We do patriotism the right way - and, of course, some trade stuff
This kind of dovetails nicely, given the day.
I was talking to someone last night shortly after word of the Bargnani trade filtered out thanks the inimitable Howard Beck, whose tweet I read while strolling the aisles of the grocery store.
And I got this about Steve Novak:
“Great dude. So nice, he could be Canadian.”
How does that feel on this day?
Irregulars will know that Canada Day is the most significant holiday for the year to me, we get to celebrate this country, to rejoice in what we have and the society we live and we do it in a very Canadian way.
And that might be the most important thing.
Yes, we sing from the hills and there are parties and events but it strikes me that it’s always done in a very unostentatious way, we are proud but not over the top, proud but not smug, proud but not in-your-face loud.
We are Canadian about it, I think you might say.
A bit understated in comparison to some other countries, a bit reserved but quietly full of pride.
I will fully admit there are issues at play in this great land, serious issues of fairness, equality, inclusion that need to addressed; I will also fully admit and tell anyone who’ll listen that we live in the greatest country in the world, one that is gloriously diverse, spectacularly beautiful, full of incredibly talented and accomplished people.
The best part? We know it our heads and our hearts and should be full of pride. Quiet, understated pride. A contentment that we are special and know it and don’t feel the need to shove it down the throats of others.
I remember having a long conversation with Steve Nash last October out in Los Angeles about his decision to join the Lakers, his history with the Raptors, his life.
And when we were chatting about being Canadian and what it meant – this was with a guy who has worn the flag on a uniform, carried the torch in an Olympic relay, lit the cauldron at the Vancouver Games – he said this in answer to the question of what it means to be “wholly Canadian”:
“One thing it is to be wholly Canadian is to not get carried away with this answer, you know? We know who we are, we do our best, we try to play as a team and we try to look out for other people rather than ourselves more often than not and just let’s leave it at that.
“It becomes wholly un-Canadian to gush over that answer, you know?”
And you should, too.
But at some point today, some quiet moment while the barbecue is going and maybe the sun is shining and people you love are close to you somehow – and it doesn’t matter the distance because you know in your heart and your soul that they are there – remember who we are as a people and a country.
Right, the trade.
Or the impending trade.
Or whatever you want to call it.
What do we all think?
I know there are those dancing on the proverbial grave today and while that’s a bit unseemly, I can understand it.
I was among those who thought perhaps the time had come for a divorce, a change of scenery, something to kickstart both a new era of the HOTH and Bargnani’s career; I held true to the theory that maybe the time had come.
That said …
This is not the slam dunk deal everyone’s talking about, I don’t think and there will be times this year when there will be tinges of regret, I am sure.
Are the Raptors better?
Don’t think so.
They’ll get a somewhat one-dimensional corner shooter who may have to play with a point guard who doesn’t particularly thrive in drive-and-dish and who has not shown a proclivity to be exceptional at finding shooters out of high screen-and-roll action
Steve Novak is indeed a solid three-point shooter, I cannot dispute that, but I wonder how many open looks he’ll get here and how much he’ll contribute.
Marcus? I love Marcus, think he’s a grizzled veteran who can still have an impact on a game but I wonder if he’ll ever even play here. He could very well try to engineer a buyout of the last year of his contract (read his quotes in this story) and attempt to land with a contender and I wouldn’t blame him in the least.
The draft picks? Talk to me in 2016 about the draft picks, that’s a long, long, long way away.
And I will tell you this about Andrea: He has some of his better games in Madison Square Garden and getting a new lease on life in that city with its huge Italian population and the role he’ll be asked to play might be just the tonic he needed.
I was talking to one NBA assistant coach last night who says the thing the Knicks will like best about this is that they can put Carmelo at the four, Bargnani at the five and that will move all kinds of big men away from the basket and give Anthony much more room to operate.
Now, maybe this is a win-win and that the “addition by subtraction” angle in Toronto will be the thing that turns this into a great deal for the Raptors but I am dubious.
Yes, it might have been time to move on but why do I have this sneaking suspicion that it might have been better to see how the season began before initiating divorce proceedings?
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m right.
I don’t think we can say for sure today.
Now, go and enjoy your day.
If you’ve got a minute sometime today or even tomorrow, look over that stuff, realize what we have, what we are.
It’s a pretty good feeling, might even make you smile.