The start of the weekend mail
Solid job, my fine Irregulars.
Plenty here, lots left over for tomorrow and there’s still time for one or two extras if you’ve got something on your mind.
It’s email@example.com, as you well know, and I’ll be open for business from some stool this afternoon after a quick Niagara trip, I predict.
In my remarks of last weekend I didn't mean to suggest that commentators shouldn't criticize when it is legitimate, and
if I did then I apologize for that.
I am curious about Myck Kabongo. Would he be better suited in Europe or the D League? Where do you think he would
best hone his skills? Could the NBL be a good fit for him to start? Does he have the potential to be an NBA player down the road?
A: I think it’d probably be best to try and hook on with a D League team, get noticed and hope for a 10-day call up late in the season but Myck needs a lot of work on his game even for that to happen, frankly.
I’d say the NBLC would be a last resort but at least it would be games and he’d be making some money.
And right now, he does not have what it takes to be in the NBA and it will be up to his work ethic, and perhaps a break or two, to have that happen.
Q: Will professional sports survive?
Seems as it will.
But more interesting follow-on questions could be:
Is it a net benefit to society or a net negative?
My opinion is that in my lifetime (1955) it has moved from net positive to a net negative.
Like a 2 cup a day coffee addiction to an alcohol addiction.
I am more disgusted by my own continued interest ... like in poorly written soap operas or something.
The pathetic highs from those rare times where people or teams I cheer for show their fleeting superiority.
I don't expect many here to agree with me especially those that make a living from it.
And professional sports is to restrictive a term for what is occurring - as the Olympics and supposedly amateur top flight competitions may as well be in same pot.
It is connected to the whole celebrity love hate gossip that society seems to crave.
If I could touch a button right now that would make me lose all interest in media covered sports - I would.
There's are so many "real" things that require investigating that take a back seat to this too convenient distraction.
A: But isn’t one of the reasons sports exists is for some kind of diversion from the tugs of real life? I think they’re hugely important in that regard and also because they allow us to celebrate human achievement in a good way. “Pathetic highs” is a bit strong, don’t you think? If a team or a player you support does something special – and it may be a single play or a single game or an entire season – isn’t that worth feeling at least a little bit good about?
Yes, I fully understand that sports is just games and the overall significance in the global society is minimal but if they can be an escape, an entertainment, a way to put aside some stuff for a minute or two then I think they are vitally important.
Just like a great book is, or a great film, or a great stage production, or a great dance: These are things where we should be able to lose ourselves.
I’m sorry you feel the way you do, I honestly think you’re missing out on something that can be quite good.
Q: Hi Doug,
Thanks for sharing the links about the Portland beat writer, Jason Quick. In reading through those links, two things jumped out at me in comparing his NBA coverage with yours.
One is that he seems a lot more emotionally involved with the Blazers than you are with the Raptors. Personally, I like your more unbiased approach, but would like to hear your thoughts on his way of doing things.
The other is his "behind the locker room door" series. I only read the one he did on Andre Miller, that got into his childhood and things like how his family shaped him into the specific type of point guard that he is today (i.e. pass-first), how and why he learned to score in the post. Is there a reason you don't get into that sort of in-depth stuff?
Thanks as always for everything you do. Enjoy your down time.
A: The reason? Mostly time and opportunity and, yes, I should do more in-depth stuff like that and begin each season intending to. This season will be no different.
And Jason is as highly regarded a beat person as there is, or was, in the game, he served the readers in Portland extraordinarily well so his way worked well for him in his market with his audience.
Q: Hello Mighty Coach.... Let us say that you were to create your own town, what would it look like? Hazelville? Antigonish?
Would you mandate hoops in every driveway? Road hockey okay?
Mandatory daily limits on screen usage? More leash free dog parks?
Bike paths and walking paths?
Pub on every corner next to Timmies?
How about My Little Town by Paul Simon and Artie? No white supremacists allowed.
Bob E, Kanata
A: Oh, man. My town would be quaint, no big box stores, a nice five or six block downtown with a nice coffee shop on one corner with a porch where you could sit in the morning and relax.
It’d would be 100,000 people but it’d be spread out with a nice park with maybe a lake and some benches to sit and have a picnic every now and then and it would have a series of increasing quiet and nice bars with patios in the summer and corner booths in the winter. They would be populated by servers who could tell if you needed a conversation or quiet.
It would be full of tolerant, accepting citizens who let you go about your business as you see fit.
And if I didn’t see a “chain” store, I’d be just fine with it as long as the people were nice, the food and drink plentiful.
And it would definitely have nice condo housing right near the downtown core with places with big bay windows and big balconies. If they overlooked water, it’d be even better.
It would be close enough to a big city that you could go and get your “bustle” when you needed it but it’d be far more quiet than loud.
Yes, the kids would shoot hoops in the neighbourhoods – road hockey would be optional – and all the dog parks would be monstrous leash-off joints where Super Dog could have a blast. As long as there was a stool in the shade to watch her from.
Q: First the question (hope this is early enough for you, it's not yet 9:30 here):
I was reading the report of the Canada/PR game on the FIBA Americas website, and the brief report kept referring to the Canadians as "the North Americans". Any ideas as to why that is? Does their audience generally not know where Canada is?
Also, the TOs were bad but take a look at the foul shots - it's something like 25-12 in PRs favour. Could it be the crowd in PR's opening game in their own tournament had an effect on the refs? (naaahhhh.)
