After a heck of a lot of action, the quiet calm of the off-season is setting in today. Jay Triano is in Vegas working team U.S the next generation through it's paces. I always find that to be sad. Triano who I may have questioned the idea of him coming back as head coach of Raptors. There is no question to me that he should still be the coach of team Canada. He did a fantastic job with the national team and it never made sense to me that he was let go. The fact, that U.S.A Basketball trusts him to be running a camp for their future stars should be proof of that. It also is a good thing for the Raptors in a small way by him getting the chance to work with a lot of talented players. You never know when that might come in handy in the future.
Think there is little question that Bryan Colangelo has given Jay the tools to be successful. Jay will also get that training camp that everyone said was so vital for Jay to get a fair shake. I am hopeful he is able to be a success. The fact he is Canadian and coaching the only NBA team in this country is something special. There is no doubt that Triano has had an impact on the futures for Canadian coaches. Much like Steve Nash he has done a great deal of good for his profession in this country. Should he have success that impact will only grow.
It seems to be a slow time for the NBA in general. It has been a very active off-season and a ton of changes. Maybe that is why this Lebron James dunk tape got so much attention. Really does it matter? So a college kid dunked on Lebron James. Demar Derozan threw down on Kobe Bryant I have been told. Was there a big deal made about that? Did you even know that until you just read it? Lebron James has taken a lot of shots of late. I really don't get why people feel the need. I am sure Lebron James is not a perfect person. However that being said he is a tremendous talent and the fact we live in an era we get to watch him is a treat. But people better stop picking on Lebron or Shaq will come and get you. Also interesting that a couple Ex- Raptors could be part of that mix in Cleveland. Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon. Parker is signed and sealed and Moon has signed an offer sheet and it is up to the Heat to match.
Speaking of Miami they have 2 more Canadians than the Toronto Raptors. They re-signed Joel Anthony and Jamal Maglorie to contracts. I often wonder why more people have not been talking about Anthony as a future Raptor. I mean it seems for decades there has been talk of Jamal Maglorie becoming a Raptor. For almost the same amount of time there has been talk about Maglorie suiting up for team Canada. That talk has heated again as of late. Personally if it were up to me I would not bother. How many times has this guy rejected a chance to play for his country. Meanwhile, Joel Anthony was out on the floor busting his but for his country last summer. There has also been talk about Ex-Raptor Matt Bonner and his desire to play for Team Canada. I will be much more excited if Matt Bonner suits up for team Canada. When Maglorie was an all-star level talent in the NBA where was he? Steve Nash as much as I really think he should have continued playing for Canada he at least put in some time wearing the red and white. He also still is active in helping Canada basketball in many ways behind the scenes.
I have always wanted to see team Canada have some success. There has been a lot of success lately on the junior levels of the program let's hope it can translate to the senior level. Last summer was a real low point with the whole Sam Dalembert situation that became very public. I had a chance to meet Sam last summer in Hamilton. He is a fantastic guy and in our conversation he seemed very committed to the program and making it successful. What happened and who's story you believe is up to you. It just seemed so odd that the guy I talked with less than 3 weeks before the incident in Greece could have had that much of a turn around is beyond me.
Leo Rautins is no doubt under the gun to get some results. He has I believe one year left on his contract with an option for a second. If Canada can not qualify for the next World Championships that should be the end for Leo. Let's be honest if this was the Canadian National Hockey program it would be unlikely that Leo would still have a job. If he was in the same spot in Hockey terms. However the challenges to floor a competitive basketball team as opposed to a hockey team are great indeed. The first and foremost issue is on of dollars and cents. Canada Hockey brings in a ton of money where Canada Basketball struggles to find support and funding.
So with lack of Raptor news I hope you enjoyed this VERY Canadian Edition of the Dino Nation Blog.