The start of the weekend mail
Bit of a quandary here, folks.
Got this much of the mail done now but there’s barely any left for tomorrow so if you can think of more to let me fill out something of substance before I take a crazy early flight home, I’d appreciate it.
Have fun with this, though.
Q: Often athletes are interested in more than one sport (some may even have played more than one at a fairly competitive level. I was wondering if you know of any Raptors who go to watch some other sport, or if some other professional athlete comes to watch the Raptors once nor twice a season.
Richard Y, Kincardine
A: I know pretty much every Raptor gets to at least a Leaves game a year, a lot of them will take in baseball if it fits into the schedule, they are a lot like you and I in wanting to see other games. Even recall a few of them taking in the odd Argo game as well.
And I can't count the number of hockey players or Buffalo Bills or Blue Jays we'll see in the good sears over the course of a season, especially when a team like Miami or Oklahoma City or the Lakers come to town. Oh, and Milos Roanic is a regular visitor a time or two a year.
The tickets are usually offered on a reciprocal basis, one franchise helping out the other.
Q: Doug, read your blog most days, it's become a habit. Just wanted to thank you for the Clair de Lune video link, it's very cool!
A: It was, wasn’t it?
Was a necessary calm, soft, nice morning thing on that particular day; had been thinking about it for a couple of months, actually.
A couple of questions:
I have admired the SA Spurs for a while, particularly Timmy D. and Pop. After their performance in this years playoffs and particulalry the finals, they are going to be my Western Conference team.
What beat writers should I follow? Bonus points if their paper doesn't have a pay wall or they have a blog that I can access for free. What about a catch all blog like Raptors Republic or Raptor Blog for the Spurs?
In your Wed blog you noted how the Euro tournament is one you would love to cover. Many countries have a sport they are most passionate about like hockey in Canada, football in England / Brazil and many others, Downhill sking in Austria, cross country sking or speed skating in Norway. Lithuania is an example where I would consider basketball the sport they are most passionate about, but in many European countries (like Spain, Italy, France) the most passionate sport followed by the majority would be football.
In which countries in the world would basketball be the most passionately followed sport?
I was disappointed with the Men's team’s ultimate result in Caracas, but excited by what I saw from Corey Joseph, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Nicholson. We need to keep in mind their age.
Who do you think Canada's Senior Mens starting five and rotation will be when they try to qualify for the Olympics in 2015? (Assuming everyone is healthy)
What about the Senior Women?
Who will be the standout performers for each team over the next 10 years?
Greg M, Halifax
A: I cannot recommend highly enough the San Antonio Express-News triumvirate of Mike Monroe, Buck Harvey and Jeff McDonald, all veteran pros who provide great insight into the team. Monroe helped grow me up in this beat back in the day was in Denver and I'm a big fan. I don't, however, know of anyone who does the shenanigans we do each morning.
You nailed the second one ith Lithuania, that’s for sure, and I’d probably put any of the countries that made up the forrmer Yugoslavia right behind them. But, really, in almost every European nation – Greece, Spain, Italy chief among them – there are huge groups of totally passionate fans.
Now, on the national team starters I’ve avoided do it because there are so many variables and we’ve already seen that Jay will switch stuff up for matchups. But if you could trot out Cory Joseph, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Olynyk with Andrew Nicholson and Tristan Thompson, I bet you’d be okay.
The women are much harder to figure out and since they’ve jsut now started their final training camp before their world championship qualifer begins in a couple of weeks in Mexico, give me some time to catch up with them and I’ll let you know, okay? Thanks.
Have fun in Regina.
Hoping the Raptors will have leave their fifteenth roster spot open until the end of training camp, if they fill it at all. Can they go the whole season with only 14 on the roster or do they have to have 15 by some specific date in the year.
Again, I suspect you have answered this before, but my memory isn't what it used to be.
Will you be in Halifax when the Raps play their game here this time??
A: Not sure if you saw the little tweet thing late Friday from Regina but there will probably be 17 players in camp, 14 with contracts, Julyan Stone, who had some injury problems when they thought about signing him in the summer, Chris Wright and one other still to be determined.
But I didn't get any indication from anyone on whether or not that means they will go to 15, that is not a certainty.
And, yes, I'm quite looking forward to a couple of nights in Halifax, wish it could be longer.
Q: Hey Doug,
My first is a comment. Can you let your IT guys know that you can't access your blog from the Android mobile app anymore. Maybe they can fix that, so I'll be able to read it in the morning.
Second question, is there any value to Fields in the trade market? He is getting paid like a starter but will be used primary as a backup. And now with T Ross, he'll probably be behind him for minutes. I personally think that for every smart move BC made, he made 2 really dumb ones.
A: I don’t think Landry Fields making less than $1 million over the league average qualifies him as being paid “as a starter” by any stretch of the imagination but that’s open for debate.
But I doubt, coming off surgery and a horrid year, that there are any teams interested, just as I don’t think any teams could be remotely interested in a second year player who showed nothing, really, in his rookie season.
And why not look at it this way, like the coaches do: If Ross, out of nowhere and with no track record, earns a backup job ahead of Fields, isn’t that a good thing? Not sure it’ll happen, and still believe Fields is now 10 times the NBA player Ross is because of his experience and smarts, but if it does, it’s not a bad position to be in.
Q: Doug, any chance the Raps go after a vet for the final spot. RIP? I think they need a person to help out the younger players
A: Nope. Given the two kids they invited so far have a grand total of basically no NBA experience, it seems they have their direction well established.
Q: Hi Doug,
Been reading your articles for ~6 months or so and they are always a good read. This is my 1st question for you.
So we have JV and Aaron Grey in the center spot, IF MU was looking to add depth in the 5 spot which unsigned player would you pick and why?
Other *(please specify)
A: They also have Amir Johnson and a handful of stretch fours and I don’t think any of those guys who’ve already washed out in one way or another is even worth inviting to camp.
I think they should leave the 15th roster spot open, frankly; and if you do believe there’s a need for a big, I’d find some 18-year-old kid and see if he can develop rather than to hope someone can suddenly become a player.
And, besides, we’re talking about the 15th man on the roster and I refuse to care too much.