The ramblings of a madman, just like normal
Mindless ramblings at the end of a couple of days in the 42 C heat of Vegas, proving that what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.
Okay, what’s next for the HOTH?
Well, there are only two pressing issues left:
Finding a veteran backup point guard and figuring out what, if anything, they can get for Marcus Camby and/or Quentin Richardson.
The point guard thing can probably wait, history would suggest there’ll be a guy or two around in late August or even September who’ll be looking for a one-year minimum contract so I’m not sure how pressing that issue is. No big names are out there – Beno Udrih, anyone? – but I’m pretty someone has to be added to the team because as intriguing as Dwight Buycks may be, not sure they feel entirely comfortable having him as the lone and primary backup to Kyle Lowry.
I didn’t get any sense of urgency from anyone when we were chatting but I did get the sense that something has to be done.
That could happen at any day, as we’ve known since the Sunday night of the trade and since there is no market for him as an asset – not even a second round pick right now – I guess they may as well go ahead and find a buyout resolution sooner rather than later so everyone can get on with their business.
The savings at minimal but I guess a little cash in pocket can’t hurt, as we saw with the Kleiza move on Tuesday.
I’m sure once he’s free and able to be signed on a veteran minimum deal there will be some interest and he’ll be able to chase that legitimate championship shot he wants.
His deal is so small and basically inconsequential that I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the Raptors simply waived him, used the “stretch” provision in the CBA to lessen the cap burden over the next three years and everyone can get on with their business.
Had another long chat with Masai yesterday afternoon – you’ll see the fruits of that labour and a whole lot of other conversations I had here tomorrow and Saturday – and, once again, the over-riding feeling was that patience is what’s needed at the moment; all of you wanting big summer blockbusters are probably going to be out of luck.
Saddest thing I saw?
(Besides some of the jump shots in games, that is).
A woman, had to be of My Certain Vintage sitting by herself at 11 a.m. in a gas station snack store playing video poker.
Weird. And sad.
Just because I am.
Better get this started now, I’ve got about a billion words of stories to write and a bunch of flights to be Argo Boy in Winnipeg on Friday.
Go to email@example.com and send your deepest probing questions. Or just say hello.
Sweetest thing I saw?
(And yes, I can see sweet)
A group of about 40 kids – couldn’t have been more than six or seven years old – walk right by me to get to their seats at a Miami-Minnesota game and they’re kind of awed by it.
Chatter goes like this when they see the Heat team warming up:
“He’s not No. 73”
“It’s just summer league, they have new numbers!”
“And he shaved off his beard.”
“Yeah, there’s James!”
Bet that’s the first time Damion James has been confused with the other one.
Check this out.
In the 40 minutes of Summer League basketball I barely paid attention to between the Faux Raptor and the Fake Kings, there were:
75 personal fouls called, which works out – and I put this on the calculator so even my bad math skills couldn’t screw it up – to ONE EVERY 45 SECONDS!!!!
45 turnovers committed and I just turned the calculator back on and that’s ONE EVERY 53.3 SECONDS!!
Jonas Valanciunas was apoplectic, as he had every right to be, after being called for nine personal fouls in less than 30 minutes; I’d suggest maybe – possibly – four were legit.
Someone named Nick Minnerath of the Sacramentos was called for seven personal fouls in less than 19 minutes and somewhere Jake Voskuhl was smiling.
And the NBA had the audacity to charge people money to watch that?
I’m telling you, if the names of referees SirAllen Conner – yes, SirAllen Conner – or Jonathan Sterling or Jeff Wooten show up in an NBA boxscore anytime soon, run from the arena as if your hair was on fire.
You know what Summer League is in a lot of ways?
Part job fair.
All kinds of scouts and executives without contracts are in Vegas networking and catching up and trying to find a gig for next season and the game is, in so many ways, such a closed shop, everyone wants to find something for these good an honourable men who have worked long, long years in the league.
Three I know quite well are Ed Stefanski, Jim Kelly and Gary Schmidt, a great guy who was a Memphis scout for 18 years and a former Canadian national team assistant coach.
They were all here making contact with the various friends they’ve made over the years and I honestly hope all of them find good gigs for the next season.
As we’ve mentioned here before, fans don’t seem to get it; they see these guys as interchangeable faceless people who don’t do enough – in the mind of fans – for the teams they work for.
Me? I see them as valued friends and good men who tried their very best wherever they are to a good job, treat the game and their employers with respect, to put in an honest day’s work for an honest wage.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Anyone who feels any sense of satisfaction at these good men being out of work should be ashamed of themselves.
Okay, long flight ahead so I’ll get to things when I get to things, bit of work to do when I land, get home to dump one bag and get another, early flight to Winnipeg for Argo Boy duties tomorrow so if anyone’s got a joint in Winnipeg where a weary traveller might find a cold beverage and a good stool, all suggestions welcome.
Have a feeling I’m going to need one. Or six.