Of leading, best and worst camps and, yes, a real pub
As usual – and this is pretty much NBA-wide – the baying media is kept outside until the final few minutes of each practice session and we might catch some shooting drills and that’s about it.
And they haven’t really done enough for any my spies to let me know precisely who looks bad, who looks good and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
We do know that Kyle Lowry is emerging as perhaps the most vocal on-court these guys have had in years and he’s more than willing to let his teammates know when things go awry.
“You just be yourself, you don’t do anything you’re not accustomed to doing, you go out there and be yourself,” he said. “If you’re yourself, people are going to respect you … you’re not trying to do anything extra.”
And doing it in the right way is the only way to go about it. No teammate likes to be chewed out, no matter how briefly or how legitimately and if Lowry is to continue down this road, he’d better learn quickly who he can push and who he has to cajole.
It’s hard reading personalities, he doesn’t have an awful lot of experience with this group and it’s a rather dodgy proposition.
“Kyle does it in a respectful way, and that’s what’s important,” was how Casey put it. “You have to treat your teammates with respect but he does hold guys accountable. That way I don’t lose my voice."
Basketball teams, any sports team for that matter, are delicate ecosystems; Lowry’s got a tough job ahead of him and I wonder if his personality is such that he can delivered hard messages softly, if need be.
You know me and pubs, right? Well, I’m not a fan of faux ones at all, you know the prefab ones we see to often at home where they try to replicate old ones.
Imagine my delight when – thanks to an Irregular or two – I stumbled upon The Henry House here last evening. Forget the great fish and chips and the delightful Ringwood ale (a pale blond from the Granite Brewery), the joint’s about a 120-year-old former home of Father of Confederation William Alexander Henry, still in pretty much its original state with walls of local ironstone and granite blocks that were originally ballast on the ships that sailed here from Britain.
Now, that’s a pub.
Speaking of …
A gaggle of us, First Lady Of The Beat and Two Others I Don’t Have Names For Yet wander down the road to the Old Triangle in search of Celtic music I’m told we can hear.
Imagine our delight when we found a group of about nine sitting around a table in an informal jam session; could of flutes, quiet but very good music and it was like dropping into someone’s kitchen.
And check out the pic The First Lady snapped of them?
Yes, it might have been a bit like creeping but what the heck. And, no, you don’t often see a guy with a big old Montreal Expos tattoo on the back of his upper arm, do you?
We’re in a nice little complex known as the Canada Games Centre on the outskirts of the city somewhere (about a $25 cab ride as the Tall Foreheads will come to know) and it’s got pretty much everything we need.
A big enough room with excellent wireless to work; a huge gym with three courts that affords us another room to get guys away form the crowd if we want; a Subway across the hall from the media room if we get puckish and I’m told the Crack Raptors PR Staff may have coffee and donuts this morning.
Has to be near the top of the list as far as facilities going which got me thinking.
The front yard of the hotel was a freaking vinyard and we were n Italy. Won’t ever be a better one. Can’t happen.
Great city, great facility at Carleton, great time. Would go back in a second if the Raptors brass is asking, as it should.
Yeah, we were a zillion kilometers away by staying downtown but the UBC campus was nice; the three-hour time difference was a pain.
No offence to the hometown of Super Wife but way back in the mid-90s, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. Camp in a cavernous arena was odd, too.
Except for the fact we stayed in Niagara Falls and once had an epic night at the Highland Tap involving The Legendary Mike Strange, Jagermeister and a napping grunt, the fact the work room at Brock was a storage closet made it less than memorable.
Camp. At. Home.
It was the KO year, should have known it might not end well.
Daily Valanciunas update?
He worked on the side with Alex McKechnie for a lot of yesterday, he might do some legit on-court work the end of the week and there’s one thing Dwane is getting from the big fella, at least.
“We’re not going to rush him back, when he’s ready, they’ll let us know, probably closer to the end of the week.
“He’s doing a great job of paying attention to what we’re doing, the No. 1 thing is he has to learn the terminology. He knows the actions defensively, we just have to learn the terminology.”
I’m pretty sure this iPhone thing I have can land Skylab if I asked it and there are all kinds of buttons and apps that I should know how to use.
But the battery sucks, it dies too fast, and if you’re sitting around a table having a lovely evening and someone who wants to join you can’t reach you, a fella gets miffed.
Take that, Apple.
So, Haligonians? Where am I going tonight after work?
I did see what looked like a very cool all-day breakfast/coffee house up the road that might provide an afternoon respite while journalism is being committed.
Other than that … whatcha got?
Man, I wish the Dodgers had won last night, there’s nothing like a last-day-of-the-season playoff chase to watch closely. All we’ve got now, I guess, is Yankees and Orioles and we need a New York loss and a Baltimore win to get us a tie and since the Yanks kind of stole one last night with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth and an extra inning win, am thinking the fates may deny is much drama today.