Friday traditions and tricking up NBA games highlight Ye Olde Mailbag

Friday traditions and tricking up NBA games highlight Ye Olde Mailbag

Not much to do on a lazy Sunday other than take time to digest Ye Olde Mailbag, so here you go.

Q: Would you care to describe the parameters of traditional Patio Time With Baseball Steve, and Kyle The Leader of the Miscreants? Who orders what? Are deep-fried brown things involved? What is the best selling beverage? How do you deal with extreme heat (or cold) on the patio? Is fleeing indoors permissible? Can anyone set up similar arrangements where they live? How long have you all been doing this?

James A., Victoria

A: Oh, it’s a Master Class in solving the world’s problems one week at a time. Start with the sports week (one’s a Bruins fan, one’s a Leafs fan, I don’t care either way), catch up with the baseball (how can they run Kikuchi out there ever again?), maybe touch on the soccer (one’s Italian, the other Portuguese and I play peacemaker) and sundry other events and then maybe talk economics (one’s in finance, the other knows crypto, I’m scared of both) and then who knows.

Meetings are generally a couple of hours (KTLOTM might serve us our first and then move to the correct side of the bar) and seldom are deep-fried brown things involved, actually.

A variety of beers, often a small glass or two of Sambuca might be involved and every now and then the night ends with an espresso.

Baseball Steve and I might be a decade into this exercise, Kyle’s been involved for a year or so and I would recommend that kind of end of the week regular thing to everyone in the world.

It’s an outside endeavor in the good weather, but we’re certainly not against hanging on stools the other seven months of the year. The dang Friday Raptors games are an issue, but the off-season’s perfect.

Q: Hi Sir Scribe,

I heartily thank you for keeping us involved and informed throughout the year.

LIV Golf has caught my attention.

Any professional person can go to the highest bidder. Anyone can have an opinion. I wonder how the hosts and media broadcasters would be feeling if they were told that they could be paid life changing money to move and report somewhere else but would be disparaged by the people that they used to work with and around when they left.

When a professional athlete becomes a free agent and leaves for a different team, they are allowed to because they have that right.

Do you feel that the reporters and media are being fair, or could they be worried about the drop in popularity and the resulting drop in the coffers from which they get paid?

Nick from Niagara

A: I am sure some of the higher profile broadcasters would have been approached by the LIV Tour – I recall Charles Barkley as one who declined and David Feherty as one who went.

I don’t know why each decided to what he did, but I don’t think ratings or exposure or popularity would have played much a role.

Money may very well have.

But like you said, if broadcasters have fulfilled their contracts, they’ve earned the right to determine where they work and for whom.

Q: Hi Doug,

Read with interest your column about the CEBL Championship and the exciting Elam ending.

We know that the NBA is planning to have an in-season tournament in the near future. Doesn’t seem to spark a lot of interest for me personally and not sure if the games would count in the standings.

To spark interest, what do you think about having the Elam ending in these in-season tournament games or other gimmicks (ie 4 point shot)?

They are already using the Elam in the NBA All-Star game and some leagues use the 4 point shot.

Your thoughts?


A: It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the league didn’t examine using the Elam ending in that tournament but they cannot do it if those games have any impact on the regular season standings. That would compromise competition balance and would be wrong. But in games that do not count in the standings, it’s a good place to experiment.

But the 4-point shot? Way, way, way too gimmicky for me.

Q: Hi Doug,

Some years ago, I attended a Raptors practice (Jay Triano was the coach and I knew him via Mike Katz as they had coached the Canadian National team). My brother-in-law pointed out that Wayne Embry was sitting alone.

I had read his autobiography and throwing caution to the winds, I approached him and he was very courteous. He talked about playing with the Cincinnati Royals and the tragic death of Maurice Stokes (readers, check him out), which prevented the team from challenging the Celtics for Eastern Supremacy.

Is Mr. Embry still associated with the Raptors? If so please thank him for me.

Best to you and your family.

Frank B

A: I spoke to Wayne a couple of weeks ago and the last thing we said was we have to make plans to have a couple at training camp so everything is on track to remain as a senior consultant.

He is, though, 85 years old and might want to take a step or two back and enjoy his days with his daughters and family.

