Well, this is a pretty good start with a fair amount of London and other stuff hanging around for tomorrow before I finally get ready to get on the plane Monday night.
If you want to get in on the fun, give it a shot here.
Q: With Acy signed the Raps now have 3 rookies coming in next year in Val, Ross and Acey. What are some of the challenges the rookie situation might create for the team? How do you expect the rookie learning curve to affect team production? Do you think NBA life will be easier for the rookies because there are three of them going through the same thing?
Jeff M, Saint John
A: The biggest challenge I’ve seen, aside from having to compete against men every night in games and a depth of talent they are totally unfamiliar with, is the adjustment to the lifestyle.
Unlike college, where there might or might not be classes and study halls to attend, NBA rookies need a lot of self-discipline to do things like handle downtime responsibly, eat well, get some rest and act like professionals. Teams help – they have nutritionists that can be consulted, for instance – but it’s a big leap from student to employee and some kids find it hard to handle at first.
That said, I don’t think having three will be either a detriment nor a bonus to the Raptors next season.
Q: As a person who travels pretty frequently at work I really enjoy your little travel tidbits throughout the season. Whenever I'm away from work I find myself staying up later, eating a lot more and having a few more drinks than normal. How is it even remotely possible to stay healthy when you're travelling so much as you bounce from city to city (and country to country at times)? Please share lots of little London stories. Cathal's daily Euro minute was extremely interesting reading. Looking forward to yours.
Jeff M, Chatham
A: I can feel your pain, I think if you averaged my travel over the last five or six years, you’d probably be close to 125 days in a calendar year and that’s a bit.
Now, I’d love to say it’s impossible to stay totally healthy but that’s probably not true because a number of my colleagues can. But I don’t have the level of self-discipline needed to eat right, sleep well and get exercise on a consistent basis. Did go through one stretch where I dumped post-game chicken wings; it lasted about half a season.
And I’ll get you as many London stories in the usual morning fare as I possibly can; might not be as well-told as Cathal’s but they’ll be mine.
Q: Hi Doug. I think I know your answer. Would you rather trod the damp links of a British Open or be stuck in a gym riveted to summer league in Las Vegas?
Would the newspaper provide you with proper rain gear for the golf, or do you have to provide your own?
For all those wet golfers...Dee Clark...Raindrops?
Bob E, Kanata
A: I’d rather live in a wet bunker and let guys land balls on my head at the Open than be stuck in a Vegas gym in July. But that’s just me.
And we’re on our own for stuff like rain suits and the like, no clothing allowances for anything built into our deals.
Dee Clark? This Dee Clark?
Q: Greetings, Mr. Smith. Just wondering if you could consult Mr. Webster and Mr. Colangelo and explain to us a little better just what the heck "organic growth" means for an NBA basketball team. Thank you, sir!
David M, Ottawa
A: I actually once did ask Bryan about “organic growth” and got this, not verbatim but a close approximation.
You get a group of young seedlings, water and handle with care as they grow, fertilized with consistent coaching and a constant message, and hope they blossom.
Mixed metaphors aside, that’s the best I can do.
Q: Hi Doug- If we lose Jose we need a second and 3rd string guard. The Kings may have to many and the Jimmer (Fredette) is a 3 point shooter that we could use. Why didn't they swap JJ for him instead of a second round pick?
Doug L, Toronto
A: Without having been in on the negotiations, I would offer these two ideas:
Maybe the Kings don’t want to give up on the kid.
Maybe the Raptors want to get someone better somewhere down the line and had no interest.
Maybe they should have asked for Cousins.
Q: Hi Doug. Yesterday you made a mention on how it’s odd for Melo to comment on a fellow player's contract as "crazy.”
I'm wondering your take on BC's comment that he over paid a bit for Fields in order to get him... I don't have the exact quote in front of me but he mentioned something about overpaying for Fields. Is this not an odd thing for a GM to come out in say?
Jeff M, Saint John
A: Not really. I think Bryan might have alluded to it before, to coax a player away from existing team you might have to up the ante a little bit; it’s not a Toronto thing, please don’t go there, it’s pretty much league wide. To say it publicly? Don’t think it was terribly new, or a problem.