Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Monday, May 28th, 2012
Monday May 28 2012 – 11:47pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
Here are the probabilities for the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery (which will be held on Wednesday at 8pm):
Charlotte, 7-59, 25%
Washington, 20-46, 19.9%
Cleveland, 21-45, 13.8%
New Orleans, 21-45, 13.7%
Sacramento, 22-44, 7.6%
New Jersey*, 22-44, 7.5%
Golden State**, 23-43, 3.6%
Toronto, 23-43, 3.5%
Detroit, 25-41, 1.7%
New Orleans (from Minnesota, 26-40), 1.1%
Portland, 28-38, 0.8%
Milwaukee, 31-35, 0.7%
Phoenix, 33-33, 0.6%
Houston, 34-32 ,0.5%
* New Jersey’s pick goes to the Trail Blazers unless it lands in the Top 3.
** Golden State’s pick goes to the Jazz unless it lands in the Top 7.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Wednesday May 23 2012 – 11:03pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
Summer is quickly approaching and it’s time once again for the Annual 100-Hole Charity Golf Challenge in support of the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario (SB&H).
Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition caused by an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain. This can result in many long term effects including impaired vision, headaches, sensitivity to changes in external pressure, hearing sensitivity, hormonal imbalance, seizures and in untreated cases, brain damage.
One of my closest friends, Justin, was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at the age of 10 and had two separate surgeries in connection with the insertion of a shunt. We continue to be grateful to the staff at McMaster General Hospital for ensuring that Justin is completely healthy. He’s been symptom and issue free for 20+ years now … living a completely “normal” life.
Justin is now one of the top corporate lawyers at Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto and he’s also on the board of directors for SB&H. He and his wife recently celebrated the arrival of their 2nd child as well.
The Golf Challenge is SB&H’s primary fundraiser for the year and an excellent opportunity for me – and many others – to embarrass ourselves on the golf course. We will attempt to play 100 holes each … in 1 day!
Funds raised through this event will ensure that SB&H can continue to support families, children and youth living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus through research, care, awareness and advocacy programs. SB&H is the only charity in Ontario providing support, education and information to children, parents and adults living with the challenges of these conditions. Further, SB&H receives no government funds and is dependant solely on private donations and fund raising events.
I know that you are all approached to donate to many worthy causes … but I would greatly appreciate your support in pledging me for this great cause.
Your donation is 100% tax deductible and a tax receipt will be mailed to you.
If you are able to pledge me at this time, you can donate here:
Just be sure to select my name in the drop-down menu beside “Fund/Designation”.
I will be emceeing the tournament and the dinner for the 2nd straight year; and I’m honored to do so.
On behalf of Justin and I and the members and directors of the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Onario, we sincerely thank you.
For more information on the tournament, check out the details on SB&H’s website at: http://www.sbhao.on.ca/events/golf
All the best …
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Wednesday May 23 2012 – 1:10pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
Alright, other than the reference to the Sacramento Kings…this blog has NOTHING to do with the NBA. It is, predominantly, about the NHL and the Los Angeles Kings.
So forgive me for posting about HOCKEY in a BASKETBALL blog!
However, the Sacramento reference is where this all started …
Apparently, in spite of how well the LA Kings have been doing in the NHL post-season (advancing, last night, to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993), at least one local TV affiliate in La-La-Land used the wrong logo on-screen during a segment on their newscast last week. The station used SACRAMENTO’S “Kings” logo/graphic as opposed to LA’s!
That prompted somebody within the hockey club’s web department to come up with this ingenious (and funny) info-graphic on the KINGS of hockey earlier this week:
I can’t seem to find the original screw-up…but here’s the apology:
And here is a screen-shot of last week’s mishap:
As I Tweeted last night … hands up if you had the LA KINGS being the only tenant still playing at Staples Center in June? I’m sure MANY believed the Clippers or Lakers would still be occupying the building much longer than the 8th-seeded Kings.
Friday, May 18th, 2012
Friday May 18 2012 – 3:52pm Central – Chicago, IL
Greetings from vacation in Chicago!
