Does the burden now shift to NBA GMs?
No, I don’t work in the NBA but I work around it and am heavily enough involved with it that it’s a large chunk of my professional life.
And I will say that through most of yesterday after the Jason Collins story hit, I was pretty damn proud of my association with the league, its players and its teams.
I won’t suggest that the same reaction wouldn’t have occurred had it been a baseball player or hockey player or football player who came out as Collins did – we have no idea if the acceptance would have been as overwhelming – but the overwhelming support, while not surprising, was welcome.
There were fears that the first active player to come out would face at least a bit of scorn, anger and be shunned; that seems to be absolutely not the case with everyone ranging from stars to journeymen to former teammates to coaches weighing with notes, tweets and statements of support.
Of course, it remains to be seen how GMs treat the news, Collins is 34 and on the downside of his career without a contract for next year.
But – and I mean this with no disrespect whatsoever – if guys like Aaron Gray or any other mid- or early early-30s journeyman backup – can have jobs in the league there’s no reason that Collins can’t.
By all accounts, he is a great teammate, able and willing to accept any role and play it as well as he can, he is a big man and you can’t have too many of those on a roster and it’s not like he’s broken down and 40.
There is no doubt there’s a team out there with a roster spot they could offer him and there’s no doubt a team with a need as well.
It’s not going to take a “brave” GM to offer him a deal – one-year minimum contracts are like nothing – but it will take a smart one.
The only thing I know about taxes is that you have to pay them for the common good. Don’t have to like them but it’s the cost of being Canadian.
Oh, and there was once a pretty good song about ‘em
Happy Paperwork Day.
Is the NFL Draft over yet?
I hope all the proceeds went to Muscular Dystrophy research.
(That’s going to take Irregulars Of A Certain Vintage to get)
All right, guess we need to set the record straight just a little bit on this whole locker room access thing.
Not sure if there’s a misperception out there or what but it’s not like the olden days where it was one small room with a couple of pegs on a wall and a view like at a nudist camp.
Rooms now are huge, there back areas with showers and ice tubs and hot tubs and treatment areas and I can’t actually recall I saw a naked athlete traipse through the common area.
Most of them are either dressed or clad in towels and, frankly, it’s not as bad as, say, going to a beach.
It’s a non-issue and anyone who thinks it is needs to give their head a shake.
By the time reporters are allowed in – and this goes for every professional sport I’ve covered – most players are dressed or pretty far along in the process and it’s actually quite uneventful.
The process is the same in every sport, too. A coach will do his post-game media in a separate room or a hallway, we have to wait 10 or 15 minutes – sometimes longer – to even get in the locker room to hear the basic inanities we hear most nights.
And, yes, it’s the same timeline in the WNBA although they limit the time the locker room is open, which is a great idea because the last thing we want to do on deadline is wait around for some player to put his earrings in – and we have done that on numerous occasions.
Look, most of the time we go into the locker room is basic boilerplate quotes you’d seldom use but we need that access just in case.
And here’s why:
We’d been talking to Oak but the conversation waned so almost all of us left, uninterested in standing around basically doing nothing.
Well, that was all well and good until the next morning when we woke up to see a New York Post story where Oak said 65 per cent – or some number like that – of NBA players smoked pot.
One guy had stayed for the full allowable time and got the story, you can bet the rest of us had at least one guy in the locker room every minute we were allowed for the rest of that season, just in case.
Okay, I’m hearing 20-22 degrees later in the week and that means just one thing:
Clean the BBQ and let’s get going. Should have done it last weekend but the rains came and after dinner of quarter pounder things (it was easy, don’t tell the woman with the blood pressure cuff), it’s time we got some weather where we can do red meat and other delicacies outside.
Nothing like chicken and broccoli but we’ll be looking for some outside-cooking tips later on this week. Put your thinking caps on.
So, it appears Seattle's out -- and you have no idea how disappointing that is to this precinct although I'm happy for the people in Sacramento -- and that also means we're going to hear more about Phil Jackson to Toronto since the best west coast alternative is now off the table.
I remain entirely skeptical about the possibilities but you'll read more about it today, I'm sure, and just read and chatter knowing that it's really no closer to reality than it was Friday.
If and when it does get real, we'll talk about it. Deal?