It's time to make a call, one way or the other
Well, they’ve dilly-dallied enough at the very top of the MLSE sports empire that they could very well be about to screw themselves at the first major event of the NBA summer.
Unless there’s resolution to the Bryan Colangelo situation in the next 48 hours – and by extension the Dwane Casey situation, as well as with pretty much every other member of the basketball operations organization from Bryan’s assistants to Dwane’s assistants to the people who do things like book travel and scout – the team’s representatives at the this week’s draft combine will be hamstrung.
Now, it’s not that anything officially gets done this week in Chicago but a lot of groundwork for future transactions gets laid at an event attended by every significant front office executive in the league.
And if you’ve got a front office and coaching staff that has no clue whether it’ll be employed at the end of the week or the end of the month, they aren’t going to be able to get a lot done.
Of course, if they decide on a change at the top that leaves another gaping hole but at least people would know what’s going on.
As it, unless there’s resolution today or tomorrow, everyone connected with the Raptors will spend more time in Chicago answering questions about what’s going to happen rather than questions about basketball.
Like I said, it’s not hugely critical to future player moves but that’s a factor simply because the new guy has taken his time coming to any kind of decision. There may be a legitimate reason for the delay – perhaps three weeks isn’t enough time to make a decision although I’m dubious about that – but, as the saying goes, they need to crap or get off the pot pretty quickly.
No one knows what the ultimate decision or answer will be – we all know how everyone feels – but it’s got to get done sooner rather than later.
The last time I was able to speak to anyone intimately involved in this process, everyone told me it was business as usual, things were getting done and they were just waiting.
The wait has to end today or tomorrow not only for the sake of the men and women whose jobs are in the balance but for the reputation of the franchise.
NBA people notice things, trust me on that; they are noticing nothing but questions about the future here.
Yeah, this is pretty good and I hadn’t thought about it until Friday and thanks for jogging the old memory banks.
Well, they absolutely nailed it with the national women’s basketball program.
It went under the radar on the weekend – other things kind of overtook the news – but new coach Lisa Thomaidis filled out her staff and hit a home run.
Bev Smith, one of the most accomplished basketball players this country has ever produced and a former national team coach, and Shawnee Harle, a former national team assistant and a CIS icon, got the gigs late last week (read about it here).
I’m going to tell you a story about Bev and how good she was.
Not sure if you’ve ever heard of Jim O’Connell, one of the great college and international basketball writers of this or any other era when he worked for the Associated Press. Jim covered a thousand international games, I’d bet, and is not one easily impressed. He told me this story:
The only person he’s ever sought out to compliment them on the way they played the game came in 1987 at the Pan Am Games in Indianapolis – and this is a guy who saw Sabonis and Oscar and Marta and Dino Meneghin and more great international players than any one person I know.
The player he sought out?
There isn’t higher praise.
Anyway, that’s a helluva staff and my affinity for the women’s program is greater now; and yours should be, too.
Of course I go into the Apple store out here in Hazelville to pick something up and of course I have to put on some headphones to see what some of the display items are playing because that’s what people do, right?
And, of course, The Hockey Song is playing.
That time of year, I guess.
But here’s what I don’t get.
How in the world can they play back-to-back games at such a significant moment as Games 6 and 7 in a playoff series?
That’s utterly ridiculous to me, it’s unfair to the players and the organizations not to have at least one day for recuperation, travel, preparation between the two biggest games of the year.
And in the case of Toronto and Boston, it’s not arena-driven (it’s not like the Raptors and Celtics are clogging up availability in either city) and, yes, TV calls the shots but if they’ve decided this, they don’t get it either.
Just silly to me.
Because he needs treatment for an undisclosed illness Dr. Jack Ramsay is calling it a career as a broadcaster and the radio waves – and the world of the NBA – is far worse off for it.
One of the highlights of so many NBA Finals was running into Dr. Jack either on the court or in some lobby; you’d always get a story or two, some valuable insight into what was going on and, if you’re a guy with my background, a chance to tell some old Buffalo Braves stories.
A great time, always, and it won’t be the same.
He’s an icon and I’d hazard a guess that a few Irregulars Of A Certain Vintage think of him fondly as a coach.
Oh yeah. We crushed the wing thing on Friday night, it was a great time and the Rotary Club of Toronto Skyline is now my favourite Rotary Club in the world.
The judging was totally blind – I still don’t know who I voted for in either “classic” or “exotic” categories but Hooter’s Downtown won the classic and Hey Restaurant on Roncesvalles wins the exotic. Real Sports won the fan voting for the 500 or so folks who were there.
Anyway, I can’t thank the good folks at Rotary enough. A great night.