Q: The worst part of Rogers Center is the exterior. It Is York University Ross building/U of T Robarts library ugly. These places quickly realized a quick fix that cost virtually nothing. Just plant ivy above the glass and step away. Three years later you have both a green wall the produces oxygen but also a home for real Blue Jays.
And no ivy does not damage concrete.
I suggested this for 20 years now and no response. My guess they wish to make it so ugly that they will get taxpayers money to build a new place.
Yours truly
Adam Berel Wetstein
North York

A: I’m not sure they want to keep it ugly to spite you but I can also say with great optimism that there won’t be a single dime of public money for a new stadium in 15 or 20 years. Same with arenas and any major sports facility for a professional team.

Q: Hi Doug,

You know summer is ending when The Ex rolls in. Say what you will, but there’s something about winning a giant stuffed prize and eating some deep-fried oddball treat….

A few questions:

1) Though they haven’t played yet, what do you think of the NBA’s so-called ‘baseball style’ match-ups (back-to-back games involving the same teams in the same city)?

2) Another schedule question: would you sacrifice one less game against each division rival if it allowed one more game against teams like the Warriors or Lakers? I’m thinking of those fans who want to attend a game with Steph, LeBron or other stars that we only play twice a season?

3) A Bonga question: Sorry to rag on him, but why would a team keep a guy like Bonga on the roster last year when someone like Wilson comes in on a 10-day and scores more points than Bonga does the entire season? Bonga wasn’t making millions and probably played less than 40 minutes the entire year…why not just cut/waive him? It’s a Bonga, question, but can be applied to any end-of-bench guy…

4) Not a question, but a comment.

As a healthcare worker, I can give my perspective of the current crisis. Essentially, much of this is the aftermath of COVID. Departments are short-staffed due to healthcare workers (or their families) contracting the latest variants at a time when staff would normally take summer vacations…a double whammy of short-staffing. Over-the-counter children’s medications are hard to come by due to demand. Why? Because parents are treating the symptoms of illness (COVID again). These variants are much less often fatal compared to earlier on in the pandemic, but are taking a toll on all of us. Also remember that the pandemic caused other shortages when some quit, retired, or were let go rather than receive vaccinations for employment. The timing is lousy, and the solution isn’t as quick and easy as ‘hire more nurses’…

Stay healthy and enjoy the end of summer!

Bernie M.

A: This will be my first season actually dealing with the two-game “series” quirk since it was the Tampa Tank Year they did it and I wasn’t there. I don’t mind it to ease travel and cut back a flight but I wonder about the competitive aspect since it’s hard to beat a team twice in three nights and those games may very well play into tiebreaker scenarios.

I don’t know that going to three from two games against other expected-to-be-good teams works since it’d only be once every other year you’d see them.

Bonga was an inexpensive gamble on a player they thought would develop and didn’t. Wilson might have plateaued exactly the same.

Cutting Bonga would have just been a cost and they would have had to replace him with someone making the same money anyway.

Q: Outside of the core players Siakam, Barnes, Van Vleet, Precious, Gary, Anunoby and exclude Koloko which player/players do you think has the most talent and the best chance to improve to the point of cracking the starting lineup

John Greenhalgh

A: Outside if the six you’ve named and a second round draft pick who is likely to play more in Mississauga than Toronto next season, I’d say nobody will sniff the starting lineup barring injury.

The question is which five of those are the regular starters and who of Porter, Young, Boucher, Hernangomez, Flynn and Banton plays the most.

Q: Dear Mr. Smith:

When people use the phrase “GOAT”, they mean “Greatest Of All-Time.”
However, what does “all-time” mean? You can’t compare different eras.
(ie: The NFL started in 1920) Also, why is number of Championships won the only criteria of what a GOAT is? The criteria should be not only number of Championships won but how an individual changed their sport; more made society a better place.

Therefore the GOAT of modern day (post 1960) women’s tennis is (drum roll
please) Billie Jean King.
The modern GOAT’s (post 1960) for the other major sports are:
NBA: Michael Jordan
MLB: Willie Mays
NFL: Joe Montana
NHL: Wayne Gretzky
The men’s tennis GOAT is Roger Federer.
Mitchell K
Willowdale, ON

A: I’m not entirely sure that 1960 should be any legitimate point of delineation and I think most GOAT discussions are worthless.

And you are certainly entitled to your opinion even though I disagree with virtually every choice you made.


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.


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