A backup who can serve a possible portend for the starter
This wasn't a shot across the bow at all, more a move that everyone knew had to be made the minute last season ended.
But you had to know at some point, someone connected to the highest level of Raptordom thought yesterday:
“Hey, Kyle, see what we just did?"
The addition of DJ Augustin (and we'll have to get a ruling on whether it's D.J. or DJ) gives the Raptors a former starting NBA point guard as a backup now, a guy who comes from a year at a defensive-oriented Indy program and someone who is solid if unspectacular five-year veteran who has to be able to help.
And he good insurance against Lowry either getting hurt or having an off-year as they could have gotten once the past regime panicked and bailed on the better guard in Jose Calderon.
Make no mistake about it, this coming season is one of huge significance for Lowry. He did not at any level have a good year last year, he was okay but not what many expected, and now in a contract year, he is at a crossroads.
We’ll get far more into this when things started for real when training camp rolls around but there is a huge amount of pressure on the point guard this time around.
He either turns himself into a continued NBA starter and gets a next contract that reflects that in the wages he earns or, in this day and age of free agency, he could very well become a guy who plays the rest of his days on a series of small-value, one-year contracts.
Kind of like the last two deals for Augustin, who was a Top 10 pick five years ago and is now a guy who is lurching year to year, getting whatever he can wherever he can from teams that are not willing to offer lucrative long-term deals to players without tremendous potential or a history of success.
Yes, Augustin was a solid pickup for the Raptors and a cautionary tale for the incumbent.
Knew this was coming, right?
Thanks for the Winnipeg stuff; when I finally get all my typing done sometime this evening, it would appear I’m going to have a lot of downtown choices. And plenty to do to kill tomorrow.
But after three days on Pacific time, one day back East and then another in Central, I’m not only not precisely sure what day it is but I have no real clue what time it is and my body clock – screwed up at the best of times – is a total mess.
Wish me luck.
If you promise no more questions about the Marcus Camby buyout, there’s plenty of room for mail over at email@example.com.
Yes,, we’ll talk about Marcus but there are already half a dozen questions about it, the rest would just get lost in the pile.
Know how cool it is to wake up and start typing about 5:30 a.m. and to be able to turn on the TV and see live sports if you want?
That’s just one of the reasons while The Open Championship is not only the best golf tournament I pay attention to each year, it’s one of the best sports events of them all.
But that’s just one small reason, I think it’s pretty obvious why casual golf fans – and that’s what I consider myself now after years of being pretty diehard – get pumped for the Open.
Mostly, I’d think you’d concur, it’s because the history and the elements and the atmosphere make it crazily special.
It’s kind of fun to see the best players in the world reduced at some times, to hackers like you’d see in the Montana’s Quesadilla Open or something like that.
Wind, rain, sun in equal parts turn the tournament into a test of survival and that some of the best players in the world don’t survive well is kind of cool, isn’t it?
I know the U.S. Open is the same kind of survival test but that always seems far more contrived than The Open is; in the States it’s trickery with pin placements, shaving of greens to ridiculous speeds, rough grown long and gnarly on purpose.
In Britain, the courses are the way the courses are, they have been shaped by the land and not by man for the most part, they are natural.
It does not look as pretty as things do in the States, the TV images are somewhat shaky, even in these days of such great HD cameras where you can see the dimples on the ball.
It just seems better, doesn’t it?
And it’s on at 4 a.m., which isn’t bad at all if you’re a morning typist waiting for a ride to an airport. Or if you’re sleep patterns are so messed up from a crazy week that you’re not sure where you are or what time it is.
Speaking of where you are, it wasn’t until about the day before yesterday that I realized my West Jet flight to Winnipeg includes a half hour pit stop in Thunder Bay.
I sure know how to book ‘em, don’t I?
No, I did not watch the ESPYs last night because I’m not in the least bit a fan of self-congratulatory awards shows contrived solely to celebrate a network that, among other things, employs Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless to dumb down sports discussion so much it makes me almost ashamed to work on the periphery of the business.
That rant aside, it strikes me that those of us who spend a fair amount of time south of the border spend far too much of that time trying to do what ESPN tells us to do; the way they handle stories with overkill and a fair amount of self-serving hyperbole far too often drives the discussion.
For instance, their fascination with Tim Tebow bored the hell out of me but others tried to match the intensity and blanket coverage of a third string, marginal NFL player.
They have a boatload of responsibility and I’m not sure they handle it well enough; they tend to pat themselves on the back too much and, like lemmings, too many follow.
Yes, ESPN does some great work – Outside the Lines is the best sports journalism show on television, Pardon The Interruption is the gold standard of talk shows – but it also does stuff that sets a tone for other coverage that kills me.
And when they start creating awards shows to honour things that are their own property in many respects, the line has to be drawn.
Now, that said, the Robin Roberts moment was as touching a TV moment as I’ve heard about in years and once the tweeter got going on how good it was, I had to check it out.