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September - October 2004 BLOG
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Rambling Thoughts

Friday Oct 29, 2004: Why does the NBA charge $$$$ for us to listen to games on Internet radio? You think with all of the billions they make they would allow fans to listen on Internet radio for free? I know it's only preseason but it sure doesn't look pretty when the expansion Charlotte Bobcats at 3-5 have a better record than the Toronto Raptors at 2-5. Now that Steve Nash is in flight in Phoenix the Suns have one of the most unique lineups in the NBA. Reminds me of the glory days with Alvan Adams, Paul Westphal and Garfield Heard.

Tuesday Oct 26, 2004: Man old age sucks. Took a year off of hoops to rest the knees and put on 20 pounds. Now back on the court and my game has lost not one or two but at least four steps! Realize that I'm rusty and with time part of the game will come back but talk about frustrating. The confidence is also sliding.  Instead of just relaxing and playing the game with instinct the mind is thinking what to do next? As my wife reminds me: "It's just a game have fun. You are not playing in the NBA!" Why is it that wives always think clearly?

Thursday Oct 21, 2004: Still hard to figure out the Jay Triano situation getting the T from Basketball Canada? A few years back I created a fun website titled Canadian Professional Basketball Association..... which was a make believe hoop league with Julius "Dr. J' Erving as commish. If people had just gone one click into the site they would have seen the joke but despite that had e-mail from agents, players and fans chasing the pro dream.

Wednesday Oct 20, 2004: Down and out with the nasty flu bug for a while. What's this with Basketbal Canada moving it's annual Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies from Almonte, Ontario - birthplace of the game's inventor Dr. James Naismith - to the city of Toronto? Why? Are they not getting the proper media exposure while holding the event in Almonte? Then get a better PR person!  Are the big city lights to appealing. Is it cost? Is Almonte a case of big fish small pond and now Toronto small fish big pond. Screw tradition? Fast dribble forward? What's the case?

Monday October 11, 2004: Forget about Vince Carter or the Toronto Raptors holding the key to unlock the age of enthusiasm in Canadian basketball. If the door is to be open, it will be thanks to the American Basketball Association’s Calgary Drillers.Calgary has dribbled into the semi-pro realm before with the Calgary 88s' - World Basketball League (1988-1992) reaching the finals three times – and the short-lived Calgary Outlaws (1994 National Basketball League), but this time around their success on the hardwood will be of greater importance. Despite one of the largest expansions in North American semi-pro sports history, the 35-team A.B.A. has secured several major media outlets and with that in mind, some reassurance.The Drillers will probably have one of the strongest ABA rosters thanks to owner/coach Otis Hailey. Hailey has the longest tenure of professional basketball coaching on Canada soil having called plays for the Montreal Dragons and the Vancouver Nighthawks. Add to the mixture the hiring of Ruby Richman, a legend in Canadian hoops, as General Manager and you have a strong base. With 2005 expansion slated for Vancouver and possibly Montreal, look for Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to return to the semi-pro scene.  Alberta has had the Outlaws, 88s’, Alberta Dusters (Lethrbdige, Continental Basketball Association) and the Edmonton Skyhawks (NBL) and this past summer the Ontario Professional Basketball Association made an attempt at stimulating the game north of the 49th parallel but quickly folded. The Calgary Drillers – with the fan support – hold the key for the future of Canadian basketball. Check on Exclusive Frozen Hoops story on Calgary Drillers

Sunday October 10, 2004: It's time to let the cat out of the bag. The new GM for the Calgary Drillers, to be announced this week, is Canadian basketball legend Ruby Richman.  b

Saturday October 9, 2004: Visiting the in-laws in High River, Alberta for Thanksgiving having made the 10-hour drive south. Talked to Calgary Drillers owner Otis Hailey and will have a full story when get back to the Fort. One scoop is that they will be naming a GM later this week. All I can tell you is that he was a Canadian National Team member for 10 years and is in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame. Remember you read it here First! 

Monday October 4, 2004: Starting to uncover the mystery of Bobby Croft. How can a guy who grew up in Canada, was captain of a major NCAA team and played pro basketball in the ABA not be known by most basketball aficionados. Have tracked down a few of his former classmates from Hamilton and U of Tennessee is sending info also. Stay tuned!croft1.jpg

Wednesday Sept 29, 2004: Ever store all your files on three computers and have one stolen and two crash on the same week and be stupid enough not to save to disc all the data and info you have stored on them for the last 10 or say 15 years? Yeah. Call me stupid. Lost tons of trivial stuff including Canadian basketball info. Some is still in the head though. Right now checking back into Bobby Croft. From what gathered in last few days he played at Hill High in Ontario from 1963-66(?) and then at U of Tennessee from 1967-70. His stats were impressive in university - 50% from the field, around 8 boards and 14 points a game - and we was also captain of U of T in 1969. He went on to play pro ball for Texas and Kentucky in the ABA. Yet hardly any info on this Canadian legend? Stay tuned to "Frozen Hoops" as we uncover the mystery of Bobby Croft.

Monday Sept 27, 2004: Wheelchair basketball is a lot harder then it looks. Too be honest, shooting may not be the hard part - I'm a wrist shooter and was able to hit the three while in the chair in an exhibition game against our provincial team  What is hard is maneuvering up and down the court. These guys were amazing and ran circles around us. Canadians Patrick Anderson, wheelchair or not, would be a star hoops player on any court as he has game. 

Saturday Sept 18, 2004: Sitting down for a quick drink after playing two chairity games against the Canadian Half Pints and Mini Hoops. If you ever get a chance to play or watch this great traveling comedy team make sure you take the time to get to know the players. "Great men never think great small men never think small."

Tuesday Sept 14, 2004: Just read an inspirational e-mail from a young aboriginal player in Winnipeg. Check out Robert Martins love for the game in "Your Suggestions for the Top 100" after Coach Steve Konchalski's comments.

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?

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