These are the dog days of summer when it comes to the NBA. You are trying to get excited about next season and summer league ball just isn’t cutting it.
I joined twitter about a year ago (@Nat77) and used it primarily to connect with other sports bloggers and fans. It was different from facebook because it lends itself to discussions. Slowly it began replacing my RSS reader and before I knew it I was addicted. Twitter has become a primary platform for athletes to connect with their fans and several athletes on twitter have echoed my sentiment, admitting the addiction.
Sometime last week, Charlie V(@cv31) challenged Chris Bosh(@chrisbosh) to see who could amass 50 thousand followers first. It’s not uncommon to see athletes conversing over twitter and this was a chance for fans to take part. The wager was that the loser would have to star in the winners video on Youtube. CV wanted Bosh to do the Shane Mercado and Bosh left it up to his “twitter army” to decide CV’s fate if he came out on the losing end of this. Bosh started off the challenge behind Charlie by about 2k followers but with the help of some major twitter spam, live chats and a entire country backing him – he managed to take the lead. The two started pulling out all the stops. Bosh pulled out the free stuff card and CV raised using the charity card.
This was all meant to be in good fun but at some point along the way it started to annoy the diehards. These guys were straight up begging – Charlie V even offered up $3100 worth of diamonds if he won! At any given time my entire twitter feed was taken over by the two, lost in the mix were tweets from people that were actually offering up intelligent material to ponder over. It came to a point I just wanted one of them to win quickly so my twitter could return back to normal. I found it amusing at times to see these athletes showing how bad they wanted to win even though this duel wasn’t going to be settled on a basketball court. No one likes to lose, especially two guys who play a sport for a living – winning is everything.
Late Tuesday night, Bosh was down about 500 followers with under 1000 to go. It was the 4th quarter, it was go time and for a change Bosh came through in the clutch. He thanked his fans, CV gave him a virtual pat on the back and the world was spinning again.
In other news…
Lets NBA! – Trading away Jawai and Humphries suddenly left the Raptors lacking depth at the 5 spot. It has been widely rumored that the team is interested in bringing back Rasho Nesterovic using their bi-annual exception ($1.9M) Rasho has openly stated that he has always loved the city and the feeling is the team would welcome him back with open arms. The reunion will happen, the only question remains is – when?
Jacked Up – We are at the halfway point regarding the waiting period to see if the Pacers are going to match the offer sheet signed by Jarrett Jack to join the Raptors next season. Multiple sources have mentioned they don’t believe that Indiana is in a position to match but as we have seen this summer (See: Marcin Gortat) it ain’t over till the clock strikes 12. For what its worth, Bosh did have Jack as a guest on one of his live chats where the two spoke about Jack coming up to Toronto soon to find a place to stay – that is if bosh doesn’t plan to set up the bunk beds in his home. The two were roommates in college and from listening in on the chat, they seem to have maintained a solid friendship. I wanted the team to draft this guy in place of Joey Graham in 2005 and getting him now with the experience under his belt would be so much sweeter.
D Squared – The heir apparent in Toronto coming through “As Advertised” at NBA summer league. In 4 games, he has averaged 16.3PPG and 4.5RB (DD stats) He has been aggressive in all the games, his jump shot has been falling and aside from the production at the FT line, DeMar DeRozan is already proving to be just what this team needs. He has not shied away from having the ball in his hands in late game situations and the coaching staff have trusted him to make the correct decisions on the floor. With just 1 game left to go, he knows what he has to work on for the rest of the summer. There has been nothing but praise about this guy from the day he got drafted – check out this interview by Holly MacKenzie from the score – and we are still a few months from seeing him take the court in Toronto, but I believe this rookie will be in ROY conversations by mid January.
Delfino – $5 million? Apparently that’s what its going to take to get the former Raptor to return to the ACC. News came out yesterday that he was offered $4million a season and he was none to thrilled by that number. Personally, $4 million is still too much for a guy who didn’t show us enough the first time around and I would be hesitant to bet the bank on him. Sure he fills in some of the leaky spots in the rotation but I would much rather have Jack split time at the 1 and 2 and sign a Matt Barnes or Linus Klieza to fill the holes at the backup 3 spot. Either way we probably wont see any movement on this issue until the Jarrett Jack deal is finalized.