The title of this post is an example of how you can put a question mark is front of even the most ridiculous statements and give them a serious air. To get to the point we now know that Jamario Moon’s using his new found money to buy the finest cocaine in the land. That’s the only way I can explain him annointing the Raptors as the second best team in the East. I love the confidence because it’s a prerequisite to being great but expectations need to be kept in check. I’d prefer it Moon started saying things like, “We want to prove the cynics wrong” rather than “After Boston, its us”. The latter has a work-ethic theme attached to it that both Moon and the Raptors need to adopt if they want to even come close to the former statement.
Matt Devlin reports from Beijing about the makeup of the Olympics and how Team USA will kill everybody. He drops an interesting fact about the Olympics: There are 29 current NBA players participating at the Beijing Games along with 17 former NBA players and eight international players whose rights are held by an NBA team. Compare this to only 12 years ago where there use to maybe two or three non-US players in the tournament and you get an idea of how basketball has grown. There’s a Fox Sports article that tries to find things to warn Team USA about but its reaching when making every point.
On a side note, I hate the Olympics. I hate everything about it, I hate the torch, I hate the IOC, I hate the corruption of the people running it, I hate the false sense of ‘sportsmanship’ and ‘unity’ that it insists upon itself and last but not least, I hate 80% of the sports in it. Sorry, but I’d rather watch more summer league than watch a Canadian ‘realize his dream’ when finishing 7th in the swimming pool. The whole amateur thing has run its course; the mixing of professionals like NBA players and athletes who have part-time jobs is getting to be a bit much and sends a lot of mixed messages about the spirit and nature of this competition. What does Olympic Gold mean anymore? Does it mean that you’re the best at what you do? In most cases, no. So why the hell should I care? The only reason people even care about this event is that they’re told to do so by the overwhelming hype created by the marketing machine that is the media.
The NBA schedule will come out any second now (New Years Eve vs. Nuggets) and here’s hoping for an easy November. Nothing can be more deflating than ending the first month with a record like 4-10. The only thing that’s going to do is get Sam Mitchell closer to being fired which of course isn’t exactly undesirable to many. Regardless of how we start the season Mitchell should be given at least till the end of December to prove whether he can handle the new look Raptors. After all this is the East and even though teams have gotten better there’s no reason to believe a team can’t absolutely suck for the first half of the season and make a run to grab a playoff spot, so bad start will not equal impending doom. Update: Here it is.
In yesterday’s post I said the NBA need not worry when petty free agents sign in Europe and should only be concerned if the stars start moving aboard. Well, today Lebron apparently said that he’ll be down with Europe if it gets him a salary of $50 million/year. If that actually does happen I wouldn’t be shocked to see the NBA personally offer Lebron $100 million to stay, it would be a matter of saving face. Meanwhile the exodus to Europe continues and this time its one of the stalwarts of the league, Earl Boykins, leaving us to join Virtus Bologna on a 1yr/3.5M deal which will make him the highest paid player in Italy next year.
That’s about that for this morning. This is going to be the last Raptors post till August 25th. I’m going home for two weeks. Thanks for reading the blog and posting comments, it is greatly appreciated. I’ve asked eastcoastrapsfan to fill in when he can, he might write a post later on where he’ll talk about what it means to be a Raptors fan who is getting up there in age.