A new era dawns emphatically and quickly
That didn’t take long, did it?
I have to admit a bit of surprise at the speed with which Masai started cleaning house, I thought he’d get at least settled in town before the purge began but kind of read it wrong.
Not entirely surprised at the depth of the moves for a couple of reasons: They were guys inextricably linked to Bryan and we all know that new bosses want their own confidants and advisors around and I honestly think one of the mandates Masai got from Tim Leiweke was to make some kind of major shift in the organization and now the prevailing thought among those I spoke with yesterday is that the mandate was to do it fast, to leave no uncertainty that it’s a new era.
As I mentioned in the story at the end of the day, I fully expect at least two and maybe three new assistant coaches – I do not at all expect that Dwane Casey is in danger and sources have all agreed with me on that point – but that will be the next interesting development to watch.
It’s about to be serious workout time – I understand the rookies are back in the city today to work out with the team’s training and basketball development camp – and the summer league stuff has to start taking form in the next couple of weeks.
Believe there’s a mini-camp here at the end of June for free agents before the Vegas roster is set and someone’s going to have to coach it; traditionally the head coach supervises and one of his assistants coaches the team. Right now, I don’t think anyone has clue who that might be.
Anyway, one of the over-riding emotions in the various conversations I had yesterday with a dozen people at different levels in the organization was that they are at a moment in the history of the franchise that’s at the same time odd and a bit scary.
The firings on the weekend were in some ways shots across the bow, a message clearly, loudly and emphatically delivered.
I don’t think anyone truly feels completely safe.
Not sure if that’s good or bad but it’s the way it is.
(Oh, and to all you who sent notes and tweets expressing great and unbridled glee that good, honourable, hard-working men lost their jobs: That’s a bit cold).
The reason Mookie Blaylock is in the news is tragic and sad and must serve as a cautionary tale to everyone.
Let’s get that straight right off the bat, shall we?
But there’s also this unique connection that I know some smart and prescient people were putting together.
Done a lot of different things managing a busy day here or there but I’m pretty sure I’ve never held a tape recorder in a scrum with a professional football player while texting a deposed NBA executive with the other and hoping coming torrential rain would hold off.
Yeah, that was some Sunday morning and guess it goes to prove that multi-tasking is one of the necessary skills of these times.
But know what I like about the Argos?
Fans at practice.
Seems – yesterday at least out in Oakville and I presume it’s the same every day here in Hazelville – anyone can wander in, sit down in the stands and take in the action.
Now, I stood there for an hour or so and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was seeing (there a whole lot of rather large men colliding with each other and that’s not quite my cup of tea although others would like it; it’s far removed from what goes on at a basketball practice) but allowing fans to drift in and out as their pleasure strikes me as a very cool thing to do.
As I’ve said more than a few times around here, while the Argos don’t have the general appeal they probably should – and there are several theories about why – the fans they do have are quite passionate and that they can go and watch workouts enhances that connection, I think.
Aside from the stress of the work for a 45-minute Stefanski-football period, it was neat.
Just one second!
They have Pizza Blast Flavour Goldfish?
And I didn’t know about this until this weekend?
Great snack food.
(You all got that without looking at the link, right?)
So, who wins tonight?
Originally guessed Miami in seven and see no reason to change it now but all I really want is a quick game.
Figure I won’t know until after 11 tonight where I’m flying and when on Wednesday and that’s a bit of a pain. It’s difficult to get to San Antonio and much easier to get to Miami so in the It’s All About Me world that we populate, I’d be okay with a Heat win.
But I have an affinity for Indy (even though it seems I get stranded there every single trip) so there’s that.
A conflict, indeed.
But there really isn’t anything as dramatic as a Game 7, is there?
I know sometimes they fizzle and get one-sided but that’s a larger part of the allure, isn’t it?
We see who can handle the pressure and the intensity and significance of the moment, who emerges and who cowers. A very telling moment.
Now, I haven’t seen a lot of Game 7s in person over the years but here are three that standout.
Pacers-Bulls 1998 Eastern final.
Great game, Chicago by about five, as I recall, and a series that had been incredible from start to finish. Easy travel, too.
Spurs-Pistons, 2005 NBA Finals
Tim Duncan and Manu went berserk, think Duncan had like 25 and 12 and Manu scored 30. Game went right down to the last minute.
Sixers-Raptors, 2001 Eastern Conference semifinal
Yeah, you remember, right?
Could very well be at the top of my list if I hadn’t been covering it so intently. Damn good game from start to finish.
What have you seen?