If you’re an NBA fan — heck, a sports fan in general — there’s probably little chance that you haven’t already heard about this story:
But as ridiculous as it is for a kid to get suspended for having an image of Matt Bonner shaved into his head…the ‘story’ does come with a ‘happier ending’ …
After making headlines for the past 36-48 hours, the young student, Patrick Gonzalez, got a chance to attend the Spurs’ victory over the LA Clippers last night. He was Bonner’s personal guest for the ball game.
Bonner contacted me a couple of days ago and said he wanted to send the 12-year-old a letter or contact the kid’s school … something … anything!
Obviously playoff tickets, a meet and greet, and an autographed jersey seemed appropriate … cause that’s exactly what Bonner told me he did for the youngster last night.
“He was a really nice kid,” said Bonner. “He appeared quite overwhelmed by all of the attention.”
Bonner told me he also did a ‘photo op’ for the media in attendance and publicly commented that the school was being too harsh by suspending Gonzalez and making him shave off his haircut (which cost $75) as well.
“I also called the principal a CLIPPERS fan,” joked Bonner.
I suggested to Matt that he might want to shave off his playoff beard – as a sign of solidarity to Gonzalez – but the former Raptor was having no part of that idea.
Gonzalez and his family got a chance to see San Antonio beat Chris Paul and Co. 105-88. The Spurs now lead the Clippers 2 games to none.
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
Tuesday May 15 2012 – 4:08pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
Cavaliers’ PG, Kyrie Irving, was the landslide winner of the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award earlier today … but what caught my eye (brought to my attention by a question from a follower on Twitter) was the actual votes that were cast for the award.
Here is how it all broke down:
|Kyrie Irving, Cleveland||117||2||1||592|
|Ricky Rubio, Minnesota||-||49||23||170|
|Kenneth Faried, Denver||1||30||34||129|
|Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio||1||9||15||47|
|Iman Shumpert, New York||1||7||7||33|
|Klay Thompson, Golden State||-||5||15||30|
|Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento||-||6||10||28|
|Brandon Knight, Detroit||-||6||3||21|
|Chandler Parsons, Houston||-||3||5||14|
|MarShon Brooks, New Jersey||-||1||1||4|
|Kemba Walker, Charlotte||-||-||3||3|
|Josh Selby, Memphis||-||-||1||1|
I have been voting for NBA awards for 7+ years now. This year I was given ballots for the 6TH Man Award, Most Improved Player, and the All-NBA Team(s). And I can honestly tell you that I have never voted for a Toronto Raptor simply because I broadcast their games. If a player is DESERVING of a vote and he happens to be from T.O. then so-be-it. But I won’t cast a ‘homer’ vote and, in a sense, ‘spoil’ my ballot.
To me, that’s exactly what happened with the 1st place votes that were award to Kenneth Faried and Iman Shumpert.
Irving should have received all of the 120 1st-place votes. Period. The only way this ‘face’ for the R.O.Y. would have been close was if Ricky Rubio didn’t get hurt; seeing his inaugural NBA season cut short. Voting for anyone else is/was absurd.
I will admit that a case COULD be made for Kawhi Leonard — who STARTED 39 of the 64 games he appeared in for the San Antonio Spurs. However, with the talent around him (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and many more – considering SA’s massive amount of depth), there’s no doubt that Leonard was a good ‘piece’ to a great team. I don’t know that he’s Rookie of the Year material though … with 7.9 PPG.
Iriving on the other hand was a great piece to an average (bad?) team that kept his club in contention for a post-season berth for nearly 3/4 of the season (though he did miss 15 games due to injury).
Faried was an after-thought for the first third of the season before finally getting his chance in Denver. He is a FINE player — and he had one hell of a post-season against the LA Lakers — but he did not deserve a 1st-place vote.
And while Shumpert played well in New York — especially on the defensive end (a guru on D in the making?) — he averaged less than 10 PPG on barely 40% FG (and 30% 3PT FG) and the Knicks were going to sink or swim on Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and/or Jeremy Lin … not the Georgia Tech guard.
Again, Leonard, Faried, and Shumpert are ALL fantastic players … but casting 1st-place votes for the shows a bias.
