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
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 in six!
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