Fans love to have targets and villains and a lot of us like to see sure things fall flat on the collective faces, don’t we?
This is why I believe – math marks notwithstanding – Super Son has a rather promising future ahead of him.
He goes to sax lessons one week, hears a tune he likes, asks for the sheet music and – presto! – the ever-so talented Pat Carey (yes, he of Downchild Blues Band fame) comes through.
And most of the week since, it’s been Yakety Sax blaring throughout the house.
Yakety Sax? Oh, well, the Benny Hill theme song.
Andrea Bargnani was in the Air Canada Centre yesterday.
Rest of the group will trickle in over the weekend.
Thought you’d like to know.
Was invited – thanks, fellas – to take in the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America annual end-of-season luncheon yesterday (Griff’s got the award-winner details here and a wrap up of a chat with Alex Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston here) and it was a gas.
One of the things that most struck me is that regardless of your feelings for what they do in their jobs – and there are always going to be hit and misses and everything in between – the men who run the three major sports in Toronto are good guys.
I know the basketball people very well, have come to know the baseball people sort of well and have had my share of conversations with Mr. Burke over the years.
They are all, without fail, good, honourable men you wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a drink with. They can tell stories and don’t mind doing it, they can be funny and engaging and informative. Sure, they have to protect their products and their plans and may not always be as forthcoming with inside information as some of us would like but they are solid men.
Not a bad group to represent your city.
Okay, before the big radio gig, I not only have to finish the NBL Canada package we’ve got going in the paper tomorrow (you asked, we complied) but there’ll be at least a couple of hours for mail.