The WORST bias …
Though it had little-to-no impact on the overall outcome of the award, seeing Josh Selby (Memphis) get a 3rd-place vote is a complete joke. Whoever cast that ballot should lose his/her privileges!
Selby’s season totals: 28 (of 66) games played. 8.5 minutes. 2.3 points. 1.1 assists. 34.7 FG% and 13.3% 3PT FG.
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Tuesday May 8 2012 – 10:57pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
The news that I first reported nearly 6 weeks ago was finally made official on Tuesday as Canada Basketball announced Steve Nash as the General Manager of their Senior Men’s Team.
With the 2-time MVP now in charge, Canada gains a shot of adrenalin – and most notably, credibility – at a time when it was/is MOST needed. Though the Canadians will not be suiting up in the London Olympic Games this summer, the future of the program is truly about 2013, 2014, 2015 and (hopefully) Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
Nash SHOULD be able to ‘rally the troops’ and bring together the best of the best that Canada has to offer and his name alone will help sell the game of basketball and the Canadian team overall to the corporate communities in this city and province … let alone all provinces from cost to cost. Private donations have reportedly already come in but big businesses are sure to come knocking (even if it is ‘slowly but surely’ — that’ll be better than the ‘few and far between’ that has become the norm of late) as the hype builds.
That said, at the end of the day, Nash and the team will be judged by their wins and losses.
Paul Jones and I had a chance to chat with Captain Canada on Tuesday afternoon:
The other part of the announcement by Canada Basketball was the naming of Rowan Barrett as Assistant GM.
Barrett, a former National Team player as well (and former Nash teammate) will likely carry the brunt of the load for Canada as Nash will remain quite busy for 7-8+ months of the year for at least the next 2-3 years (the length of time that most people believe Nash will stay in the NBA before he retires). Barrett will be the hands-on, day-to-day face of the Men’s program — likely more-so than Nash himself.
Barrett left a managerial position with a Toronto branch of the Royal Bank to take on this full time job with Canada Basketball.
Jonesy and I had a chance to chat with Barrett as well:
The first order of business for Nash and Barrett may be finding their new head coach; the man that will take over for the now-departed, Leo Rautins.
Strong speculation continues to swirl (as I reported back in March) that Jay Triano could be the front runner for the job but many believe IF he is the man that ultimately takes over, his post will come AFTER he fulfills his commitments with the U.S. team (who he has worked with/for over the last few years) conclude following the London Games.
If Triano is offered the job it would be his second stint as head coach of Team Canada … and his relationship with Nash, of course, is well-documented.
A new era has begun for Canada. Hopefully, it works.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
Monday May 7 2012 – 11:56pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
Canada Basketball sent out a press release earlier this evening … stating that they will host a press conference at 12pm tomorrow at Air Canada Centre.
No details were given, but there is strong speculation that what I first wrote about / reported 6 weeks ago could finally be made official (at in PART) on Tuesday:
Wednesday March 21 2012 – 10:40pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
The details are sketchy right now but there is strong speculation swirling at the moment that Canada Basketball could be close to making a major announcement regarding its Men’s National Team.
Steve Nash may be taking over as the “General Manger” of Team Canada.
It would be a role similar to what Steve Yzerman (and, previously, Wayne Gretzky) has served for Hockey Canada.
This move has been swirling in the rumor mill for weeks (if not months) and it is apparently closer than ever.
If / when this unveiling is made, there is strong indication that Jay Triano will be named as Head Coach of the Canadian squad; his second stint as the lead man on the sidelines for the Canucks.
The Men’s National Team did not qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in London and, thus, doesn’t really have any meaningful games on the horizon for at least another year. However, the hope would be – with Nash taking over – that the 2-time MVP would be able to attract Canada’s top talent (some who have arguably not shown up in Red and White in the past) and convince them to represent their country.
Time will tell if this truly goes down and what impact it could have on the future on the Canadian National program and the growth of the sport with current and future generations.
I will be all over this news on Tuesday — as will @Paul__Jones — and as soon as any new information comes along, I’ll have it in this space and on Twitter ( www.twitter.com/Eric__Smith ).
A huge step for the present and FUTURE of Canada Basketball is (likely) about to be taken.
