Told you I’d get to this at some point today.
Not an awful lot but it kept be occupied this afternoon
Q: Hey Doug
Just heard that Amir was called for more fouls than any other player in the NBA last year. Do you think that is earned or a matter of reputation with refs?
A: I didn’t know that but I’ll take your word for it.
And I would suggest 99.999 per cent is on merit; no vendettas or anything like that.
Q: Hey Doug I read your blogs often and I appreciate the consistency of your opinions which you stand to steadfast. If I understand correctly you were of the opinion that the raptors should have kept Bryan Colangelo for at least another year. While I believe he was a descent gm, especially in his ability to draft, I can't get past some of the questionable moves he did in the past year like," accelerating the rebuild" with signings of Landry fields to a ridiculous contract, going for Steve Nash for a clearly rebuilding team, and stocking a team of fast paced players for a defensive coach. Though Ujiri hasn't proven himself yet, he does seem to be more "patient", and I think that's the key word to cap the difference between them. Can you please share with me your opinion on why you thought such a gm should have been given the opportunity to see this thing through?
A: Well, actually, if you’ve read often and know what I think, I’m not sure repeating it for the zillionth time does anyone any good.
I think the roster and team are on the right track and I didn’t see any reason to make a change when they did.
People can disagree and many do. But I think I’ve made my case and not sure we have to revisit any more.
Q: Hey Doug
My brother is setting up a roadie to Portland this winter. Any recommendations for pre and post game stops?
A: There’s not an awful lot around the Rose Garden or whatever it is they decided to name that thing but if you don’t get to The Kells and Voodoo Donuts (trust me on that one) you will have cheated yourself.
As always thanks for the entertaining articles and blog. I'm responding to your call for mail.
Any thoughts on how the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA players and owners is working out at this point now that they're a few years into it? As I follow some of the Billy Hunter / union legal action I wonder if the union is increasingly dissatisfied with the deal they agreed to.
Seems to me that players below the super star level are generally getting less money than they would have in the past (though I confess that's not based on any research). Your thoughts?
A: They’re actually only going into the third year and the first when the more punitive tax system is in place so I still think there are things to be learned. We are finding, however, that most teams (Brooklyn excepted, it would seem) are taxing the tax into considerations when making moves and I think you’ll see more and more of that as the years unfold.
And, yes, a continued erosion of what could be called the “middle class” is part and parcel of the new deal and I think once the implications of the tax are clear, you might see fewer and fewer maximum value deals as well.
Q: Hi Doug,
This is related to Steve Nash being more of a hands on GM. What do coaches think about Nash or perhaps even Jordan in Charlotte or Larry Bird for the Pacers working out/coaching players. Do they appreciate their experience in the game or feel that they are overstepping?
A: Have never heard of anyone having an issue with boss goofing around and lending any help he can. It’s not like they’re dictating strategy or anything like that.
And any coach who turns down a chance for someone like Jordan or Bird or Nash to work even a bit with his players on an informal basis is doing himself a disservice.
Q: Good morning Doug. I hope your team had a successful morning. My question is related to the following story:
"Seattle billionaire Chris Hansen says he regrets funding a secretive effort to block a new downtown arena for Sacramento's professional basketball team.
He issued a statement saying he "made a mistake" by giving a Los Angeles law firm $100,000 (all currency in U.S.). The firm secretly funnelled $80,000 to a group gathering signatures to force a public vote on the arena plan."
Are you surprised by this? Does this action affect Chris's chances of getting a team in the future? Would the NBA see Chris as someone they wouldn't want as a member of their Owner's group as a result of this questionable decision (trying to cheat another owner out of their team)?
Dave B, Cornwall
A: I’m not in the least bit surprised that a billionaire would spend a pittance to try and make a business deal work and do it in a clandestine manner.
And I don’t imagine this will have any impact whatsoever on what happens in the future, he wasn’t going to get Sacramento’s vote on any purchase any way and as long as his cheque clears, don’t presume anyone will really a lot. There’s a lot of ruthlessness when you get to playing at that level of high finance.