The start of the weekend mail
Okay, folks, you’ve got some work to do.
Here’s this but there’s not much left over for tomorrow and since I’m going to have most of the afternoon free, I need some more questions at firstname.lastname@example.org to make tomorrow morning’s effort worthwhile.
So if you’re sitting around bored at some class or have some idle time while lounging, send a note, be glad to get them.
Q: Hello Doug,
Isn't this Chris Wright's second or third invitation to Rap Camp? Any chance he sticks?
Who would be your "most likely to be traded early" pick on this roster?
Is Wayne Embry still Senior Advisor and Trusted Consigliere?
Thanks for the great blog!
A: I doubt Wright sticks, it seems he’s a perennial camp/summer league fixture and since they seem full of point guards, I’d put my money on the Morais kid if anyone stays.
Wish I could guess on a trade target, to tell you the truth, but we really need to see who is playing even marginally well enough to attract attention.
Yes, Wayne is still around and I can’t wait to catch up with him.
Q: Doug, with the announcement that the Argos will be leaving Rogers Centre after the 2017 season because the Blue Jays want to install grass, can you think of any possible locations for a new football field? I believe the Raiders and A's share a grass field in Oakland, so what reason has been given as to why football and baseball can't be played on grass at the Rogers Centre? If there is a reason, I guess the "Bills in Toronto" series will also have to move out of the Rogers Centre in 2018.
Bill G, North York
A: Yeah, I don’t like the chances of the Bills thing continuing and I don’t imagine many will miss it, frankly.
As for an Argo home, I fear it’s going to have to be somewhere out of the downtown core unless they make some miracle deal with the TFCs. Not sure if it’d be Downsview or Brampton or Mississauga or Vaughan but I don’t think there’s land in the middle of the city.
Assuming two of the FIBA World Championship wild card spots go to the number eight team from EuroBasket and Venezuela - that still leaves two spots. While likely choices are Finland (beat Greece and Slovenia) and Greece (beat Spain), wouldn't Canada (beat Mexico) be an interesting choice, especially with the prospects that might be available to play for the team next year?
A: No, I don’t think Canada has a snowball’s chance of getting one of the wild cards. I fully expect it work out one of these two days:
Two go to Europe because the worlds are there and there is money to be made, one goes to China because it’s China and the fourth goes to an African nation in order to spread the game there.
One goes to Europe, one to China, one to Africa and one to Brazil which is hosting the 2014 Olympic tournament.
I could also see two going to Europe, one to China and one to Brazil.
I think Canada is so far down the list it’s not even funny and, unlike a lot of North Americans, much of the FIBA world doesn’t really care about NBA players outside of the Americans.
Besides, who knows in November, when the spots will be awarded, who might or might not play for Canada 11 months later.
Sorry if that bursts bubbles and I kind of hope they get in but I cannot see it happening.
Q: Hey Doug, I hate to be that guy who bangs on the Canadian drum, but I'm going to (kind of) do it anyway.
I see that the Raptors have signed a couple of guards to try out for the 15th man on the roster. Why is one of them not Myck Kabongo?
I mean, the Canadian drawing card would be cool to at least give a try-out, but beyond that...we're talking about a young point guard with enough upside to at the very least be considered an option as an undrafted free agent in this market.
Nobody seems to be touching him, for whatever reason (I know he was on the Heat summer league team, so if they kept him around for their camp I must have just missed the news).
This isn't a grizzled veteran team looking to ride what's left of Steve Nash on a final run...why not take a chance on a young point guard with potential, who happens to bring the bonus of being from Canada, and see if you can make him into a piece of your future? And if it doesn't work, you move on.
If I'm the Raptors, from both the basketball side of giving a young point guard a chance and the Canadian training camp PR side, giving Kabongo a shot makes perfect sense to me...which of course means they probably won't do it.
Thanks for your time and work (and great job on the Argos beat this summer).
Simon S-G, Toronto
A: And I hate to come across as a hard-hearted you-know-what but the last thing they should do is invite Myck Kapongo to camp.
I am a big fan of Myck’s, have been writing about him for years and hope he has a long and lucrative career somewhere.
