Friday Sept 10, 2004: A rap on the Raptors. Nothing against new coach Sam
Mitchell but why oh why didn't Toronto put the collar on Rudy Tomjanovich. Rudy T was a winning coach while with Houston - a
.559 winning percentage (503-397) - and was a unselfish all-star when he played with the Rockets.
Thursday Sept 9, 2004: Busy Busy. Checked the ABA website and disappointed
that few teams have merchandise up for sale yet? Hoop collectors like to buy t-shirts from semi-pro leagues as odds are they
become rare items when teams fold. Calgary Drillers website is not up yet but at least they have a name and site tag while
Vancouver is still in the dark. Fresno seems like a pro organization. Albequerque will be a all native team but hear on the
grapevine that few First Nations people are trying out?
Saturday August 28, 2004: Time for the USA to drop the "Dream Team" moniker.
Even if they had sported a team of Carter, Shaq, Kobe, Kidd, McGrady, Garnett, Wallace and whom ever, it would have not
been a shoe-in to the Gold. And also I say garbage to all the website chats stating that the USA should have sent a all white
team to play so they matched the style of "international ball". Plain and simple basketball is a team game no matter your
colour. Play as a team and victory is at hand.
Friday August 27, 2004: Fisrt off it is "total garbage" with all of these
USA announcers stating that the other hoop teams in the Olympics practice all year long as a "team". Majority of these players,
in fact near all, also play pro hoops first and the national team second. Majority of their court time is spent playing for
their pro team. Ming (Houston), Gasol (Memphis), Ginobili (San Antonio) are cases in point. Add on Scola and Jasikevicius
and you have the real "Dream Team".
Wednesday August 25, 2004: I'm back.... Was gone all summer to Legion Athletic
Camp (www.legionathleticcamp.com) in my administration role. Stay tuned as I pick apart the so-called Dream Team at the Olympics. It was 10 years ago that
I wrote in print that if you took any international powerhouse and placed them in the NBA they would win the title. The NBA
is hype city and now people are finding out that it is a small world and a big ball.
Monday July 5, 2004: The American Basketball Association adds two more franchises
to it's league. What is that...24 or 32 new franchises this past summer. I think I’m going to pack
my bags and head down to Grand Forks, North Dakota. Announce that we are going to have an ABA franchise there and also one
in Fargo, North Dakota. Great rivalry for the future. The media will eat it up and free media means free advertising. Will
tell them venue and schedule are soon to come. Have relatives in Grand Forks and friends in Fargo, so I will stay with them.
Will tell the media that we want a "homegrown team" with plenty of locals and we will hold three try-outs in Grand Forks and
another three in Fargo. The standard rate for try-outs, across the ABA board, is $150 per player, per try-out. Gotta cover
costs ya know. Get the gym free from the high school after some sweet talk. Bring a video camera to tape players. Get a set
of jerseys made up. Players can buy them for $30 each as a keepsake. For the six try-outs we average 54 players. Not bad.
A lot of hicks and wannabees with the odd blue chipper. Let’s see an average of 54 players at $150 a pop six times is?
Wow….$48,600! And we made $2,000 on the jersey markup…so we now have $50,000. Take off $1,000 for travel and living
expenses and another $1,000 for incidentals. We now have $48,000 in the bank. Time to head back to Alberta. Oh yeah…..tell
the media and frezied fans and players with pro dreams that we have postponed the Grand Forks and Fargo teams but will be
back again next fall. Practise up and save your $150.
Friday July 2, 2004: While the Ontario Professional Basketball League starts
to sink the American Basketball Association starts to rise. Both Calgary and Vancouver have joined the 34 team league of which
27 teams are expansion! Too fast too soon? Will be interesting to see how many franchises actually make it to tip-off in November.
