Olympic basketball will remain unchanged in all regards
This kind of snuck by everyone on the weekend but it does have some repercussions here.
The IOC mandarins have denied a FIBA request to increase the Olympic basketball field to 16 teams from 12 and also have turned down a proposal to add a three-on-three tournament to the Games.
The reason was that the IOC didn’t want to add athletes to an already too-big Summer Olympics program because of the inherent cost increases and while I find that a bit bogus – not only can the IOC help fund it, they could probably whack enough sports to make it an athlete-neutral move – there is a modicum of logic to it.
It’s the impact here in Canada that I find a bit interesting and it’s a double-edged sword, I guess.
A 12-team Olympic tournament is hard to qualify for, given FIBA’s desire to keep it regionally balanced for the most part and there are always enough minnows in the field that there are three or four legitimate teams that don’t make it simple due to geography. Canada, locked in the FIBA Americas, has had to beat out several very good teams for one of the few bids and an increased field would certainly enhance the opportunity to play on the game.
But, if you get to the Games and the 12-team event, the presence of those geographically-selected and perhaps less-skilled teams increases the chance of finding a way to the medal podium.
So I would suggest that while 16 would be preferable to 12, I don’t have much faith that FIBA would ensure those extra four spots would go to four totally deserving teams.
As for the three-on-three thing, I’m not sure a bastardized version of the sport should be in the Games so I’m quite fine with not adding it.
But – and this is the but – I think three-on-three for kids is a great and valuable idea and I hope more Canadian club teams go that way for the younger players.
It teaches more skill development in shooting, passing, dribbling, screening, rolling and it keeps everyone involved in every game. I think it’s got to be more fun for the players, some of whom might just stand around and watch others go to work in a regular five-on-five game.
FIBA’s got a huge push on to promote its three-on-three program (check this story out to see that Canada’s got something to feel good about) and I applaud that.
I don’t mind at all that they have a three-on-three world championship for men and women but I do think that’s where it needs to end rather than to add it to the Olympics.
I’d like to play hooky today.
Just thought I’d throw that out there.
I kind of like this.
Well, we knew the paywall was coming sometime in 2013 and it’s here now and, yes, there was some angst among Irregulars, which is totally understandable.
In this day and age of increasing costs and dwindling circulation, such measures are necessary, I’m afraid. I don’t know that they are going to avoidable for any newspaper as time marches on.
Because so many of you asked, and because I honestly had no idea and only found out about the arrival of the digital subscription about the same time you did with an e-mail from the Tallest Of Foreheads, I had to check what the impact would be on this little corner of the world.
The answer, direct from People Who Know:
“Blogs are currently exempted from the metering, so yes, people can still read your blog without Digital Access.”
So there’s your answer. I guess that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
And since we can all come here and have fun and enjoy the frivolity for time immemorial (or until the figure out a way to monetize this), you’ll fill up the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail box for this week’s mailbag, right?
Get to it, my good people.
You know, I’m a tad worried about my mind these days.
While there’s all kinds of minutia rolling around in the vast expanses of my noggin, I’m reading all these stories about the anniversary of The Great Blackout of 2003 and I honestly don’t remember it.
Was it big?
What did we do?
I don’t recall any huge inconvenience, to tell you the truth, and I certainly don’t recall any specifics of the day or days or whatever it was.
(I’ve since been reminded by Super Wife that part of it was spent at a 40th birthday party in Pickering – hello, Bags – and that might have something to do with the foggy recall).
Some historical revision to an opinion is now necessary.
Remember last year when I drew some ire (including from My Man Griff) for suggesting it was the Worst TOD Season Ever?
Well, guess what?
That was a season in nirvana compared to this one, wasn’t it?
Another pitcher goes down (deets here, as the young ‘uns say), a bullpen that was overworked early in the year is scuffling because of a result of that, they still field too often like they have hands of stone and this year is so far down the toilet it’s not even funny.
So, with no equivocation whatsoever, given the talent, the expectations and the total failure to gain any traction at any time except one 11-game stretch, I now pronounce this The Worst Season Ever, For Real.
I do think the euphoria of the winter and spring was bit over the top – and it was fuelled greatly by the team’s media owners who bought in lock, stock and barrel and made it sound like the season was a coronation rather than a slog – but to be where they are now? No one saw last place and way below .500 coming and it’s revisionist history if many said they did. Maybe people thought the post-season would be harder to get to than others but last place and this record? I’d be dubious at that claim.
It’s made late August and September entirely inconsequential and that’s too bad; there’s nothing like important late-summer baseball.
Maybe next year?
Given what’s transpired this year, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
(Total aside: I love fall baseball but I love it in the fall. Standing around until 11 p.m. on an August night with the temperatures in the low teens watching the Mighty Navy Tigers give up six in the bottom of the last to lose was hardly a night to remember.)