Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It's Raptors time again folks...and trust me I am stoked and juiced for this upcoming season. Got my fantasy squad all picked and it's looking good. Picked Marion with the third pick overall. Got a couple Raptors on my team as well...Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker. Can't wait for all my points to rack up! I finished 2nd last year as the rookie in the it's no where but up for me this year...I want the top spot! Dragonstout watch out because here comes the Enigma!

So I go on the Internet...specifically the sports network Stateside that starts with an E and ends with an N...and I see that nowhere are the Raptors picked to win the Atlantic Division. Some of the knucklehead "experts" have the Raptors finishing as low as 8th in the East. For goodness sakes Stephen A Smith has even mentioned the Knicks in his improving teams in the East this season...but no mention of the Atlantic Division champs. I guess the Raptors just happened to win their first division crown in franchise history. What kills me is that these so-called experts act as if the Raptors are not in the NBA but in the NBDL or the Euro leagues! When asked about the U.S. media slight at halftime of Toronto's opening game with the Sixers...Chris Bosh said that it's better for the team if they are under the radar. I agree with him to some extent...but it's time for Canada's team to get some respect! This Raptor my estimation is the deepest team in the NBA. It also moves the ball better than any team in the league except the Captain Canada Steve Nash's Suns. The point guard combination of TJ Ford and Jose Calderon is maybe the best 1-2 point guard tandem in the L as well. So what gives? Well the Raps are a poor rebounding team...this must be improved for them to step up to Elite Status. The defence leaves alot to be desired at times during games...and this must be shored up as well. I see Bosh getting better and Andrea Bargnani looks stronger and much more confident than last year. Add to that the increasing confidence of Jose Calderon and this team is set for a great season.

So even though America doesn't RE-COG-NIZE the Raps skill, depth and talent...all of us here in the T-Dot know what time it is. I think the Raps will battle the Nets for the Division Crown and I think they will have no problem with the Celtics. Toronto will wear their "Big Three" down all year and will be the ones standing when all is said and done.

Tonight's game was going well for the Raps...they moved the ball flawlessly to build up a 22 point lead in the 4th quarter...but then the air came out...Toronto got casual and Andre Iguodala and Kyle Korver started making buckets...buckets and more buckets! Big shot by Bargnani with about 4 minutes left to thwart the Sixers comeback...He buries the three with about four minutes to play as he's fouled by Sam "I Am" Dalembert. WOW! Huge play. But credit must be given to TJ ...who before the Bargnani three...hustled back down on defence to knock the ball away from Iguodala from behind with the Sixers down 1 and a chance to go ahead. TJ kudos to you for using your blinding speed to make a big defensive play that turned the tide back in the Raptors favour and saved the day. If TJ can use his quickness on the defensive end this season...while not gambling too much...the Raps will be much improved.

I think Toronto will learn a valuable lesson from the opener and it's good that it occurred in the first game of the season. When you have a team down must put your foot on their neck and take their heart out! You can't relax...This should have been a 40 point Raptor blowout...instead the Raps squeek out a close win on opening night against a young and hungry Sixers squad. Mo's do or die time for you as the Sixers head coach. You better get results or you will be out of a job faster than TJ can go coast to coast.

Some notes from the game:

Willie Green is a monster...he can shoot and he can get to the bucket at will...and remember he had knee surgery a couple of years ago!

Jason Smith is a nice baller...20th overall for the Sixers...he will be a solid contributor to the Sixers squad.

Andre Iguadala will get paid...whether it's this year or next. If Philly doesn't sign him by midnight tonight(Wednesday Oct, 31st) He becomes a restricted free agent. I don't think Philly wants this scenario to play out...because there will be a team out there that will offer him so big time me on that!

Lastly. How on earth did the Heat let Jason Kapono go. I mean...I know they are salary-capped out but my goodness the guy is the best three point shooter in the league(52% last year)...and he looks like on of the best shooters in the league period. This kid can bury the rock with the best of them! I like his game...and especially the way he moves without the basketball. He can hit jumpers from all over the court and will be a thorn in the side of opposing defenders for the rest of the season!

