Friday October 1 2010 – 11:30pm Eastern – Toronto, ON

For those that didn’t like the blog that was posted earlier today (Rap History) … lighten up.

I told you it was on off-the-wall, off-topic blog that would be followed by some actual basketball / NBA / Raptor news at some point today … and that’s what THIS blog is all about.

UPDATE ON DAMPIER

Word is that Erick Dampier was impressed with what he heard and saw from the Toronto Raptors but he left town without giving any real indication of when he might make a decision regarding his next NBA home.

The 14-year vet is scheduled to meet with the Houston Rockets and it is believed that the Texas town and T.O. are the final choices/options on the big man’s list.

Dampier spent Thursday night dining with Toronto’s management team … and the Raptors new Director of Player Personnel, Alvin Williams (who attended the dinner as well) told me on the FAN 590 earlier today that he believes Dampier’s experience, size, rebounding, and shot-blocking abilities could be invaluable to the Raps.

You can listen to my chat with Williams here:

http://www.fan590.com/ondemand/media.jsp?content=20101001_104808_12828

MOURNING MOURNING

I’m sure there are a ton of Raptor fans out there that are quite peeved – if not disgusted – about the story that the Toronto Sun had earlier today RE: Alonzo Mourning ‘mentoring’ Chris Bosh in Miami.

Hey, Zo, you could have done that in Toronto ya know!

Loyal fans of the Heat and many folks connected to the community in Miami and South Beach praise Mourning for his big heart (and smile) and his willingness to give and give back … but folks in T.O. will probably only remember him breaking their hearts and his willingness to take (the $$) and never come back.

Didn’t see the story?  Check it out:

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Basketball/NBA/Toronto/2010/10/01/15553521.html

CANADIAN CONTENT

I’ve got to give a shout-out to two outlets / websites that, quite honestly, I hadn’t heard about before today.  But maybe they’ve got to make it onto my reading list now after doing some solid legwork on the approaching NCAA basketball season.

According to www.hoopstarcanada.com, this fall a record 40+ Canadians will be playing at Division 1 schools in the U.S. … highlighted by the likes of Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph.

To read more about this story – and the connection to the rise in NCAA numbers with the rise in ‘prep school’ numbers – check out this story from torontoobserver.ca:

http://www.torontoobserver.ca/2010/10/01/ncaa-division-1-calls-canadian-ball-players/ 

GO WEST?

Unfortunately, I will not be heading out to Vancouver for the next 5-6 to continue to keep an eye on the Raptors’ Training Camp.  However, my spies are plugged-in and I will still be keeping up with the boys in red as much as humanly possible.

Sluggin’ it in the gym every day will not be something I’ll miss but I am disappointed that I won’t get a chance to see the first pre-season game … when BC’s Steve Nash returns to his home province – with his Phoenix Suns – to take on Canada’s only team.

And what a perfect time to mention, again, for the 1,000,000th time, that Toronto should NOT be Canada’s only team.  Vancouver was robbed of its franchise and I hope the NBA gets it together one day – and does the right thing – but finding an owner that is ‘willing and STABLE’ to bring a team back to Van-City.

Speaking of which … www.vancouvernba.org

ANNIVERSARY IN VANCOUVER

If you haven’t heard … in addition to the pre-season game between the Raptors and Suns and Toronto’s training camp overall … there will be another big event in Vancouver in the coming days.

Jay Triano, Steve Nash, Sherman Hamilton, Rowan Barrett and many more from the Sydney Olympic team will gather for a special ’10-year Anniversary’ dinner/celebration/ceremony.

I hope to have more on that soon.

———-

Have a good one folks.

E. Smith 

8 Responses to “Late Night Check-In”
  1. 1.

    I can’t understand what is going on in Raptor Land. This young group of Raptors deserve a chance to prove themselves. You signed Amir J to a good contract…….. why? Because you saw something you could use in the long term, right? Dampier & Diaw are done… let them be. If you have to do a trade then get Diaw, only because you need to get rid of Jose (maybe). Dampier will be dead weight.

    I sometimes think that all this panic is about BC’s job security.

    MLSE sign the guy already.. There is no else out there. May then he can settle down and make decisions good for the long term health of the franchise. What is being proposed here, is ridiculous.

    I digress.

