If Bryan hasn't written his script yet, here are some ideas
Well, that’s that.
Sixty-six games, far more good ones than bad -- at least from a competitive aspect -- a few good things, a few bad things, too many games in too few days.
But now the real work begins.
Well, it continues, actually, because it’s been going on all year.
First, of course, is the annual free-for-all with Bryan and Dwane in a couple of hours and that ought to be fun.
I’m sure BC’s been thinking about what he’s going to say and how he’s going to say it for a day or so – he is somewhat meticulous in his preparation for such things – and I won’t pretend to guess which way he’s going to go with things.
(I do know somebody who isn’t sure whether the ball is blown up or stuffed and probably couldn’t name five Raptors without a program will show up and try to make his bones by becoming part of the story rather than reporting it; but that’s how things work, sadly)
But I do have an idea of what Bryan should say and if he gets a chance to read this before we all get together, here are some short items he probably should touch on.
And, BC, if you haven’t written anything down, feel free to use this. You’re welcome.
“I just want to let you all know that we’ve decided to pick up the third year option on Dwane’s contract today and we’re pleased to announce it now.”
I know it’s little more than a formality – if they let this guy get away it’d be a travesty – so why not tell us right now.
I don’t know that anyone who watches this team with any regularity can possibly have an issue with it, it’d be a message to the players and league that this is Dwane’s team to run as he sees fit and it’s just the right thing to do.
Casey is universally respected around the league, he’s proved this season more than capable of doing the job, the players play hard for him and his strategies are beyond reproach in almost every regard.
So that’s No. 1 out of the chute.
“I just want to let the rest of the league know that if we don’t get the No. 1 selection in the draft, we’re going to trade it so the phone lines are open.”
Look, they have – according to an awful lot of impartial observers – the second best player in the draft coming in Jonas Valanciunas.
The draft, once expected to be the greatest in years, now seems to be Anthony Davis and a bunch of other guys and, frankly, this team doesn’t need two kids to teach next year.
It needs men, some guys who have been in the league, know what it takes to win in the league and who can help right away.
If they didn’t have the big fella coming, this wouldn’t be the wisest course of action but they do. Pretend he’s this year’s draft pick and use the one you get May 30 as a bargaining chip to go out and try to get some immediate help.
No, I don’t know who that is and if you have to add Amir Johnson or James Johnson or Linas Kleiza to the deal to make it attractive, go right ahead.
You can be too young in the NBA, it takes kids a while to learn how to play in the league and then how to win in it; dealing the pick if it’s not No. 1 is prudent roster-building.
Oh, and one more?
(This is like Three Pointers, isn’t it?)
“I did what I said I’d do; there is no need for apologies.”
Yes, it was in some ways a difficult season, it always is when you lose far more games than you win.
But anyone who expected otherwise just wasn’t paying attention because what transpired this season is exactly what they promised would.
They became a far better defensive team, they did nothing to screw up future financial flexibility and some of the kids under Casey’s charge got better.
Go back and check the pre-season quotes if you don’t believe.
I think I said then, maybe not here but to some people privately, that talk is cheap and while it’s all well and good to make promises and develop plans, the proof is always going to be in the pudding.
And now it’s time to see if it is.
We will dutifully listen and write down what each of these gentlemen says this morning and I’m sure there will be useable quotes.
But aside from those three points (really, Bryan, I don’t need credit, go ahead and use them verbatim if you like) I’m not sure we need a lot of talk.
In the next three months we need to see action.
The past has been prelude all year; now it’s time for action.
Oh yeah. Don’t forget we’ll be here at noon to take your questions for an hour or so and if you can’t make it, we have some room in the mail bag. Click here, type some innermost thoughts and send ‘em along.
The playoffs are here (those are games that good teams play after the season’s over, in case you forgot) and I will say this:
After all the resting of players that nearly every team did in a despicable finish to the regular season that was a direct slap in the face of paying customers most times, if any player, coach or GM whines about a short turnaround before the playoffs begin, they should be mocked and ridiculed.
Okay, folks. Question time.
We have to keep this little charade up even now that the HOTH are packed up and gone for another few months. What do we do?
Do we do a morning recap in our own inimitable fashion of the previous night’s NBA stuff?
Do we combine that with other stuff?
Do we lament the past Raptors season until it’s lottery time?
Any suggestions greatly appreciated; I need to take something to the Tall Foreheads and I’m at a bit of a loss.