Raps win 106-97. Player of the game(It's a tie)...TJ Ford 14 pts...12 assts...Andrea Bargnani 20 pts...5 rebs and 2 blocks! TJ should be an ALL-STAR this year and will be in the top 3 in ASSISTS in the L...mark my words!

p.s. What happened to Jorge Garbajosa...only 6 minutes in the game. Could there be something going on behind the scenes between head coach Sam Mitchell and Garbo...or is the team just working the vet in slowly as a precautionary measure to ensure his still healing broken leg doesn't become an issue later on in the season and for the playoffs? You tell me. Let's watch the minutes of Garbo going forward.


RAPTORS AT NETS 7:30pm FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2007. IN NEW JERSEY.Wince Carter here we come!!!! First statement game of the season. Will the Raps have the mindset to go into the swamp and slay the Nets? Can't wait for this one!

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 4TH, 2007 AT HOME VS. THE CELTICS...FIRST GAME FOR THE RAPTORS ON CBC! about exposure. Toronto will surely be Canada's team now! better bring your buddies Ray Ray and The Truth for another Atlantic Division battle.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


No more smiles in Miami for Walker and Riles

Well...You knew the odd love affair between the Miami heat and Antoine Walker could not last forever as the Heat dealt the often out of shape veteran to the Minnesota Timberwolves...for essentially Ricky Davis and Mark Blount. Ricky Davis you ask...why? That's a very good question. Who in their right mind would trade for a tool like Davis...who's never seen a shot he didn't like. Apparently part of the reason for the trade was due to Blount and Al Jefferson not getting along when they were together in Boston. It's a familiar place for the former Iowa Hawkeye as Davis played for Pat Riley in 2000-2001 but was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers after that year and played a little with Bron-Bron before the brain trust in Cleveland realized that they better jettison Davis before he got a chance to pollute the mind of THE CHOSEN ONE...LB23. Good decision for them because Davis has a less than stellar reputation...and is not really known as a team player. Also going to the Twin Cities is Wayne Simien...the standout Power Forward from Kansas...who got about as much time as I did on an NBA court in his short 2 year NBA career. The 250lb banger averaged 3.3 ppg and a measly 10 minutes a game since entering the league in 2005! Thanks for playing the stud Mr. Riley. What's with these veteran coaches not playing young players and therefore hindering their development? I know the NBA is or was a man's league...but how does a stud coming out of college like Simien start only 2 games in his entire career? got to mix it up and play the youth along with the veterans...that way when you lose a player like D-Wade for an extended time you can throw the young guys into the battlefield with no worries. Same thing he did with Dorrell Wright who averaged about 8 minutes a game his first 2 years...and then finally was shown some confidence from Riley last season when he averaged just a shade under 20 minutes a game while starting 19 games.

Larry Brown is the same way...he doesn't really play young players early on...and then when it's time to throw them into the fire when an injury or injuries occur they can't deal with the pressure. My advice to Riley is to get with the program...the NBA is getting younger and younger so it's time to play the kids or get left behind.

Another interesting thing about the Heat is they may be one of only 6 teams this season without an international player! this day and age when teams are clamouring to get overseas to find the next Manu Ginobili...the Heat are still stuck in 1990. Hey at one point they did have Rony Seikaly so I guess they at least tried years ago to GO GLOBAL. Compare that to teams like the Raptors, Spurs and and Rockets who have several overseas players and the Heat are shockingly out of step with the newest NBA trend to play more foreign players...especially ones with experience, talent and poise.

As far as Walker goes...I was never a fan...didn't appreciate his game in Boston...couldn't take him in Dallas and was dismayed at his willingness to shoot threeswithout conscience in Miami. Walker doesn't do much well. He can score a little...plays no defence and does not make other players on his team better. At best he is the 4th or 5th option on offence at this stage in his career. Will the T-Wolves buy him out...possibly...because they're in rebuilding mode and want to play younger players like Al Jefferson, Craig Smith and Corey Brewer. Maybe another disillusioned team will take a chance on the chucker Walker...but right now it's too soon to tell. I hope that stupid shimmy he does less frequently than in the buried for good!

By the way...the Heat lost by 17 to the Spurs yesterday and finished the pre-season at they went winless in the pre-season for the first time in their 20-year existence...OUCH!

Other NBA news and notes:

Adam Morrison is out for the year with a torn knee ligament...I am of the opinion that Morrison's best days were at Gonzaga...what do you think?

Amare Stoudamire is back on the court after minor arthroscopic surgery on his right knee...Good to hear Stat is back on the court...Reports say he was throwing down viciously upon his return to practice...which was open to the public. Let's hope the Matrix doesn't pull the rug out from under the Suns' season...the Steve Nash clock is ticking...and Stoudamire looks like he's ready to take on Timmy and the Spurs out west come playoff time.