But he is no more ready to play in the NBA than you are and to bring him in would be tokenism at the worst level and everyone would see through it in a second. I don’t imagine it would create even a bit of buzz unless you think wondering every single day when he would be cut would be something people would want to write about or know. And having him come in might do irreparable harm to his confidence, which has to be at a low at the moment.
No, I could see no good whatsoever in that scenario.
Q: Hello Mighty Coach...Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazerowski, Forbes Field, Sister Sledge, who wouldn’t root for the Pirates?
As far as the Raptors season goes, how about breaking things down with a report card or trends or something after every 5 games?
A where are they now article once a week?
Could you ask each guy separately the same question? i.e. Who was Bob Pettit? or who is Peter Mansbridge?
Bob E, Kanata
A: We’re planning to have a few more parts that will go in the Thursday-for-Friday Nothin’ But Net offering that should address some of those ideas, actually.
Q: Hi Doug,
As I was watching the Newsroom the other night, I turned to my wife and said "this feels like a finale". I had no idea. I share your shock at the relative short run of TV seasons, especially series that run during the summer.
Cory Joseph was impressive during the FIBA Americas tournament. It is nice to see him take steps forward in his career. Do you think that he will have a more active role with the Spurs this year? He didn't get as much playing time during the playoffs as I would have hoped. But, do you think his experience this summer will help him in the NBA?
A: I do think he’ll have a larger role, not only because of his play in the summer but because he got a wealth of experience being around that team last season, it’s a natural growth in his game.
And having watched him struggle with the intensity and tone of the NBA Final, I don’t think he was ready last season; I expect he will be far more capable this time around.
Q: Hi Doug. I am of a similar vintage to you. I don't remember Zelmo Beaty. Enjoyed this article and feel like I missed something.
A: Yeah, I vaguely remember seeing him play and that was a very enlightening story.
Q: So, the season's not upon us yet, you have a few things like the blog and being Argo boy to occupy some time, but I imagine you want to have things to report and get on the road. So, list time:
What are the things you miss the most in the off-season? The work itself? Meeting your fellow grunts and swapping stories? In-game blogging? Days off in lovely cities? A few glasses of Yuengling (which btw is available at the Brickhouse Pub just across the border the next time you're in Niagara Falls)? Some live music on Bourbon Street?
A: Was thinking about that this week, actually, when we started some planning for the rapidly approaching season.
I don’t miss the travel, lots of reasons I’d rather stick close to home, and I don’t really miss days off on the road because there’s always a shootaround or a game or something to do and I can’t say I miss stool time and swapping stories because I do that anyway.
I guess the one thing I miss most of all is the routine; you get in a rhythm of a season rather quickly and when it’s disrupted or changed as it is in the summer it takes some getting used to.
Q: Hi Doug
My instinct, and certainly my hope, is that Jason is unemployed still solely because he is a 34 year old with declining skills.
However one does have to wonder if his sexuality has anything to do with it.
I certainly hope not but was interested in your thoughts.
Mike in Hespeler
A: I think it’s entirely to do with age, salary and skills and I’ve said all along it’s usually September when guys like him find jobs. I’m sure there’s a GM out there willing to give a vet a shot, regardless.
Q: Hi Doug,
Here's something I've always wondered. Do retired players still play ball? Basketball has been my passion since I first picked up a ball a quarter century ago and I fully expect to keep playing in men's leagues and pick up runs until I can't walk anymore. Do you know if guys who retired without debilitating injuries still get out and play regularly? Do you get the sense that it's a passion for them that they couldn't live without, or just a job and that they have moved on?
What I wouldn't give to sit on a bench somewhere and watch those guys play pick-up!
Thanks, as always.
A: Not very much, at least the ones I talk to. They might goof around a bit in the summer every now and then and, yes, many still have a passion for the game but often the body is able to do the things the mind wants so it’s best to not even try.
Enjoy reading your blog each morning when I get to work.
Since you've been on the Argo-beat have you heard any rumblings regarding the Argo's and a potential stadium move above and beyond what Leiweke is saying? BMO Field works for me.
A: I hadn’t really heard a thing until Friday when the story got in the news again and since my regular gig is about to come back, I’m not sure how much more I’ll be able to do on it.