Some Random Thoughts For A Friday.

Demar DeRozan has had a good summer by all accounts. He impressed people as part of the U.S Select Team prior to the Olympics. Also he impressed the folks back home in the Drew League. Reports from out of their say they notice improvements in his handling of the basketball. This is something that Demar's detractors were always quick to point out needed improvement. Even people that are supportive and optimistic about his future, would concede that. I got a chance to see him at around the time of the draft and he already at that time looked a little bigger and more filled out. Coach Casey throughout the season last year made it a constant theme that he wanted both Demar and Ed Davis to bulk up over the off-season. It sure seems in photos recently from the Drew League that DeRozan continued that process through the summer months. I am not saying he is ready to go join the WWE or anything but he does look to have added the strength and wait to his frame. In general, as he enters into his 4th NBA season the spotlight is not going to be as bright on him. Raptors have new players like Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields to attract away some of the focus. Lowry for his play on the floor and Fields regardless of his play on the floor, seems to just attract attention through his personality and his other things he brings with him. Note, I did not mention his hot girlfriend at all. Ok, well before that last line, I did not mention his hot girlfriend at all. In addition the Raptors drafted Terrance Ross who will or should both push Derozan to be better but also lessen the amount of minutes he might have to endure in a full season. DeRozan in his time with Toronto has been one of the more durable Raptors. However last season he had the odd bump or injury that caused him to miss a few games here and there. The only pressure on DeRozan might be self imposed as he looks to secure his future with a good season and make the Raptors want to extend him to a nice contract in terms of a dollar figure. There is also going to be the debut of Jonas Valancuinas which will no doubt draw attention regardless of how he performs. It makes a pretty nice situation for DeRozan to have a good bounce back season. I think you should take note of his Drew League Team name "Money Gang", that might tell you all you need to know on why DeRozan would be motivated to have a big season. I don't fault him for that either. Basketball players, as do all athletes, only have a short window of their overall lives to make money. So make it while you can. Long after the bright lights of the NBA and sports stardom fade you have a life to live and in many cases a family to provide for.

I talked at length about the hiring of Jay Triano yesterday for Canada Basketball. I did fail to mention he has found his way back into the NBA as an assistant with Portland. It may surprise you that I am happy for Jay, I always have felt he makes an excellent assistant head coach in the NBA and in context of team Canada a great head coach. It was one of those things that just slipped past my attention his hiring in Portland. A reader and support of the blog pointed it out to me via twitter. I think that is great. One of the things I do enjoy about the people loyal to this blog is they always seem to have my back. I appreciate it always. I have never claimed to be perfect and never will. I never claim to be anything more than someone that has a good to decent knowledge of basketball and sports in general. In my time on the radio this week the guys who host the show were giving me praise for knowing everything there is to know. I quickly jumped in and thanked them for thinking that but it just isn't true. What I seek to be and what I have always sought to be someone that provides you some info, some informed opinion and do it in a way that is entertaining. I don't care if that is in the form of written words, my voice or myself on video or in person.

That is part of what this whole idea throughout the summer of building this #TeamDNB concept has been about and continues to be about. I want to work more on all of the elements that I mentioned above. It became pretty obvious that after close to five years of doing this primarily on my own that is was going to take a full staff of people to accomplish that goal. In addition to that though I want everyone to feel a part of this #TeamDNB idea. The staff I put in place and each and every one of you. I want to make this feel like a community and something you feel a part of. I do my best to do that through twitter but I want that to translate to here in the blog as well. I want at the end of the day for people to enjoy this place so much that they tell others about it and they become part of this community. It is good for the bottom line business of the blog ultimately but it is more a case of I just want to create a conversation and place for you to be a part of.

There is a lot of ideas that I have been coming up with and many of them will involve getting you more actively involved in what you are reading, listening and watching on the Dino Nation Blog. That is my mission for this season. I take the true spirit of journalism to heart. What is that you ask? It may get lost on a lot of people these days but that is to act as your representative in covering the sport and team that I do. I will take you back to a conversation I had way back to when I was in college with someone. I will not mention the persons name because it really isn't important and it honestly isn't someone with a big enough profile that a lot of people would know them. It was a conversation about providing content in a sports show or boradcast. This person said that the media's job was to tell you what you should feel was important. That the media should dictate to you what content was worth your time. I argued, and maintain that to this day, that is backwards. It is not the media's job to tell you what you are suppose to care about. It is my job and anyone else in this line of works job to listen to you and find out what you are interested in. It goes back to that core statement I made about the fact the journalists jobs are to represent the people they serve. In my time doing the DNB I have always went out of my way to listen to what the average person is saying about the Raptors. In this modern world of social media that becomes fairly easy to do. In doing that I may express my own opinions and thoughts as well. I am here to in effect guide a conversation. Sometimes, I will take the time to explain why I personally think a common belief or thought out there is wrong and give you reasons why I feel that way.

I carry those feelings in everything I do as relates to the Dino Nation Blog. Every single thing I have been able to do is all thanks to following that simple philosophy of feeling like I represent you. If it is interviewing a player, A fellow member of the media, or just sitting here pounding away on my keyboard. The media is not all that different from sports some people have egos and everyone has opinions. You need an ego to stick your neck out in front of the world on a daily basis. If that audience is 100, 1000, or 1,000,000 it is still the same. No matter what stage of things you are at, the day you feel you are bigger than the people that support you is the day you start down a path that ultimate leads to failure, even if on the surface it may seem like success.  

In the end I will always give my 100% to what I am doing and anyone that I work with or for me I expect and hope for the same. It is what YOU deserve. So with all of that said have a great weekend folks.

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