Friday, September 28

Grading B.C.'s Pre Season Acqusitions .

The new season is about to begin . So far , Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo's moves to strengten the team failed to pass the grade. B.C. must strenthen the bench instead . Yeah , like put more nails to it as more players will sit on it with their fat asses growing bigger every game . Let's list down B.C's moves : acquired other teams discards- Carlos Delfino from the Pistons and journeyman Maceo Baston from the Pacers , paid a lot of money ( $24M/4 y ) for former Heat Jason Kapono ( while refusing to do the same for long serving Raptor Mo Pete ) , added no name players like Ukic , Prientzis and Moon ( for no game ones like Sow and Slokar) and lastly , resigned vertically and velocity challenged Darrick Martin . Grading these moves , you can say that the current NBA's Executive Of The Year is not smarter than a 5th grader !
Let's examine B.C.'s last signing. I just can't see why Colangelo would want Martin again . The UCLA grad is there only before as Sam's boy (toy) versus possible players' rebellion despite the coach claim for need of his veteran leadership at the point guard position. They say that Martin can continue to guide the young Raptors PGs , TJ Ford and Jose Calderon. Bull. These 2 are not rookies . TJ will now be a 4 year veteran while the 26 years old Jose will be in his 3rd year in the NBA not counting his many years playing overseas as a pro. Besides , I don't think the 2 listen to Martin anyway. Martin is nothing more than a cheerleader on the bench. Everyone knows how the guy claps his hands , give high 5's , and do the rah rah thing. In that case , B.C. should have just appointed DMart as Dino's ( Raptors' mascot) sidekick. Like Barney Ruble of the Flintstones. The 15th slot in the team should have been given to a Canadian baller. Yeah , B.C . Letting go of DMart is the SMart thing to do !

B.C.: Hmm . Maybe I should have just added this guy to put the Raptors over the (carrot) top !

Wednesday, September 26

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend .

I just came back from Alberta where I watched that province celebrate Super Weekend. The highly succesful event organized by Basketball Alberta was a lot of fun . There in that festivities was none other than ex Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens as the guest of honor ! Yes , the same Lenny Wilkens that Toronto basically ran out of town. Fans , bloggers ( not me ) , sports talkshow hosts , columnists and even Raptors players like VC and Charles Oakley abandoned Lenny like he was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out there in Columbia University after his speech. Oakley said the Knicks was well prepared cause they drilled their plays over and over again . This after a playoff loss by the Raps to NY. Obviously , Oak was making a jab at coach Wilkens lackadaisical practice method . But the most brutal attack on Wilkens was made by a columnist from the Toronto Star who said that everything in the then 63 year NBA Hall Of Famer smelled like formaldehyde ! See what I mean. Ahmahdinejad and formaldehyde . They even sound the same , sort of .
But here in Alberta , Lenny Wilkens was welcome with open and loving arms . Look at post event press release by Basketball Alberta . ' The highlight of the weekend for many was the chance to meet the legendary Lenny Wilkens . Wilkens led 2 sessions and was all smiles as he led all participants '. There , the oil rich province east of Toronto afforded LW the respect he's due. Figures. They went the opposite way of the big city of Toronto. Just like the rest of Canada would .You don't believe so. Just watch the movie , Let's All Hate Toronto.

Mahmoud : There are no homosexuals in Iran ......
only fruitcakes like me !

Friday, September 21

Jose , Si ! Sam, Si....hit !