First the Portland Trailblazers fans were let down when Greg Oden went down with a bum knee a couple months ago and now the Sonics...owners of the 2nd pick in the 2007 draft found bad luck of their own as Kevin Durant sprained his ankle after dropping 21 in a double overtime loss to the Warriors yesterday. The rookie phenom is on crutches now and is probably out for his game tonight(Wednesday) against the Blazers...The NBA draft's 1-2 punch...looks more like one-two Crutch.

You may not have heard of him...but Rodney Stuckey...I love that name...a rookie out of Eastern Washington who is having a great pre-season for the Detroit Pistons...broke his hand tonight in a game against the Washington Wizards...this after starting red hot...scoring 10 points in only 13 minutes of burn. What a shame...I was really looking forward to watching this young cat do his thing on the court this year. Hopefully he's as fast a healer as Jorge Garbajosa!

That's all I gotta say



Monday, October 22, 2007


Hey's been a while since I've posted...took a few months off to regroup...but I am back and it's going to be a great fall/winter season for sports...Over the summer...a lot has gone on in the world of sports...Mike Vick has been found guilty in the dogfighting case...what an idiot. I was told by an inside source a couple months ago that Vick was told time and time again to quit the dogfighting ring...and he was told even before he started crossing state lines with his dogs. Why didn't he just bail out and listen to the smarter people in his life? Was it ego...was it stubbornness...or was it merely the fact that many athletes believe they are untouchable...that the law can't bring them down? Remember...for many of these sports is not an answer they want to hear. They've always gotten what they've wanted and they always have people around them boosting them up and telling them they are the greatest thing since Wonder bread. Vick you were should have stopped many years ago and now you are going to pay the price. Millions of dollars lost...reputation tarnished and jail time. I think he should be given a 2nd chance after he serves whatever time he gets...but I have a simple question...was it worth it Mike?

KG to the Celtics for the entire Boston what a blockbuster deal...Danny Ainge finally did something worthwhile in Beantown. Now it's time for Doc Rivers and crew to put up or shut their traps. The triple threat of Paul Pierce...Ray Allen and Garnett makes the Celts a sure fire playoff team in my estimation. They should really be one of the top teams in the east....but they have no bench so we shall watch to see how well they do and if these guys can avoid the injury bug this season. My question to Ainge...was the decimation of your team worth it?

Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's Major League Baseball record. I must tell you...I am undecided about Barry Bonds. He's a great baseball player...possibly one of the best to play the game...but I can't agree with the way he handles and deals with the media...his personality leaves much to be desired. It seems obvious that about a dozen years ago...when baseball was going through the lockout and fans were skipping turned a blind eye to a lot of abuses...not the least of which was the proliferation of steroids among the masses. Remember Brady Anderson...well look him up...and tell me what you think about his monstrous 50 HR season and compare it to his home run production in the rest of his career. Now I'm not saying he did juice...but something seems fishy about that year. As for Bonds...well...he has the record...but if he did steroids...was it worth it?

Marion Jones...the latest track athlete to admit or be caught for using steroids(the clear). Clearly this plea by Jones was to avoid serious jail time. I remember watching her run in the Olympics and World Championships several years ago and wondering to myself...was this a man I was watching? She just seemed to be so much better than the other women runners...heck...she had better times than many men racing back then as well. Why couldn't she run clean? Was it because everybody was using something? Was it for her legacy or was it greed...for the love of the money? We'll never know...until she writes her book. My question to Marion...was it worth it?

Sports is under siege right now...Everybody wants to be da man...the best...the world champion...the titlist and on and on and on...but where do adults and the kids who look up to these athletes draw the line? How much support should they show them How far will they go to be the best? It seems more and more athletes are willing to cheat, lie and swindle their way to fame and fortune. I am kinda sick to my stomach with sports these days? Is anyone honest anyone clean anymore...does anyone want to win fair and square anymore? I don't know. The Tour De France bike race is a is under a cloud...and track and field is a joke as well and don't for a minute think that football players don't get a little "help" to recover from injuries every week either. Maybe the government has to get really tough on athletes...maybe parents have to monitor their kids more and note any behavioral changes they may see(roid rage a consequence of steroid use). I'm not sure what the solution is....short of throwing sports by the wayside...but that clearly isn't an option. My question is for the next generation of stars to hit the it worth it to destroy your body to get to the top?

