DeRozan's deal not likely, an upset Dwane and a bit more Nash
And that’s the way it should be.
The Raptors and his people are still chatting – and I know Bryan’s said often that he considers DeRozan a key part of the future – but doesn’t seem like a deal is imminent and the kid will become a restricted free agent next summer.
No sense, in my mind, in tying up big bucks for years to come on promise; it makes far more sense to see what the season is like, see how DeRozan develops and find out what the market is like next summer.
Doesn’t mean they don’t want him, and he’s had an excellent pre-season for the most part, and it’s not like there should be any acrimony as the Oct. 31 deadline comes and goes.
It means the Raptors are being financially prudent, keeping open some flexibility for next summer when they might be able to make some free agency moves if need be.
DeRozan has had a good camp, he’s more aggressive and stronger and better capable of finishing at the rim right now but gone are the day when teams should pay for promise; now it’s time to hang on to cap room and pay for performance rather than the future.
I presume there’ll still be conversations between DeRozan’s folks and the Raptors before the deadline arrives; I’d be shocked if they came to any kind of long-term agreement.
And it’s not just here where they’re being safe. I think there’ve only been about three or four guys who’ve had their rookie deals extended and the biggest question still unanswered is what the Oklahoma City Thunder do with James Harden, who is in exactly the same place as DeRozan.
I have no clue what’ll go on there but I do know teams seems to be far more careful with long-term contracts for any players, young ones chief among them, and that just makes sense.
Rum Booogie Café at the bottom of Beale, a cup of Gator gumbo, a couple of bottles of refreshment and jazz and blues live on stage?
Not a bad end to a de facto 10-day road trip to Montreal, Los Angeles and Memphis.
Did here the fellas do a version of this one, which was nice.
Things You See, Vol. 1,291,209
Leave the room about 6 a.m. in search of coffee, see a fella about my age and a bit bigger on all fours outside his room door fumbling around and you wonder, hmm, this can’t be good. “Sir, are you okay?”
Um, seems he was, just was a late night on Beale Street as evidence by the stumbling and bumbling and weaving while trying to fit the key into the door.
Miffed with gusts to perturbed.
And a tad perplexed about the zaniness that went on as the HOTH (Heroes Of The Hardcourt) gave up 36 first-quarter points in another desultory start.
“I don’t know what it is but we have to find a remedy for it because it’s a trend. I know it’s pre-season … but it’s been every game we’ve gotten off to a slow start and the second unit has had to come in so we’ve got to either look at the lineup, see what we’re doing, who’s in the lineup and what we’re doing. We give up 66 points in the first half and that’s unacceptable.”
He said he’s not panicking but he has options that he’ll explore if this continues once things start for real on Wednesday night. I don’t think it’s time to make a change yet – and I don’t know precisely what they change would be – but if this trend does continue for the first three or four or five games of the regular season, all bets are off on what he’ll do.
“We can’t wait to the second half to get started, when they throw it up at 7 o’clock, we’ve got to be ready to roll and we haven’t been.”
Yeah, we should have some here, but there was other stuff to do, there’s the Nash stuff that follows that I wanted you to see and there probably wasn’t enough to spread over two days.
So if you want to get in on the fun …
I’m going Memphis-Charlotte-Toronto and not home until after dinner but I’d like some fun letters to see when I get there.
Yeah, seeing the story on line confirmed there was some good stuff in there, but here’s a wee bit more that didn’t make it.
Q: What do you think people think of you? As a man, not as an athlete?
A: I think I get an overwhelming support from people and I’ve gotten so much respect and support in my life and career that sometimes … I’m almost skittish about it. It feels like I don’t deserve all that.
People, what do they think about me? I think people think that I’m generally a good guy that has a passion for life and that likes people. I’m not perfect and I think people realize that but I have a sense of humour and I have a passion for life.
Q: There are basketball players who are solely basketball players, they have a sense of entitlement from the time they’ve been teenagers until the end of their NBA careers and have nothing outside of that. You do.
My parents never got in the way of us but at the same time never allowed us to be entitled or spoiled. Life was never meant to be easy to me, therefore when life throws shit my way, I don’t feel sorry for myself.
I just think it comes from your parents or your coaches or your teachers … I feel like I really had people that kept me straight as a kid.
I can’t remember how we started this question.
Q: It’s about the inquisitive nature of your life, with the green initiatives and the peace initiatives and things like that?
I think what I was getting at was I think my parents had interests in other things, they were always inquisitive in every conversation I overheard.
I was pretty wasn’t ready in university. I was majoring in basketball – I know that’s a … cliché – but I was going to the gym every night so I was going to the gym twice a day and I was just trying to get by in school. I’m not necessarily proud of it but I believed I could do it so I got stuck on that path and then afterwards I got more inquisitive and wanted to travel and I was just intrigued by the cultures. I think if you have an open mind and you want to travel, all of a sudden the whole world opens up to you, whether it’s the environment or peace initiatives or whatever. When you travel and you meet different people and you’re sensitive to that, you can’t help but open your mind to different things. That’s how it came about.
Q: I think when we talked at the all-star game one year and you were wearing that peace T-shirt (it was in Houston in 2007 Atlanta in 2003, hat-tip J. Hollinger for the catch) that said: ‘No war. Shoot for peace’ on reference to the U.S. war in Iraq) it was more educate yourself rather than “listen to my point of view”, how did that come about.
A: I think what I was saying was that I didn’t believe in it but I think we all need to take a look at this, it seems a bit fishy to me. I think overall, it’s hard to dispute someone saying, ‘hey, let’s think for ourselves. So you can dispute my point of view and hopefully you do and come to a conclusion yourself but it was really something that I thought was – people say athletes or actors shouldn’t get involved – saying people should get involved. But I think citizens should get involved and I was just acting as a citizen. Yeah, I exploited visibility but I thought that was a pressing moment in time and that deserved a little thought.
Q: It wasn’t exploiting as in “you need to follow me”, there’s a difference, isn’t there? Some actors and athletes preach their point of view, you don’t seem to do that?
A: I’ve never really wanted to preach or get on a soapbox. Maybe a little bit with children but that’s all of our responsibility to raise our children in our communities but with that (the t-shirt) it’s about dialogue, discourse and reaching an understanding and an educated view.
And this bit
The Lakers ended the pre-season winless as they try and mix and match a relatively new roster that many experts expect to play for an NBA championship next June.
Q: Did you have any idea what a first training camp with a new team would be like?
A: I could imagine, I actually enjoyed it, you know? I never spent that much time on the court, we went pretty long but I enjoyed it.
Q: The whole Rock Star aura of this team, did that take getting used to?
A: Here? No. Literally, I’ve been talking to the media so long, I forget if there’s five or 25 people coming at you. The only time I ever thought about it, it was like, it’s not just Coro (Paul Coro, the beat writer of the Arizona Republic) and a couple of other guys, there is more people here but I guess maybe I expected it and it just seems normal now. There’s just so many outlets now, so much competition for space, even with a team full of stars in the old days, how many outlets were there? Three to six in each city?
Q: How is the difference in the cities you live? Phoenix is not LA
A: Having spent so much time in Vancouver, Toronto a million times, Phoenix, New York City, I spend a lot of time in London, as far as pace goes, New York’s hard to beat … and that’s kind of home for me in the summer so I’m pretty pliable in that sense. I usually jump right in and kind of appreciate the best parts of each place I go to.
And that’ll be the end of that.
Okay, have to run and pack and get out of here.
Talk to you later.