Thursday December 22 2011 – 1:15am Eastern – Toronto, ON
The illness in the fam continues to occupy a good chunk of my time but I’m still paying close attention to what’s happening with the Raptors and the NBA overall…as I get set to embark on season #7 as radio analyst for the Raps…
Paul Jones and I are both excited to bring you the action this season…though I can’t say I’m jacked-up about calling those games when Toronto is sporting the camouflage jerseys! Yikes.
Let’s start some more quick hits with that right there …
1. I had NO problem — ZERO — with the camouflage jersey being worn on Armed Forces Night at the ACC. I think it’s a fantastic tribute and one that should be done by every team in the league at some point. But that’s it. One night. With due respect to our military or to anyone that has fought for this country or any other…those jerseys won’t be turning any fashion heads anytime soon.
2. Totally unrelated to basketball…I still have yet to see any of my favourite Holiday movies this year (in no particular order):
– 8 Crazy Nights
By the way…many have asked about it…and unfortunately the follow-up to “From Brooklyn to Toronto” — the Jack Armstrong and Eric Smith Christmas album — will NOT be happening this year. Studio time could not be properly booked and the flurry of activity over the past couple of weeks (getting a deal done, sliding right into camp and then the pre-season, etc) proved to be too busy. So album #2 will have to wait til NEXT year (if ever, haha).
3. Back to the military: I hope we’re finally done with JaVale McGee’s “salute” after monster dunks or buckets. That said, I’d take that salute a thousand times over if I didn’t have to see his Mom awkwardly paraded through the stands and then onto the floor during All Star weekend again. Oh, and while we’re talking Wizards:
– I love the new retro jerseys
– I need to see more from Nick Young before I think he’s worth $8 million+
– If Obama shows up at games this year, I guess he won’t be sitting with Matt Damon. (Google it)
4. Speaking of the All Star game/weekend … No, it’s not true that Toronto is on-board for the big game anytime soon. As I’ve written and talked about numerous times, T.O. likely won’t have a shot at the festivities until the organization and the city can figure something out with the long-standing mid-February tenant of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre: The Auto Show! The MTCC would need to be used for the “Fan Fest” that’s always connected with NBA All Star weekend and the lack of availability hurts the Raptors’ chances. Plus, while the ACC is world-calls in many of its amenities, trust me when I tell you as a guy that has seen every corner and bowel of that arena, there is VERY little space to do anything extra like accommodate throngs of media, celebrities, and VIPs, etc. Honestly, if the Raps ever make it to a Conference Final or NBA Finals, I really don’t know what the media relations and community relations staffs will do to manage the people and the numbers. Keep in mind: the ACC was originally supposed to be a basketball-only facility (thank Isiah Thomas for that). But then the hockey folks jumped in and extra spaces and dressing rooms and overlow rooms, etc. quickly became the Maple Leafs dressing room, visitors dressing room, rooms for referees, and much more. The press room, for instance, is at least half if not a third of the size it was supposed to be.
5. What We Saw On Wednesday:
- Toronto’s offence is still a ways away from where its defence is
- I still believe the Raps could/should go undersized with Amir Johnson or Ed Davis as their starting centre
- 32.4% from the floor and 5.9% from distance is going to put you on the wrong end every time
- If James Johnson can bring some consistent offence, he could be such a valuable piece to the long-term puzzle
- Gotta be impressed with Andrea Bargnani & DeMar DeRozan getting to the line
- I still put very little stock in the +/- stat in the NBA