Well, that was a rather eventful NBA Friday, wasn’t it?
I presume now that Howard is done the other dominoes will fall and by the time we get to the end of business on Monday the number of possible free agents will have dwindled considerably.
That means a weekend of phones and texts and e-mails after we try to shape up the struggling 2-5 Mighty Navy Tigers.
Enjoy this, if there’s more on your mind, it’s email@example.com and and we’ll get to the others for tomorrow morning.
So Andrea has never lived up to expectations, according to some talking heads and scribes. The only expectations any athlete has to meet are those of the GM and Coach. If he doesn't then it is time to go. Present company excepted, there are a number of scribes and talking heads who have never lived up to my expectations. I expect them to be professional and report on teams and athletes objectively. I do not want them to get personal and vilify athletes who are doing things that the reporters could never do. If an athlete is not playing up to his previous standards that needs to be commentated on. If the athlete is a disruptive influence in the dressing room, then say so, but if the rest of the team says he isn't, don't say he is just to justify your comments. As far as I am concerned, a reporters expectations and opinions are the same as mine. They are like backsides. Everybody has one, but most are not fit for public viewing.
Enough of that. I come to the back up point guard spot. Is there a veteran out there that you think will be looking for work after the Free Agent Frenzy is over and be available after the F A F. (Free Agent Frenzy)
A: I don’t know about a veteran point guard because I think they see the kid Stone as a possible backup to Lowry; they are more likely to wait until much closer to camp – like even September – to see who has fallen through the cracks and who they can get as a third stringer on a one-year minimum contract. I think the priority now is using whatever moeny they might have left to bolster the front court, where they are pretty thin at the moment.
And I concur with your assessment on the “expectations” entirely.
Q: Assuming your new CFL gig is quasi—regular, are there any questions about the league (or the Argos) you’d like to pursue? Will you be going to Regina for a regular season game (as opposed to the Grey Cup?). You really should.
James A, Victoria
PS: Go (gag) Redblacks!
A: It'll be as regular as it can be as long as the crazy Raptors don't do too much over the course of the summer. Sure, I'll break off to do some Canada Basketball stuff every noe and then and maybe some other stuff on one-off occasions but Argos will get the majority of my time. And I think I'm getting the hang of it and I hope I can come up with some marginally interesting stories over the course of the summer.
I will most certainly be in Regina for Toronto's regular season game; am unsure about the Grey Cup, though, since that's right at the start of the NBA season.
I have a question regarding the recent Charlie V and Rodney Stuckey for Rudy Gay rumours. I'm not so much interested in the substance of the rumour as to why and how this becomes a story in the first place. Unless the Raptors were in full on tank mode, one would presume (and the later reports confirm) that the Raptors would reject this offer immediately.
I would have thought that this would have been a brief conversation between Joe Dumars and Masai Ujiri (or their respective sub-Henchmen) and never would have seen the light of day. But no, it is reported. How does this become a story? Is it the agents for one or more of the players pushing it for some reason on behalf of their clients? Is it the Pistons leaking their offer to the press for some PR reason? Or the Raptors doing the same? What is the process in these cases?
A: Every time you see one of those things/rumours/idiotic scenarios you need to ask yourself: Who benefits from it being out there?
Is it the Pistons, who want to be seen as trying to divest themselves of bit pieces?
Is it hte Raptors, who are testing the waters around the league and letting teams see a baseline for discussion?
Is is the players or their agents using the media to send a message to their teams?
All kinds of layers.
I agree wholeheartedly that it’s not necessarily “news” at any level but in this day and age, it seems every snippet of information one can gather needs to be put out there to be discussed, no matter who far-fetched or unrealistic it may be. My biggest issue is that the stuff that does get thrown out there represents such a small percentage of what’s actually being discussed and debated, it is not at all representative of reality.
And skewing what’s going on just to make a wee splash seems at some level a bit irresponsible.
Q: Hi Doug
I used to honour the baseball code for things like breaking up the double play and keeping them honest at the plate, but watching that "slide" in the Detroit game had me thinking how it could have cost a man his livelihood. Does the NBA have any such unwritten codes? I suppose justification for hard fouls would fall into the category.
Thanks as always!
A: Given the inherent danger that goes with large gentlemen flying through the air at great speeds and the kinship that NBA players feel with each other, there certainly is.
You're not to undercut someone when they are in the air, driving to the basket or taki g a shot. It's okay to defend them aggressively but not to put them in danger of grave injury.
Q: Hi Doug.
I've been looking for any information on the Raptors summer league. Like maybe the roster, I did see all games are being shown on NBA TV and I see they start on the 13th vs. Miami but not much more can I find. I imagine they'll have Ross, Acy and maybe Valuncunis please excuse the attempt at spelling) I think this would be a good time to try and invite cobongo again spelling sorry
A: You'll be getting your fill of summer league news in the next couple of days. When I last spoke to someone who'd know, the roster should be set Monday -- it's a bit fluid putting the back end of it together -- and the team has a mini-camp set to start July 10 with games three days later. Yes, Vlanaciunas, Ross and Acy are supposed to be there, and I believe Stone may be as well; the rest of the roster really doesn't matter.
Q: Three questions:
Some recent coaching hirings had the title 'associate head coach' as opposed to assistant coach - believe it was Alvin Gentry in LA - is that position something new, like a step above an assistant coach? Makes me think of a Dwight & Jim debate.
Also, and this is maybe more opinion, I read somewhere that Dwane Casey was going to get more of a say in hiring his assistants this summer implying he didn't have that same ability when he was first hired. Obviously the holdovers (Nori, Roth, Hughes) were already here, but were the other new coaches last year 'forced' onto Casey's bench?
A more general question, how much say does a head coach have in determining who his assistants are, and do they report to him or would they be considered co-workers and report to the GM?
Brad (from Collingwood)
A: “Associate” is a step of above assistant, it’s a way to offer promotions to former assistants, perhaps pay them a bit more, denote a higher level of responsibility. You see that not all teams have them, though.
And Casey’s alwasy had a say in his staff, he is actually the one who hired Johnny Davis and Tom Sterner back in the day but, like in any business, there is a chain of decision-making. Dwane, or any head coach in the league, would have to run his decision on assistants past his boss, it’s usually just a rubber stamp.
And assistants report solely to the head coach, anything otherwise would be asking for trouble.
Q: Any word on the coaches? If I remember, the contracts of all Dwane's assistants expired at the end of June. You would think by now the Raptors would have made some kind of announcement regarding their coaching situation. There is a rumour that Johnny Davis is being considered for a position on the Lakers coaching staff but that's about it.
A: Yes, you would think they would have and they may soon but the impression I'm getting is that they aren't at all interested in saying who has left and they'll just eventually announce who's coming.
But here's what I know, and have mentioned a couple of times: The only guys from last year who were told they'd be back are Micah Nori and John Townshend. The rest are gone. Eric Hughes has already joined Jason Kidd's staff in Brooklyn, I hadn't heard that about Johnny and I'm not sure what's become of Scott Roth or Tom Sterner.
I know that Nick Nurse, last year's D League coach of the year, is coming in and I hear it's 99 per cent certain that Popeye Jones is going to join Dwane's staff. There should be one more that we'll hear about the first of the week.