The end of the weekend mail
Told out you there was more; not as much as I thought but some, nonetheless.
Enjoy it and I’ll be back around 8 p.m. for the IGBT.
Q: Hello Doug,
Nice to see the inclusion into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame of Oscar Schmidt. I remember seeing him play in the Olympics and how impressive his performance was. Now I understand he was selected by the New Jersey Nets (in the sixth round???) of the 1984 NBA Draft, but chose not to play professionally. Do you know why that was, Doug? And if he had decided to play in the NBA can you speculate about the sort of career he might have had? And do you remember seeing him play: were you covering any of the Olympic games when he was a member of the Brazilian national team? Thank
Lorie P, London
A: Oscar Schmidt once said, and I think this is verbatim:
“Some people carry the piano, some people play the piano” in reference to his incredible offensive skills and his idea of his place on a team and I’m not entirely sure that would have flown in the NBA so he went to Europe, made millions and millions and became a true international icon; who could blame him?
And, yes, I saw him play often, at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics primarily; he was not at the height of his abilities but he was pretty damn good.
Q: Hi Doug.
How will the impact of the American Airlines US Airways merger impact your
A: Well, if American Airlines ends up under the Star Alliance umbrella it will help my points total grow and that’s always a good thing.
Other than that, presume it’ll be business as usual; I survived the United-Continental merger just fine.
Q: Hi Doug,
Michael Jordan recently stated that Kobe is better than Lebron since Kobe is a better closer having 5 rings to Lebron's 1. Do you agree or should we be using more than just championships as a criteria when looking at the best players of all time.
Thank You and have a nice family day weekend.
A: There’s always more than championship totals. Things like the impact on the way the game is played and the impact on a team (carrying a questionable one to greater heights that it should have reached) have to be taken into consideration.
And I think they are, despite Michael’s assertion. The follow question to that statement should have been: “Okay, Michael, you’d rather take Bill Russell than yourself because 11 is bigger than six?”
Q: Is the Chicken in Houston?
If he/she/it is will there be a round of golf ?
A: Haven’t seen he/she/it all weekend (I’m doing this late Saturday afternoon) so I don’t imagine there’s anything going on.
The Chicken needs a break, I’m sure.
Q: Hi Doug,
How does the protection on the draft pick going to Houston work? Is there a lower and an upper limit on it? Do we give it away this year only if it's a lottery pick? Is it top-three protected?
A: Top three this year. And actually the pick has now moved on to Oklahoma City, it was part of the James Harden trade.
So in watching the Knick's game the other night and trying to process the commentary(normally I just watch, not listen and follow the IGBT) I found myself left trying to decide to what degree that the HOTH should be lauded for their defensive effort. Admittedly both teams were shooting with the alacrity of Five O'clock Charley but the HOTHs appear to have set some determination in resisting the Knicks' inevitable run. As a relative newcomer to the game of basketball I don't have my own lifetime experience playing a game to use as reference and depending on the commentator the range of descriptions left me wondering if more than one game had been played.
By no means am I chiding you for taking a night off but at least I have come to understand that you are consistent in your portrayal of the game on the floor and as a result I can form a mental image that doesn't challenge the memory of the game that I watched. Recognizing that that one game represents a single game in the middle of a season that has had it's moments of dreary I truly thought that by and large the HOTH showed some character and refused to just give up. Certainly not the flashiest of wins but a win on a night when it would have been pretty easy to just coast through and for that reason this win should be chalked up under "a good win". I would assume that Dwane had to take some satisfaction in the degree of effort expended.
Am I missing the obvious?
Thanks to you for what you do,
Doug T, Brantford
A: He would agree entirely and I spoke with him briefly after the Knicks game and he was quite impressed with how they pulled it out in what he said was “gritty” fashion.
Those games right before the break are always tough to get up for and he was proud his guys played hard, if not prettily.
Q: Happy Valentine's Day Doug!
Former HOTH Mark Jackson and Lindsey Hunter are both card carrying head coaches (as I type this email), and I believe Michael Curry was the only other Rap player who took/got a turn on that carousel. Do you see any former or current HOTH player in that position? My candidates would be Chauncey Billups and Jose.
As always, thanks for the superb blog!
A: Think I might have had this question a week or so ago and Chauncey was the one I came up with. And Jose has never suggested to me that he’s got any interest in coaching here at all; I’m sure he’s destined to live out his dotage in his native land.
Q: I am travelling in the States and absolutely love and need your blog for Raps info. Followed the last four great games line by line as no TV here.
What does HOTH and IGBT mean?
Raps seem to be getting away from defense first mentality. Do you think this is temporary due to recent trades and AB back or are we going to see this hurt them later in the season at crunch time? Am always an optimist that they can make a run for a playoff spot.
A: Heroes Of The Hardcourt; In-Game Blog Thing.
Defence is a concern, as Dwane has mentioned a dozen or so times and they need to work harder on it. The roster changes have absolutely been a factor and I don’t know how much better they’ll get at it in the last 30 or so games of the year.