Halfway home and time to take a breath
Yeah, we are.
We’ll have lots more specific stuff in this piece I have to write from the comfort of Casa Doug tonight while the lads are frolicking in southern Florida but you’ve all noticed, I’m sure, that we’re 41 games through an 82-game regular season.
Anyway, where are they?
Short story would be that they are slightly behind where I though they’d be, maybe two or three wins in the standings, but other than that?
There’s been growth of the kids, everyone’s doing pretty much what I thought they’d do – the injuries have, of course, cut into that a little bit – and if you were listening all fall, the fact they might still climb into a situation where they are playing significant games in April with a hope of grabbing maybe the final post-season slot means they are pretty much heading in the direction they should be.
Yeah, there have been disappointments (and we’ll get more into them as I start typing a far bigger look at the team for tomorrow’s paper) and a few rocky stretches (seems eons ago everyone was supposed to get fired when we landed back in Toronto from Portland, doesn’t it?) but, all in all, the season’s unfolded pretty much as we expected.
What I can’t get over is that it’s halfway through. This has been as busy a first 2 1-2 months as I can remember; hopefully the second half unfolds at a much easier pace.
That’d be nice, no?
At no point, ever, do I want to hear a hockey fan whine about greedy owners or ungrateful players who spit in the eye of supporters, arena workers, support staff and any number of others.
Not after those same people who moaned and criticized all through the lock out and then came back wallet in hand to fill arenas the first chance they had to give their money to the same people who took money away from so many innocent workers during the four-month lockout.
Shameful and never again will I, or should you, believe anyone who says anything like “I’m done with this sport.”
You never know what’s going to pop up on the old iTunes shuffle some days. It’s like a box of musical chocolates, isn’t it?
This is on there, a quick google look to learn a bit more and maybe find another tune or something and, voila!, this is the anniversary of Sam Cooke’s birth.
We should start early since there’s the odd Saturday night game this week and mail is going to have to be Saturday morning.
And I’ll probably need some leftover to use Monday since I’ve been invited to this Team Up Foundation’s Red Party on Sunday night and who knows how that’s going to turn out.
Yes, I was remiss here yesterday morning and I am absolutely going to give you Stephen Lewis as one of Canada’s great orators.
I heard him several times at several events and most them were apolitical so the words resonated at a different level.
But here’s one for you:
Do the words make the speaker great or the style?
Sometimes I wonder, to tell you the truth, and maybe a lot of wonderful, would-be moving speeches are lost by bad delivery, monotone-speakers, boring men and women.
And, conversely, could someone with a brilliant style and a distinct voice – say a James Earl Jones – read a phonebook and still stir us?
I would hope that great messages are not lost by bad speakers; I fear that’s not the case.
I will say that having to get Super Son to school for Seven Stinking Ayem one day and then to the doctor for Eight Stupid O’Clock the next is going to wreak havoc with the usual morning stuff today and tomorrow.
Plus it’s about Eleven Billion Degrees Below Zero and I’m not built for the cold so that sucks, too.
(Actually, I’m not built for the heat, either; I need temperate, dammit).
End of the whining.
Bit more Raptors?
Not sure if you saw this Alan Anderson piece that went up yesterday (shame on you if you didn’t) but there’s one more point about him that I think might be understated a bit.
Not mouthy to the point of punkishness and he doesn’t go out of his way looking to stir stuff up but he does.
He got to Dwight Howard on Sunday, that’s for sure; and there’ve been a couple of other times (DeMarcus Cousins comes to mind) where he’s rankled.
Is it him? He doesn’t seem to care, as he told us after practice.
“I just play hard, whether it gets under their skin or not, I don’t control that. I control what I do and that’s play hard. When I play hard, some guys don’t like when you play hard, some guys can handle it. Whether or not they handle it is up to them.”
So one day after saying that Pau Gasol was going to be a starter again, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni changes his mind in Chicago on Monday and Gasol’s now a backup with Earl Clark starting.
That team is more of a train wreck every passing day.
It’s astonishing what’s gone on there, simply astonishing, and if Gasol’s not moved by the trade deadline, I’d be stunned.
And you know what that means?
More Toronto rumours, I’m sure.
Now, would you do Bargnani and, say, Anderson, Kleiza (who the Raptors are likely to amnesty next summer) and John Lucas III or something like that for him?
I wouldn’t do anything that includes Bargnani and Calderon – you’d be gutting your backcourt and making the team simply different and not necessarily better – but if there’s another package that could be put together, I’d make a call.
Not sure if there is but why not give it a shot and you can imagine the Lakers are ready to make a move.
Lost amid the whole sordid history of the HOTH, the Leaves and the creation of the monolith that is Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is the contribution of one man many forget.
I used to joke that they should name the arena The House That Allan Built because he was instrumental in bringing together two warring factions in the only sensible manner.
And when it comes time to write the official history of that company – as opposed to a more singular look at the zaniness what is the basketball program – he cannot be forgotten.
I mention this only because I haven’t or spoken to him in years but I see his name in the papers today for an astonishing piece of philanthropy and it’s worth noting that he had something to do with the sporting landscape in Toronto as well.