    Every good NBA franchise goes through these kinds of seasons. You never know what may happen. The young Gunz may turn out to be something magical. Allow them the opportunity to grow…. this means give Amir and Sonny their minutes. You have a good one in Weems but in every blog out there Derozen is the heir apparent. DD’s good but there is a reason he began starting the games down the stretch las year. A step back is good sometimes… Not to take anything away from the brain-trust at MLSE but b4 Steve Nash went to Pheonix they were a lottery team, look at Oklahoma, Orlando, Chicago etc.

    OMG, stay away from these over-done Free Agents. Davis/Alabi/Dorsey should get a chance… Ok Dorsey is a long shoot but you won’t know for sure until you play them.

    The Roster needs tweaking… too many PG but the rest deserve a chance the fans require it.

    - Richard W
  2. 2.

    so dampier is evaluating if he wants to play for a winner or play with a team that will give him playing time ,,,interesting,,,,what would you do E ?,,,,if you had 14 years in the show ?,,,not being sent to BC by the fan ,,why ?,,,go raps go

    - lemongellofan
  3. 3.

    I am begging — PLEADING — with you, Richard W…that BC will be NOWHERE NEAR the ACC next season!!!!! Please, please, please!!! This guy is almost as clueless as the guy he chose in the first round four years ago.

    As fans, all we can hope for is this team somehow manages to acquire a centrepiece, franchise type of player in next year’s entry draft. Anything less would be an absolute disappointment for this team. Sure, it would be nice to see the young guys improve during this season, but really…are any of these guys the Durant type of impact player? The kind of guy who can turn a franchise around almost by himself? No chance!

    I say play all the young kids and sign zero veterans beyond who they already have. Guys like Jose and Jack will be great role models for the young kids, in terms of how they conduct themselves both on and off the court.

    All I can hope for is that when the Raps take their top 3 player next spring, Bryan Colangelo’s a** is nowhere near the draft table.

    - brento.
  4. 4.

    I like the part where you said “brain-trust” at MLSE.

    Tee-hee.

    That was, like, really funny :) :) :)

    - brento.
  5. 5.

    Im tellin ya Eric, some people are just trolls on here for the sake of having no life at all. Im sick of Brento’s negativity. Eric has every right to post up what ever topic he wants. If you don’t like it, start up your own blog or simply don’t read it. I enjoy Eric’s opinions on related and non related topics. Please trolls, just go away.

    - Nick
  6. 6.

    I was wondering why no one brought up the thought of Steve Nash going to Orlando. All it would take is for them to send Vince Carter jamer nelson for Steve Nash and maybe a draft pick but the backlash would make the Orlando Magics just as good if not better then the Miami Heat because of Steve Nash being with Dwight Howard the thought of that scares me it would create and offense which would not be stoppable. Amare stoudmire is a bootleg version of Dwight and look how good Nash has made him l going to the conference finals last year. With shooters around him like rashard lewis ,J.J Redick and a guy who can catch anything you throw at him and throw it down Steve Nash would average phenomenal number and so would Dwight. Nash could run that pick and roll offense and leave defenses defenseless to it.Putting Him And Dwight Together Would hid Very Few of Nash’s Flaws ,Which is defense with a front court present like that Nash would be able to hide his defensive weakness due to Howard backing him up and being such a present down there, not forgetting Mickael Pietrus would have a break out year if nash came because he makes every player around him better. This Trade in my opinion would make Orlando better then Miami when you look at it as a team aspect and how well all those pieces fit together. Help Me And Get This Trade Opportunity out there by voicing by making it know the the basketball world.

    - realgm
  7. 7.

    Hello Eric,
    Please have a look at this video by a Toronto Film crew.
    LeBRONCEPTION
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqH5e7N11nw
    LBJ mixed with Inception. I know it is strange to think but when you watch it you will be amazed how everything fits in!
    It really is quite amazing and Im proud that a Canadian crew made this.

    - Steve Kasan
  8. 8.

    No, Nick. Toronto Raptors fans, after 16 years of being kicked around and disrespected by the uselessly futile company that is MLSE, are FINALLY starting to figure it out!!

    We will NOT go away.

    We are DEMANDING accountability and commitment from this dreadfully flailing organization, which has produced nothing but losers since it’s inception.

    Enough is enough.

    - brento.
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