Another one may leave in a potentially busy Raptors week
Here’s the fun about covering basketball around these parts:
You never know.
There are so many things to do and decide in the next little while that this could be a watershed week, it could be a boring week, it could be a week of a lot of little things.
Here’s what we know:
As my man Stein said on the tweeter over the weekend, there’s a big move in the front office now to somehow get into the draft this Thursday night.
Not sure I understand why – this is a team that’s almost too young – and it may be they just want to grab a second round pick at a small price (no way they’d be looking at Myck Kabongo, is there?) but they are definitely thinking about it.
I suppose there could be some grander plan in place but, not surprisingly, no one’s offering up specifics because it’s a new administration getting its feet wet and I’m not sure anyone knows precisely how things will turn out.
The feeling I’m getting from talking to a bunch of people over the weekend is that there are so many moving parts, that clear direction has yet to emerge.
There are, of course, assistant coaches to hire – was told last week it could be early this week when some of it gets done – and now there might be another opening to worry about.
Eric Hughes, the team’s basketball development assistant coach – the guy who spends countless hours working out players hither and yon during the season and the summer – is in Brooklyn today to have an interview for a job with the Nets.
It’s a logical move for the well-respected Hughes because he was an assistant coach at California when Jason Kidd went there and has known Billy King for years and years.
It’d be a loss if he were to leave, Hughes worked hard to turn these guys into players, and could leave Dwane Casey and Masai with four jobs to fill from a shrinking market and with little more than one-year contracts to offer potential assistants.
Masai also has to worry about his own staff; he’s pretty much on an island this week and given that it’s a big week, that’s got to be a very tough place.
You remember way back in April when some of us were lamenting the fact they were dragging their feet on the Bryan Colangelo decision? Now that this big week is here, there’s little or no clarity on so many issues some extra time on the front end would have been nice, no?
A little Poison always perks up the morning, doesn’t it?
From the Department of Under-reported Stories Because I Was Wrapped Up With Other Stuff we bring you …
I remember sitting and chatting with Lisa Thomaidis shortly after she took over as head coach of the national women’s basketball team and we’re discussing the future and she was pretty effusive about the young talent in the pipeline.
And very prescient as it turns out.
Canada’s under-16 girls have just won the silver at the FIBA America’s Cadette worlds qualifying tournament in Mexico, earning a spot in next year’s worlds.
Carly Clarke of Ryerson (and check this out for some background) took the young girls to a 4-1 record that ended with a loss to the United States on Sunday night.
That’s an impressive run for the young woman and keeps Canada’s age-group teams among the most consistent in the world.
They’ve already seen the teenage boys qualify for next year’s Cadet worlds, the junior men at their world championships that begin this week and the junior women are headed to their worlds later this summer.
All this global experience is huge for teenagers to set the stage for the continue ascent of the senior programs.
All right, I’m entirely glad we got to see Mavis Staple and Dr. John at the main stage of the Toronto Jazz Festival and it was all nice and good that the space was sponsored by – tada! – the Toronto Star.
Too many rows of seats jammed too close together, and bless her chatty and talented heart but I needed to hear more of Mavis singing than talking.
The chair thing’s easy to deal with: Take out five or six rows on each side, put some more standing room in for the late-comers (maybe some stand-up tables to make it nightclub-ish) and let the folks who want to sit have some room.
Other than that …
Helluva night and wish I was going with Super Family to see Trombone Shorty on Wednesday.
Speaking of Mavis, I seem to recall this being here once before but who cares, it’s worth seeing again, right?
And, yes, she did The Weight and I might have sung a bit quietly to myself.
A plug for people I know, since we started Canada basketball stuff.
There’s Canada-Jamaica men’s games Aug. 8 and 10, the only chance to see the other marquee team (the women need to at least get equal billing) before their worlds qualifier later this month.
Canada Basketball has details here; the men don’t get going until much later in July so there’s nothing there to talk about at the moment.
Okay, so the pucks make a big move for a goaler and it means I probably don’t have to write for the paper for two days lest I get in the way of in-depth analysis and I have one question:
Whatever became of The Monster?
So, Doc Rivers to the Clippers from Boston for a 2015 draft pick and when you start talking bad about players blowing off difficult situations as free agents, this might be a move to remember; Doc got out of three years of retooling in Boston to take over a pretty good team out in L.A.
Now, I’m a huge Doc fan, he’s a good coach, a great coach and one of the gentlemen in the business but I don’t think he, or the Celtics and Clippers, covered themselves in glory in this whole drawn out process.
But I guess, in the end, everyone got what they wanted, even if there’s a bit of lingering stench.
All right, if I can find my way downtown, there’s a mass of paperwork for me to get to.
Fun day, indeed.