The past days, 2 divergent views from the Raptors' camp surfaced. First , there was this negative comments from coach Sam Mitchell about the disadvantages of holding training camp outside the USA , particularly in Europe. As you know , the Raps are hoding camp in and playing one pre season game in Italy and Madrid, Spain. Sam said that playing outside the friendly confines of the States is not good . What ? What ? ' We basketball coaches don't like changes . We don't like like an environment where we have no control ' complained Sam . ' We are going to a foreign country after a 8 hour flight doing things we are unfamiliar with ' he added. Seems to me Sam is already giving excuses in case the Raps falter at the start of the season. It may be recalled that some folks attributed the bad start of the LA Clippers to holding camp in Europe last season. The Clips eventually missed the playoffs . What brought about this boldness in Sam in criticizing the NBA's policy to play outside the USA ? Aha. Sam is now secured with a $ 12 million multi year contract and the Red Aurbach best coach trohy. He feels he is now the spokesman for all NBA coaches. Maybe Sam even thinks that his new multi million contract puts him in the recently released Forbes list of the wealthiest people in America ! .
On the other hand , Jose Calderon has the opinion that opening the training camp in a foreign soil is a very good idea. ' I think it's great.We will be better by getting to know each other ' said Jose. Of course , it does not hurt that he and his amigo , Jorge Garbajosa , will play before his countrymen as NBA players for the 1st time. I remember Jose complaining before that the Americans think that the whole world revolves around them. Remember the time the Yanks categorized the NBA Finals as the world championships ! Not anymore . The NBA has the NBA championships while world basketball supremacy is with the FIBA World Basketball Championships. That's right. Even , the lowly Canadian loonie is at par now with the mighty US dollar !

Jose and Jorge : The loonie is the same value as the dollar ?
That's loony , er , I mean , that's loco , er, I mean , that's crazy !

Wednesday, September 19

GarboJose , RestYonovich , BargNanny After EuroBasket.

Now it's all over . Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo can breath a sigh of relief. Or can he really ? What did the Eurobasket participation of several Raptors proved anyway ? To their native countries , it meant these guys are 'nationalistic'. To Raptors executives , it meant 2 things . Unnecessary risks and 'complications' really . Let me explain as only a non homer could . Colangelo said participation in such an event is good and can't be avoided. ' If they were not playing basketball or working on their game , what would they be doing ?' They could be resting and making themselves healthy for the sake of the fans that pay good money to see them play .How's that . Now Garbajosa is scheduled to undergo a series of surgery. Granted that Garbo is slated to do this anyway , don't you think it is wise to rest his injured leg rather than subject these to wear and tear. Let's make that wear and tears to Raptors fans .Talking about rest , RestYo Nestorovich , I mean , the 31 year old Rasho N. should have just rested himself this summer to rejuvenate his aging body instead of playing his hearts out. For what . Nada. It's different when say an aged Jason Kidd chose to participate in Team USA. Kidd hardly played more than 15 minutes on a team full of superstars. Slovenia , Rasho's country , is full of slow ballers like him finishing 7th in the tournament .
Now lets go to my other worry. Jose Calderon's excellent play in the recently concluded EuroBasket will present a dilemna for coach Sam Mitchell. Is Jose a starting point guard or a back up ? Will TJ Ford accept a back up role assuming Sam makes Jose his premiere PG ? I know that the 24-24 mins. sharing won't be acceptable anymore . I know that Jose will shout for more minutes now.
The only thing I could say the EuroBasket revealed was that Andrea BargNanny needs further nurturing. He was a big dissapointment in this tournament. Something to do with his aching back . However , Asst. GM Mauricio Gheradini said its because BargNanny found it too much to carry the Italian team on his back.No wonder Bargnani's back is aching.What does it mean to the Raptors fans ? The guy is not yet ready to be a leader or co share the team leadership with Chris Bosh this coming season . He's still a baby , babee .

Andrea : one bottle of milk please .

Sunday, September 16

( In ) Houston , We Have A Problem !

