A group gathering in Vegas can't be a bad thing
No, I am not in Vegas for the start of summer league – I get to go there the first of next week to try and drum up some marginally interesting series of stories – but it seems pretty much everyone else is.
And it’s kind of interesting.
Not sure what it means but it has to be seen as a good thing that along with the rookies and second-year guys who need the work (Valanciunas, Ross, Acy and Stone) a whole gaggle of veterans are out there working out and hanging out.
Was told Lowry and Gay showed up yesterday, DeRozan already lives there and Novak told us he’s heading out today to get some work in and get a bit more familiar with his teammates. Novak also said he’d be seeing his friend Landry Fields in the next couple of days and that implied that Fields would be out in Vegas, too.
A good thing?
I’m not suggesting a few days of work together under the auspices of Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse and whoever else they finally add to the staff today and tomorrow is going to translate into any wild success come November but it’s significant to a degree that they’d all head out there at the same time to get some work in.
Novak mentioned yesterday that he couldn’t recall a team he’d been on where so many guys gathered in the same city at the same time early in a summer to get some work in.
I recall back in the Butch Carter era that the HOTH would do something like this – we were in Boca Raton one summer, if I remember correctly – and having a few days to get used to each other can’t hurt.
It gives Dwane a chance to check up on everyone at one time, there is some teaching of systems and philosophies that can be done (the real work starts at camp but this establishes a framework and a baseline for expectations) and there can be some bonding done.
I think there was some trepidation around the team when the new regime took over that everything would be blown up and they’d have to start over entirely; that Masai has hinted he’d like to see what he has before doing anything rash had to have eased some minds and maybe this group is getting together to say, “hey, thanks for the chance, let’s see what we’ve got.”
Okay, before we get to the next little item, this should get the mind in the right place.
Okay, this was a little weird.
We’re all headed to the practice court to see one of the new guys and the GM and the streets are littered with teenage girls all a’twitter.
So, being the intrepid reporter I am, I have ask what all the fuss is about and I get a look like I’m from Mars.
One Direction, you dope.
Now, to quote the great Pat Burns, I wouldn’t know One Direction if I ran over him/her/it with my truck but we’ve seen a lot of zany crowds hanging around outside the arena and this one might have taken the cake.
Am I missing something?
Probably not, right?
Well, it does provide a bit of list and since I’ve combed the dark recesses of my mind some here are the five popular boy bands that I’ve never paid a second’s attention to, a fact of which I am quite proud.
How would you rank them?
Backstreet old men now, right?
Bet they’re out of sync now.
New Kids On The Block
Gotta be old kids now, right? Maybe they’re popular on the Old VR? (Anyone get that?)
No, not the pucks brothers, but that would been cool to see, no?
Boyz To Men
Now billed as Men To Old Men.
And while we’re here, whatever happened to Leif Garrett? Or Bobby Sherman? Or the Bay City Rollers?
Got some yesterday, including a couple of very interesting ones but there’s always room for more and the next couple of days are kind of slow.
So … email@example.com and let’s hear what’s on your mind, some of your minds are wonderful places, indeed.
Have you been following this baseball all-star stuff at all?
They picked the teams last week but left on spot open for fans vote and it’s been a rather interesting exercise in the place social media has in the world today.
Short explanation: Delabar is up against four other American Leaguers for the final spot on the roster for next week’s game (there are five National Leaguers on a ballot, too) and it’s all being done through social media and websites.
Now, we all know that fan balloting for all-star games is basically a fun exercise and basically harmless because coaches and league officials and whoever fills out the teams gets it right when they fill out the roster.
This extra layer that baseball is putting in is interesting because it’s so after the fact. The fans have voted, the managers have made their selection and yet MLB keeps things going.
And why not?
To me, you can’t have enough players on all-star teams, to tell you the truth. I would like the NBA to go from 12 to maybe 14, why not let the commissioner select a veteran to be honoured with one last selection and let the fans get one more shot at someone who might have been snubbed first in voting and then by the coaches.
The more, the merrier.
And reading this piece on Delabar, I think I might have to click once or twice myself.
How heartwarming was it to pick up the paper off the porch this morning, sit down with a quick cup of coffee before getting to this and seeing the pucks on the front of the sports section.
Warmed the cockles of my heart. Really.
One final Masai note from yesterday’s chat.
He said this when addressing his desire for a bit more toughness:
“I’m tired of all this, people come here and everybody calls the team soft or calls the team pushovers or all these stupid names they mention. You come to Canada and you (should) come to play. That’s the identity we are trying to build here. This is our team, in Canada and we’re going to be tough out there.”
That’s good to hear but I hope they don’t go too goonish; there’s still room for athleticism and the grace of the game and playing with pace that’s more fun to watch and can be just as successful. A little toughness is okay; the Bad Boys Redux is not something that’s going to work in today’s NBA.