Vancouver could not make a go of it with the Grizzlies or Nighthawks and from what I understand will have a predominatly Chinese
makeup to the team. Calgary lost out with the Outlaws and 88s' but always drew well at the gate. Mention of Edmonton, Toronto
and Montreal have also been dribbled about. The one expansion team that impresses is the New Jersey Jaguars. Check
out their website at http://www.jerseyjaguars.com/
Monday June 28, 2004: Larry Bird controversy? Bird is under fire for saying
the NBA needs more white players due to the fact that the fans are mainly white. He also stated that it was an insult
when another team had a white player covering him. Magic Johnson also stated that the NBA needes some more Larry Bird types?
So what would the NBA do with a white superstar? Probably nothing. Their market is white kids who want to buy dreams. So they
sell 6-foot-10 black superstars. Something the white kids will never be. Case in point. John Stockton was one of the
greatest NBA guards of all time yet think back and how many commercials were John Stockton in? A kid in Italy looks at John
Stockton and sees a 6-foot-1 white guy dribbling a ball. "I can do that" he says no big deal. Then he looks at a behemouth
like Shaq or Kevin Garnett slaming and says "Wow...I want to be like that." More white superstars will not help the NBA in
marketing but maybe in filling the seats.
Saturday June 26, 2004: It appears that the Ontario
Professional Basketball League is caught in some quicksand. This weekends games and all future games have been cancelled until
further notice. Once again money appears to be the problem? Questions I would have to ask? Did the OPBL make usage of free
media and also advertise. Did they approach the various local media outlets in person - not once but many times - to
convince them to attend the games. If not at first and each and every time, did they at least send in their own stories
and photographs for the games. Sooner or later the info would get in when there was need for a story or space to fill. Ask
not what the media may do for you but what you may do for the media. Did they make usage of local television? By that I do
not mean private stations but community cable stations? The games would be televised at minimal cost and audiences would see
the product. The big seller for any minor pro league is merchandise. Yet their web site never did have items for sale on the
merchandise link. You can have a great product on the floor but you have to let people know. That was NBA Commissioner
David Sterns very first move when he entered the NBA and the same with Gary Bettman in the NHL. Both hired marketing and media
personnel and slowly the seats starting filling up.
Thursday June 24, 2004: Absolutely no athletic ability whatsoever.
Moves like a sloth and has horrible conditioning. Can't even run up and down the court once without getting winded. Only averaged
10 minutes a game in high school because of his pitiful stamina. Horrible quickness and agility, even for his size. Lacks
any kind of explosiveness and has a 10 inch vertical at best. Thats the downside of Canadian Jerry Sokoloski as stated at NBA Draft. Com. Strengths: Monstrous size. A legitimate 7'5" with an enormous frame. He is a shot blocking threat because of his size.
Will he ever make the NBA? Doubt it. How about Continental Basketball Association or some big show team in Europe? Doubt that
to. So, where will Jerry end up? Maybe part of the Canadian Half Pints traveling show? What do you think?
Wednesday June 23, 2004:
Monday June 21, 2004: Surprised that there are only five players topping
7-feet in the 98 players profiled in the upcoming NBA Draft at nba.com. Look to 7-foot-5 Russian Pavel Podkolzine to be the
first tree to be picked. Simply said you can't teach height.
Sunday June 20, 2004: Aside from the bevy of USA players profiled
for the upcoming NBA Draft, a total of 24 other countries were mentioned. Not Canada! Hello. Since when were Denmark, Israel,
Latvia and Mexico the hotbeds of hoops? Surprised that Serbia & Montenegro only had two prospects listed. The other countries
with two players getting the nod were Brazil, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the Ukraine.In total 30 international players are
profiled compared to 68 Americans.
Saturday June 12 - Friday June 18, 2004: Aghhhhh. Site was down and could
not edit so had to build site from scratch. The omen was the Lakers losing the NBA final? Wish I knew as much about computers
as I do the LA Lakers for then the layout on this site would be much better.
Friday June 11, 2004: Did a web search of
Henry Bekkering, the 6-foot-6 dunking machine from Southern Alberta who was a red shirt from Eastern Washington this year.