Allan Houston is either going to sign up with the New York Knicks or their neighboring bros , the New Jersey Nets. Both teams are interested in the comebacking sharpshooter. Both teams are in the suddenly competitive Atlantic Division with the Toronto Raptors. Big problem for the Raptors. It's given that the Boston Celtics are the odds on favs in the division with the Nets running second. To those who still put the Raps as the leading team in this Division , you are dreaming guys .My forecast is that the Toronto dribblers are in a tight race for 3rd in the Atlantic with the Knicks. NY will get the upperhand if they get Allan Houston. Why ? They will have tremendous firepower in AH , a healthy Richardson and recent addition to the team , Zach Randolf. The Knicks players have been practicing on their own as early as the the start of the Las Vegas Summer League led by the MVP of the said tournament and the much improved Nate Robinson. Add the play of the maturing Renaldo Balkman . It will be Balkman and Robin son in where else , Gotham City !
The Raps will find hard to beat NY this time. Did I say that Curry has a chip on his shoulder ? Why ? First for being ignored in the last NBA All Star and then the Team USA selection . Former Bull mate , Tyson Chandler , even made it to the national team. The Raps are busy doing their own thing. The European Raptors are playing in Europe. The American Raps are rapping . Not actually . Yesterday , I saw Anthony Parker with his son watching the Blue Jays battle the Orioles at Rogers Center. Uh oh. If the Raps are not careful , they will suffer the same fate as their baseball cousins. Out of the playoff. It wiil serve as another proof of dino-birds link !

Monday, September 10

The Problem With Comeback .

As reported, several NBAers are attempting return to the basketball scene.Not just for the weekly game at the local YMCA but the NBA. I wish the league prohibits these dudes from returning to playing major league basketball. Just like in boxing , each state's boxing commission can deny a boxer a license to box if he is 'unfit' . Com. Stern must be given the same power to maintain the high standards of the premier basketball league in the world. Stern should be able to retire a player or refuse his return to NBA . Unfortunately , in most cases , the player is the last one to admit he got game no more ! Patrick Ewing , Hakeem Olajuwon and Gary Payton were some of the superstars in the past who played past their prime. These players embarrassed themselves and tarnished their image forever. Patrick (right photo) played his last few years heavilly wrapped he looked like a walking commercial for a bandage product !
Worse of course are players who unretire. Who are these dudes think they are , Britney Spears ? Ooops bad example . The Brit blew her comebacK yesterday at the MTV Awards. Anyway , I'm saying when you retire , you stay retire . Look at some of them attempting a comeback . Former Raptors Charles Oakley and Doug Christie. Why ? The car wash and the lingerie biz not doing well. I have an idea to both of you. Combine your business. Synergy , my friends . Require all car wash employees to wear lingeries while washing the cars ! Brlliant idea , huh ? Except your man , Bruno , might feel a little uncomfortable wearing a Victoria's Secret !

Wednesday, September 5

Kobe As Bill Gates !

Coming from a succesful FIBA Tournament , Kobe Bryant flew in to Manila as part of the Nike sponsored Asian trip that will take him to China , Hongkong and Taiwan. Kobe , according to reports was treated more than visiting heads of state. Awesome. It seems that Kobe's sins were forgiven . Even construction workers atop the buildings stopped their work and gawked at the Lakers superstar. I won't be surprise if the President of the Phillippines will invite Kobe for a courtesy call.Kobe is more popular in Asia than in the US of A .The good thing about these trips is that it pay back in terms of shoes and jersey sales. That is not counting the fake NBA jerseys made in China !
If the reported wooing of Kobe by the Knicks will be a success, New York will be devastating. Good for Gotham City . Better for the Atlantic Division . Worse for the Toronto Raptors ! Toronto will be the only team with Philadelphia that did not undergo extreme makeover . Boston has Garnett and Allen . Let's hope that the Lakers' owner , Dr. Jerry Bush , who was recently placed under probation for DUI, will not let Kobe change address. Kobe said if he had his wish , the men in gold and purple might as well be in red , white and blue . ' Assuming I'm Bill Gates . I'll start with Team USA to rebuild the Lakers ' said Kobe to the press in Manila. The Knicks owner James Dolan can afford to grant Kobe's wish too. Dolan's conterpart in New York , George Steinbrenner of the Yankees , has the habit of acquiring highly paid superstars . You see , it's a New York thing !

Gates : We have something in common Kobe . We both have our mugshots taken by the police !