Finally, I think PR pushed really hard in this game. They played their starters a helluva lotta mins. Triano was pretty judicious in his playing time distribution. So I guess this is a "glass half-full" game for Canada.
A: You’re going to find all kind of odd syntax and sentence construction and seemingly odd references in reports not written in English and for a global audience. Not a big deal and, yes, I am sure FIBA knows where Canada is.
And, yes, the results of all the games in Puerto Rico need to be taken with a grain of salt, both good results and bad ones.
Q: Hi Doug!
Not that long ago almost half of the Raptors were from Europe or with European experience. Now, after the departures of Jose, Andrea, Kleiza and even Anderson there's only Jonas left. As we've seen with examples of Paolo from Rome and some others, it seems that the Raptors will lose a big share of the fans from Europe (I still masochistically stick with them from the first days of the franchise). I was wondering if the HOTH's Tall Foreheads care about it even a bit, considering expected fall of the profit from merchandise or anything else.
The other question is about the dynamics of the players' salaries in the NBA. I think they get their paychecks every two weeks, but I was wondering if the get it through the whole year or only during the season. And how the playoffs fit into the picture?
I'm sorry I won't be able to read your stories anymore, because I don't intend to pay for reading only about Raptors, but I'm happy at least blog will stay available for free. So I hope it will only get more fun and informative than before (not that it will be an easy task).
A: They really and truly don’t take things like nationality or passport into consideration ever. They can’t, it would be cheating them on their jobs, which is to improve the team, which in turn attracts more fans.
Players are generally paid on the 15th and 30th of each month from November through the end of April, there is no “pay” for the post-season other than the playoff shares teams get; the further they advance, the more each team gets to split as it sees fit.
And, trust me, we’ll try to be more fun and informative here, it’s what we do.
Q: Hey Doug
Simple question if there's space this weekend.
I'm heading to Milwaukee and Chicago next week and was wondering if you knew of some "must hit" spots for a good meal or just a nice vibe?
A: Chicago almost has too much to do; Rush and Division is the corner to find good stools, walking along the water and stopping here and there is a good idea, too. Navy Pier might be interesting.
Well, there’s not a lot of there, there, but I haven’t been up by Marquette in a quite a while. I’ll give you two: Elsa’s is a nice kind of up scale burger and wing place and it’s a solid evening and if you like diners and cheap greasy bacon and eggs and a local feel, George Webb’s, a 24-hour joint downtown, is kind of old school unique.
Q: Hi Doug,
The annual tour by NCAA colleges to Canada has been upon us for a couple weeks now. In most years the scores in these exhibitions remind one of the Harlem Globetrotters toying around with the Washington Generals, and many of the games this year are falling into that same pattern.
But it seems to me that many CIS squads are making a more respectable showing this year, and a few have actually pulled off victories. Most impressive has been Carleton, where Dave Smart's crew has actually dominated at times (95-82 over Wisconsin!!!). I realize that the NCAA teams view these "scrimmages" as training and practice, but what do you think it says about the development of CIS ball? And also what does it say about the caliber of the program at Carleton? How far above the rest of the country is this group and do you think they could they compete in NCAA Division 1? Could Dave Smart coach a major US program?
Joe S, Kingston
A: You’ve got to remember it’s crazy early in the season for the CIS teams, too. But, yes, the gap is definitely closing, all across Canada, to tell you the truth. I’m not suggesting a CIS team could make the NCAA tournament after a full season but they can play and be competitive because the depth of talent here is growing, the coaching is better and the competition more difficult.
I think Dave Smart could coach anywhere, it’s just coaching and he’s really good at it. Whether he wants to put up with the NCAA crap with boosters and arcane rules and the rest of it is entirely unknown but his basketball knowledge is as deep as anyone.
And, yes, Carleton won this week while their coach was in Puerto Rico with the national team.
Q: Greetings Mr Smith,
Got a chuckle out of the lights going out during the Mighty Tigers game. Brought back memories actually. There was a point in time when Hazelville's park lighting was manually controlled right at the park, it would seem that this has changed. My eldest discovered this by accident once and discovered that one could create quite a disturbance with an unscheduled "power down". She might have been 13 at the time and it must have seemed like such a good idea she tried it another couple of times. Got her a ride home from the boys in blue it did. Mom was livid, daughter was bawling, cops looked like they would rather be anywhere else but where they were and the all responsible Dad was doing all he could not to laugh.
Understandably a juvenile prank and perhaps ill-advised but, fortunately, no one got hurt.
Then there was the itching powder at Pheasant Run, different kids different time but THAT phone call from the wife after the school contacted her also caused me to laugh out loud, one would think I would have learned my lesson about reacting in such a manner.
In the absence of any really topical questions this week, played any good rounds this summer? Strikes me that there has been little golf related stuff showing up in the blog this summer. Perhaps Super Son has progressed beyond the thrill of driving golf carts?
As always thanks for what you do,
Doug from B-ford
A: You know what? Between some work things and some other things, the clubs haven’t even been out of the garage yet. Am planning a couple of assaults on some unsuspecting acreage in the next couple of weeks, can only imagine how rusty the game is.
And, yes, pranks are good until the cops are involved. At least that’s how I remember it from moments in a mis-spent youth, particularly the time we were seeing how far we could throw a baseball bat down the street and one unlucky soul held on to it for a fraction of a second too long and rifled it through the picture window of the two spinsters who lived across the street. That was quite a moment.