A good friend of mine, John Randa a B.C. hoops legend, is EW's all time rebounder and at 6-foot-8 probably had a 10-inch vertical
at the best. He did his game on hustle. Now Bekkering is a growing legend thanks in part to a video on the web showcasing
his dunks. Yet he has yet to score a single point in the NCAA? Amazing. A lot of young players south of the border are now
relating the name Bekkering instead of Nash to Canada. But the sad thing is the number of white supremacy web sites that praise
his - Bekkering - game simply because he is white and can fly? I realize Henry has no control over this but it is a ludicrous
pedestal to place him on.. Right now he is in the same status as Carl English.
Thursday June 10, 2004: I am very humbled to have been contacted
by basketball historians like Garo (see Sunday June 6) and now John Grasso. John is one of the deans of basketball historical
referance and a walking encyclopedia on the game. Just to pick their brains for knowledge is worth the time in creating this
site. And what is up with the Lakers?
Wednesday June 9, 2004: NBA Hoop it Up is hitting full stride right now across Canada.
In the early days , 1990s', of the event it was quickly learned to never judge a book by its cover. Three games that we participated
in come to mind. The first was a semi-final match for Division II action. We were pitted against a team of ex national volleyball
team members. Here we learned that boxing out meant nothing if the guy you were matched against had a 40-inch vertical. We
lost by 2. Another game was against ex university football players. Here boxing out meant boxing ala Muhammad Ali or Mike
Tyson lights out. But the best game to recall was against a group of Native Americans from a reserve in Montana. Man could
they pass and shoot the lights out. Three-on-three is still a game dominated by wiser, older sometimes heavier and slower
players. A game of experience. My Hoop it Up days are over although the 3-point shoot out is always at the door as you can
stand and shoot until you are well into your 80s.
Tuesday June 8, 2004: While watching the postgame Stanley Cup party after Canada's
team - the Calgary Flames - went down in defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning,... I thought to myself, "Will Canada ever adopt
the Toronto Raptors as their nationwide team?" The answer is No. Why? Basketball is too flamboyant a sport with too much inner-city
folklore to have the average Canuck relate to it. The hoop athletes appear arrogant in comparison to your Average Joe hockey
player. In the 1970s' basketball had the drug image full of thugs and then David Stern came along and cleaned up the image.
Now the image of rap hoopsters has turned and arrogant millionaires send middle age viewers, at least north of the 49th
parallel switching channels. It is a sport of youth, appealing to teens revolting. Still, I love the game, but give me a Alex
English, Bobby Jones, Dr. J. or John Havlicek any day of the week over a Allen Iverson, Ron Artest or Rasheed Wallace.
Monday June 7, 2004: How could
my beloved Los Angeles Lakers have lost last night to the Detroit Pistons? Heck, I have a Lakers tattoo on my right shoulder
and a basketball with No. 13 (in honour of Wilt Chamberlain) on my left! The Lakers have a strong tradition with Canadian
hoopsters. Centre Mike Smrek was part of a LA Lakers championship run in the mid 1980s' and now Rick Fox has won a couple
of rings for his fingers. And the Lakers were once own by Canuck money magnate Jack Kent Cooke. Look for the Lakers to win
Jack Kent Cooke
Sunday June 6, 2004: Fans of basketball around the world are in debt to Garo Salibian.
Garo, who now resides in Montreal, is the Wilt Chamberlain for the promotion of the sport of basketball - via the
WWW. He is the founder and mastermind behind the most comprehensive listing of international basketball leagues/teams and
basketball potpourri on the web. Check out http://www.internationalbasketball.com, http://www.usbasket.com which are easily the best sites for Basketball Jones anywhere out there. Garo, although I have
never met the man and only recently corresponded with him, is without a doubt one of the Canada's ambassadors in his promotion
. Garo Salibian
Howard Kelsey played big time Division III
Lars Hansen played in the show with Seattle