A couple of months ago I went to Las Vegas for a broadcasting Conference and Job Fair. I must say that the NABJ conference was an amazing event. Well organized and informative and useful. I met so many great people there and will never forget the experience. I attended seminars and focus groups and panel discussions as well as getting my reporting demo tape looked at by various News stations and Sports networks. So many great events...I got to see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speak. Stephen A. Smith hosted a wonderful ESPN breakfast. David Aldridge was part of an interesting panel on the media unfairly coming down hard on the NBA. Don King was there...Floyd Mayweather Jr. was there...I left Vegas clearly inspired and focused on my goals within the media industry. I'll post some pics up on Wednesday October 24th.





Well...all good things eventually come to an end and unfortunately the fairy tale season that Formula One's first black driver...Lewis Hamilton was enjoying crashed in a sea of controversy and Kimi Raikkonen took home the 2007 Formula 1 title by a measly 1 point over the British phenom. It was a title that seemed a cinch just a couple races ago...but a disastrous spin out in Shanghai and a monumental error early in the race at Interlagos, Brazil doomed Hamilton to a 2nd place finish in the race for the world's "best driver". I was pulling for Hamilton to win the title if not the race...not for me...but for the you kids growing up...especially the ones in poor neighborhoods. I wanted these kids to see that anything could be long as hard work and perseverance were there for motivation. Now don't get me wrong...although a disappointing finish to the season for British racing fans in general and McLaren fans in particular...the season was in fact a great success for he had the greatest first season in Formula 1 history. 4 Victories...various pole positions and podiums show that this kid will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
The final race...the only race in South America was full of anticipation and suspense as 3 drivers...Hamilton...Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso(Hamilton's teammate) all had a shot at the title. Hamilton led Alonso by 4 points coming in and only needed to be within 2 places of Alonso if he won...or finish in 5th if Raikkonen won to claim the first F1 title for a rookie in the storied race series glorious history. Problems right from the get-go though for Hamilton who started in the 2nd spot...he got boxed in by Felipe Massa(pole position) allowing Raikkonen to overtake Hamilton to leave the Briton scrambling in 3rd right off the bat. Wow...I was going crazy watching it and was screaming "noooooooo" as Hamilton lost his 2nd place position. Then a few turns later...Alonso came charging down on the rookie driver...the rook choked and had to brake hard and before you knew it Hamilton was off the course and into the gravel...and back in like 8th place. But the worst was yet to come. On around Lap 7...Hamilton's car started to slow down drastically...I was losing it big time after this...he was having gearbox problems as the software that controls the hydraulics failed putting him in neutral for over 30 eternity in Formula 1. He fell all the way to 18th place! Man I was thinking the fix was in...did somebody jam the computers that run these multi-million dollar cars or was this just bad luck...remember all year Hamilton's car performed fault free...but this was just too much on the last race of the season. Compound the gear box malfunction with tire problems which resulted in 3 pit-stops and the quest for the title was all but dashed. Watching the last 15 laps was so painful to watch because you knew the title was all but over. Massa led for most of the race but gave up the position of course to that meant Hamilton would have to finish in 5th or better...but he could only make it back to 7th...a tremendous achievement to say the least. In the end...Hamilton lost the title by one point...and I believe he succumbed to nerves in the final part of the season...the pressure was a bit too much...the stakes just a tad too this multi-billion dollar sport where grown men race in "toys" that travel in excess of 180 miles an hour. Lewis will not admit to being overwhelmed but he was. He put on a brave face after the race...congratulating Raikkonen on the title and graciously being optimistic about next year. As for Alonso...he will no doubt be jettisoned from the McLaren camp...possibly to Toyota, Renault or even Ferrari. Could you imagine that duo...Raikkonen and would be very hard to beat. Hamilton will be back...he will have learned a lot from this season of controversy(spy scandal and fights with team boss Ron Dennis and Alonso) and he will come back strong and try to win it. The pressure will be immense...especially from the British media...whose ability to heat up the "pressure cooker that is Brisish sports and entertaiment is unrivalled. It was a great season in Formula 1...and a lot of new fans were made over the last several months. The talent of the drivers is very high and interest growing at a rapid rate...I can't wait till next year!