A good game and a day to recall good speeches
So what’s everyone getting excited about?
The HOTH beat a sub-.500 team at home. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?
But it must have been a fun afternoon nonetheless.
I don’t know if it has to be done through the competition committee or board of governors or what but there does seem to be one change needed in the way the game is officiated.
Except that behind the play, Kobe Bryant waves his arms in disgust – hardly the most demonstrative he’d been all game – and a referee (Ken Mauer?) blows his whistle to hit him with a technical.
It robs Toronto of an easy basket, Kyle Lowry misses the free throw, Raptors don’t score on the ensuing possession and the Lakers do.
It was a call that went by the letter of the law but something has to be written into the rule book that says technicals should – if at all possible – be called during stoppages in play if they are to be assessed to the team without possession.
That would seem to make entire sense to me.
An added bonus
I know Landry Fields’ jump shot still looks wonky and his free throw shooting can be an adventure but, you know what, the dude can flat out play smart basketball.
He knows how to cut to space and finish at the rim and in traffic and if he and Jose do develop some kind of chemistry, Fields is going to keep getting easy baskets.
I still think in a perfect world you want a more consistent shooter and offensive threat at that spot but if Fields keeps giving them 10-plus rebounds a game and plays the kind of defence he has been, that position it at least under control.
And I won’t have to hear people whine about the contract.
I know it’s a terribly small sample size and this is a rush to judgement at the level I don’t usually like to do but, man, I honestly don’t know if they can get it together to even scrape into the playoffs.
They look old and slow and play defence like the worst Raptors teams of all time, Toronto absolutely carved them up with screen-roll stuff.
And here’s the thing that really caught my eye:
I don’t know that they really “like” each other. At no point in the game – and I know they were down early and never led after Steve Nash made the first basket of the game in the first 10 seconds – but at no time did it look like they were having anything like fun out there.
I know it’s a business and a business of winning but isn’t there supposed to be some level of enjoyment apparent when you’re playing the game you love? Yeah, I thought so, too.
You know what I like? A lot?
A good speech.
Something that’s forceful and stirring and hits the listeners at the very heart.
I like speeches that inspire and challenge and are filled with brilliant turns of phrases and raw emotions.
I bring this up only now because today is Inauguration Day in the United States and it also happens to be Martin Luther King Day.
The world doesn’t seem to have as many great orators as it should, right? We live in a time of sound-bytes and “lines” and talking points, we seem to have lost the great speakers.
I’m not sure who I’d put on the list today – Obama might be at the top – and it’s not like Canada is blessed with women or men who can command an audience and stir them to crazy levels of passion with mere words.
Best speaker that I can think of off the top of my head?
You’d probably put Churchill up there, right? And Dr. King? And John F. Kennedy, right? How’s that for a list.
Top Canadians in my lifetime? Can’t really thing of one; maybe Trudeau but it was more the strength of his personality rather than his speech-making abilities.
And I know this is long but given the day and given what you’ve just read, watch this.
It may be American-centric but the words should still resonate worldwide.
Line of the day Sunday?
Someone asks Dwane about the technical that Howard got to earn his ejection. Dwane says he has “no clue” what the chatter was about.
“Two dogs barking is all I saw.”
Man, we are in for one classic Super Bowl since my picks San Francisco and New England both made it.
Okay, never mind.
Here’s a quick question, though: Which are you going to tire of more quickly, Ray Lewis or the Harbaughs.
I say it’s going to be a tie and we’ll be gagging ourselves on those stories before the teams even get to New Orleans.
It would appear by every report out there – and this is just representative because there are a lot of stories floating around – that the Sacramento-to-Seattle thing is done and settled, we’ll be back in the Pacific Northwest for a second city next season.
Probably talk a bit more about this tomorrow once more details emerge but I hope that whatever joy there is in Seattle today is tempered by the fact they are benefiting from the same kind of situation that made them feel so horrible when the Sonics bolted for Oklahoma City.
I’ve been in Sacramento at the highest time in franchise history – I was at the Game 7 overtime game against the Lakers, I saw the passion dozens of times over the years – and that’s a tiny city that supported its team very well; it got screwed over by owners who couldn’t make a deal with a city that bent over backwards to keep its team.
But I wonder what KO will be doing next fall, maybe we can have dinner at the Metropolitan Grill again.
(Oh yeah, those pics up there? My Man Rene was in the building snapping away all day yesterday; does great work)