Well done, again.
Here’s what I had left, hope I haven’t missed too many.
Read this in between fawning over Moms, okay?
Q: Dear Doug
In light of Masai Ujiri's selection as Executive of the Year, was
consideration given to Bob Myers? I had to look up the GM of the Warriors in asking this question.
Given the remarkable roster assembled (Curry, then Thompson, and three rookies in last year's draft), ditching Ellis for Bogut, signing Jack, acquiring Lee for peanuts, what consideration was given to Myers? And who is this guy?
Happy Mom's Day to Superwife.
A: Here’s the funny thing about Bob Myers: He was an agent for about five or six years before moving into Golden State’s front office as an assistant GM and VP of basketball operations under Larry Riley, much the same kind of job that Ed Stefanski has under Bryan right now.
Eventually, the Warriors let Larry go (you might remember his name from working with the Vancouver Grizzlies eons ago!) they promoted Myers about a year ago, and he hit a series of home runs right off the bat.
And I guess it shows you that you never know where a successful GM will come from, he’s a law school graduate, never played in the league, never paid a long series of dues coming up through front-office ranks but did the job spectacularly in his first year.
Myers finished seventh in voting this year.
Q: Hello, Doug!
Well tonight's the Big Wang Thang and I'll bet you're excited! And inviting you to judge a wing contest would seem a no-brainer and a task for which you're well-suited. But I'll bet wings aren't the only thing you're uniquely qualified to judge.
Now, summer finally seems to be here and with it comes all manner of festivals, fairs, and other local celebrations. And many of these events have opportunities for 'judging': from pies to pickles to pigs to pumpkins, there's all kinds of competitions happening.
So, other than wings (and pizza as mentioned in today's blog) and in an effort to get your name out there for organizers, what else would you like to judge?
And do you see yourself only specializing in food or are you also available to give your thumb's up or down on, say, livestock, stitchery and fiddling?
Lorie P, London
A: Well, I’ve been known to have a rib every now and then; if there was every a contest for most comfortable stool and well-designed bar I’d like to think I have some expertise that would be invaluable; if someone ran a contest on, say, home made ice cream I bet I could add something to it.
And the first Chocolate Chip Cookie Of The Year contest is something I could support.
So, the word’s out, right?
(I really like the pizza idea!)
Q: Hi Doug,
I haven't written in a long time but since you asked so nicely I thought I would throw you a two part question.
When the board is deciding on whether to bring back Bryan do you think they will take into account his failed attempt to bring in Steve Nash. I actually view Bryan's failure in this regard as a positive because I always thought bringing in Steve Nash made little sense. Bringing a 37 year old point guard with little left in the tank to a lottery team coupled with the contract Landry Fields received would have crippled this franchise even further (from a cap perspective). This gets to the bigger picture of where I think Bryan has gone wrong in the last year, this was a move with no long term view of the ultimate goal of winning a championship and I fear that staying the course with Bryan will leave us as the proverbial 6-8 seed for many years to come. I think Mr. Lewieke has the right idea when he says that our goal is championships and anything short of that goal would be a failure.
My second question is in regard to the new face of executives in this league i.e. Daryl Morey, John Hollinger etc. who use advanced metrics to put together basketball teams. If Bryan is ultimately let go and Phil Jackson is not hired are there any names floating around there that would fit this description? I think this type of executive is the wave of the future and will prevent the Raps from being fleeced again by guys like John Hollinger - yes I am talking about the Rudy Gay trade (looks like the Grizz may be primed for a run to the finals minus their supposed "All Star").
I'm sure you will disagree with many of my points but that is the great thing about your blog the ability to debate and discuss the game. Keep up the good work.
A: Of course Tim Leiweke says the goal is championships, surely in the name of all that’s good in the world you’re naïve enough to think he’d say anything else. And it’s the goal of every single employee of the team – you can’t believe otherwise, can you? – but everyone – including the brilliant Mr. Leiweke – knows it’s process and cannot happen overnight.
We can debate until the cows come home the Nash thing but you also can’t be naïve enough to think all things are linear and that exactly what happened in Los Angeles would have happened here. You can guess that all you won’t, there are others who think different circumstances – I’m betting he doesn’t suffer a fluke broken leg getting kicked out nowhere in Game 1 if it’s against Indiana – would mean different results.
But, yes, they will take into account every move – including the two playoff years and the delivery on his promise to build from within from ground up until it was time to make a bold post-Bosh move – when the time comes.
Oh, and aside from Miami and we’ll agree those were unique circumstances, find me a prolonged NBA champion calibre team that didn’t start further down the playoff seedings before growing. Not sure you can find outside of Boston in ’07 and Heat.
And sure, there probably are some analytic geniuses out there who’d get consideration and maybe when they do, they can ask Mr. Morey or Mr. Hollinger to show them the championship rings or conference finals appearances they’ve got.
And if you think John Hollinger, who I quite like, “fleeced” the Raptors, you have much to learn about the workings of NBA front offices; John not more had a final say in that deal than you did.
Q: Can you give us working stiffs a sense of how many hours of work an NBA player puts in during a typical day in the off-season? I guess "work" is subjective; I would define it to include time spent in the gym, at a court or practice facility somewhere, making a public appearance at someone else's request, or in transit to any of those, but feel free to add anything I've missed.
Mike D, Toronto
A: Totally guesswork and it truly varies an awful lot but in a week that is gym work at home – shooting, agility, lifting, cardio, other drills – I’d guess six or seven broken into maybe three chunks of 90 minutes or two hours each.
And the days can get longer if they’re on the road with some NBA program or some sponsorship deal where they might have a clinic or two and an appearance or three and it might run out to 10 or 11. And that’s “work” of a different kind.
Q: Since you were asking for questions from we irregulars, and facing a paucity, I thought I'd oblige with a somewhat irrelevant query:
My kids and I were taking the dog for an after-dinner walk on our downtown street and who should pass on the other side of the street but Amir Johnson and a couple of his friends. Seemed like they were taking a walk to keep Amir's knees and ankle moving, however gently. It was great to see him around.
My son and I noticed him at the same time, and I couldn't help but shout out a "hello-howya feelin-good job this season" to him. I felt a bit bad about it after . it's a bit rude to shout across a street to anyone, let alone someone who doesn't know you. Then I realized that I was surprised to see Amir. Do a lot of the players stay around town after the season ends?
And how do they feel about being accosted on the street with "how's the knee?" sort of questions?
David K, Toronto
PS thanks for the licence to eat McD's the other day. My mouth's kudos were louder than my stomach's curses.
A: I don’t imagine they mind at all, especially Amir, who seems to have as a great connection with fans and people here than any Raptor ever. As long as people are polite and don’t do things like interrupt meals or intrude on truly private time, it’s not a problem at all.
Not many stay all summer – Amir even gets back to L.A. for long chunks of time – but most players at least come back once or twice a summer to hang out, check in with old friends and old haunts and say hello. It really depends on circumstances; how much other travel or other responsibilities they have to sponsors or family but the vast majority are back during the summer for a bit of time.