Wild ending, the art of storytelling and other fun stuff
I know for some the ending left you cold but, really, that was a pretty entertaining afternoon, no?
Kobe lobbies, or praises.
Asked if he was surprised by Jose Calderon, after his own Porous Laker Point Guards had been scorched for a career-high 30 from Calderon, this is what Bryant had to say:
“No. I know he can do that. You're impressed when you don't expect a player to have games like that. I fully expect that from him. He's a great player. He's always been one of my favourite point guards. So it wasn't surprising at all.”
Now, you know Kobe knows that somehow Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is going to see that quote and that’s might be what it was all about.
But – and this is big – people who know these things and make these decisions tell me that there is no fit whatsoever with the Lakers for Calderon – and just as important, he doesn’t fit into the Lamar Odom trade exception the Lakers still have – so it’s a non-starter.
And you tell me: After watching Calderon the last little while (17 assists one game, 14 assists and zero turnovers another, a career-high 30 on Sunday) why in the world would they want to move him.
Don’t give his salary as a reason – the Raptors can still get to about $15 million to spend next summer and still have his then-expiring contract as a trade chip if they want – and the way he’s playing, it’s, to me at least, a ridiculous notion to move him. He’d be quite content being a backup next season and I want a guy like that on my team.
So, the call
The NBA tweeted last night that official Scott Foster got that five-second call right (it’s kind of detailed in the game story) because the count actually got to 5.8 seconds.
Well, that is fact – there’s no disputing time – but what they didn’t say was that the officials blew it by ignoring Dwane Casey screaming timeout for about the last 2 1-2 seconds.
But as tough a call as it was, the truth is the Raptors still had a shot to tie or win with 3.7 seconds left after Kobe missed the one free throw and they didn’t get a good shot.
Oh, and there’s this, which might not have been a big factor but who knows:
You know me and the extraneous crap noise they insist on blaring during games, right?
Why in the world did the people who control such things believe it necessary to PLAY MUSIC while a home team guy is trying to inbound the ball with about four seconds left in a one-point game?
The fans weren’t loud enough? They felt pulsating crap was just that little bit of extra noise everyone was missing?
I just don’t get it.
Doing his job – well
For a guy who doesn’t play an awful lot, Jamaal Magloire plays well when he’s asked, he does his job with professionalism and intensity and he is always – always – the first guy off the bench during timeouts or during play either shouting encouragement or instruction to every one from point guards to centres.
A point on his effort:
There was a play when he somehow got switched out to cover Derek Fisher on the perimeter, one of those odd occurrences that come up in a game every now and then.
Now, a handful of veteran centres would have backed off, unwilling to be embarrassed when a tiny little point guard blew by them.
Not Magloire. With Casey yelling “stay up, stay up” that’s just what he did; I don’t remember how the play ultimately ended but that’s Magloire doing what he knew was right for his team. A lot of other guys might not have.
Just a little bit more:
Okay, I can get behind this.
A song I’ve actually heard and like quite a bit wins at the Grammys?
So Garth Woolsey comes out of retirement to nail a Trent Frayne obit and the passing of the sportswriting giant was, as you’d expect, a topic of late-morning conversation in the press room Sunday.
Aside from lamenting the loss of another great – and Frayne’s passing may have truly been the end of an era because the circumstances of the business suggest there will be no more like Frayne, Milt, Chester, Jim Coleman or Scott Young – hearing the praised heaped on Frayne for his style made me think.
What makes good sports writing?
And as we read about Frayne, and read about all those other greats of his era, it’s the ability to, sorry for the modern vernacular, multi-task that I really believe sets the good ones apart from the mundane.
You have to be able to write about people and issues and plays with equal ability, you have to do one sport one day and one the next, all the while entertaining and educating your audience. You need longevity and the ability to make ‘me laugh one day, say “hey, I didn’t know that the next” and cry the day after that.
There are far too many “screamers” in our industry, I’m afraid, men and women who want all too often to become part of the narrative rather than describe it. It is all well and good to offer a well thought out opinion every now and then, to help “guide” the reader, but it’s always got to be about the story and I’m not sure that’s the case sometimes these days.
It seemed to have been in the era of Frayne and those other greats; and that’s the one true lament I have.
This is entirely personal preference but I would prefer to watch Kobe Bryant over LeBron James every day.
I know, I know, I know.
Both great, two distinct styles but I’d much rather see Bryant dissect a team rather than James try to bull his way through one.
So, we’re just about wrapped up the writing portion of our afternoon when AP Ian points out from a few seats down that Zambia and ivory Coast are in a classic penalty kick final of the African Cup of Nations.
Anyway, I get down to Ian’s spot just in time to see the wild celebration and a couple of quick repeats of the game-winner in the 8-7 triumph.
Very cool because any team known as the Copper Bullets deserves some support. And then it strikes me that there’s something about Zambian football that I should remember but I can’t.
Not too long after, a little tweet thing arrives from Sports Illustrated (I’m telling you, I hope this internet isn’t really fad, it’s quite cool) and, dang! – there is something
And you should all read this piece about a tragic plane crash because it’s long-form magazine writing we don’t get in sports too often any more.