Have a good one folks.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
Monday May 7 2012 – 11:36pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
You probably heard about this earlier today … but before the clock strikes 12 and the calendar officially flips to a new day, let’s look back to 10 years ago today (May 7, 2002) and one of the greatest rants in sports history.
“We talkin’ ’bout practice.”
The folks at ESPN had a solid breakdown of Allen Iverson’s diatribe as well — including many current and former players (and Hall of Famers) …
For what it’s worth … Iverson’s 2+ minute rant was tracked by a number of websites and the final tally of the word “practice” comes in around 22.5 times.
The only sports moment(s) that comes close to A.I.’s infamous ramble was Herm Edwards’ “You play to win the game” and Dennis Green’s “They are who we thought they were” …
Have a good one folks
Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Saturday April 28 2012 – 4:14pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
I’m a little late in getting this in (1 game is already in the books and another is approaching halftime) … but I have Twitter proof that my picks were made BEFORE the post-season began … so this breakdown will simply serve as a more detailed report of my prognostications!
For those that asked: CHI in 5. BOS in 6. IND in 6. MIA in 6. OKC in 7. LAL in 6. LAC in 7. SAN AN in 5. There are my predictions
Chicago (1) vs Philadelphia (8)
Bulls in 5. Too much depth and too much D for the 76ers to deal with. This is a no-brainer.
Miami (2) vs New York (7)
Miami in 6. Kudos to Mike Woodson for getting the Knicks on track but the 1-2 (3?) punch of James and Wade (and Bosh?) is too much for New York to deal with … especially given how infrequently NY’s core has played together this season (due to injuries).
Indiana (3) vs Orlando (6)
Pacers in 6. No Dwight Howard = No chance for the Magic.
Boston (4) vs Atlanta (5)
Boston in 6. The injury (bone spurs) to Ray Allen concerns me — as does the overall as of the Celtics. But Doc Rivers had his team playing so well down the stretch of the season that I have to stay with them. Atlanta may be due for a shake-up (Josh Smith finally traded?) if they make another early exit from the post-season.
San Antonio (1) vs Utah (8)
Spurs in 5. Too much experience for the Jazz to deal with. Plus, after getting stung by the Grizzlies last year, I don’t see San Antonio letting lightning strike, again.
Oklahoma City (2) vs Dallas (7)
OKC in 7. This may be the worst match-up for the Thunder. The 2010-11 CHAMPS as a 7th seed in the 1st round? Ouch. This will be a battle but I don’t know if it’s a changing of the guard … given that Kevin Durant and Co. MAY have to go through the Mavs, Lakers, and Spurs to get to the final (if things play out like that). That’s epic.
LA Lakers (3) vs Denver (6)
Lakers in 6. In spite of the suspension to Metta World Peace, I think LA still has the depth and All Star talent that wins you playoff games. I don’t know if Denver can truly match-up vs Gasol and Bynum and I’m interested in seeing how JaVale McGee reacts to his first taste of the post-season — especially against a marquee opponent.
Memphis (4) vs LA Clippers (5)
Clippers in 7. The conspiracy theorist in me believes the league will find a way to get through to the 2nd round. Memphis is a SOLID team that scares many. I get that. Most folks are taking the Grizz. But I wonder how much respect Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will get in the post-season and how much that could truly affect the series. I’m staying with LA.
So there are MY 1st round picks. Who do you have?
Friday, April 27th, 2012
Friday April 27 2012 – 1:42am Eastern – Toronto, ON
The Raptors WON their final game of the 2011-12 season and Paul Jones and Eric Smith broke down the good, bad, (ugly and indifferent) of the 2011-12 season their latest post-game VIDEO BLOG:
Game Highlights – Nets @ Raptors:
Ed Davis post-game Interview on SN590 (with #SmithAndJones):
Dwane Casey and Bryan Colangelo will meet with the media at 10am on Friday morning before they (likely) go into seclusion for most of the post-season; preparing for June’s 2012 NBA Draft.
Have a good one folks … And thank to ALL of you for tuning in through the season!
If This Is It? I can’t use that headline without giving SOME homage to the great “Huey Lewis and the News” ……………….