Our leading (and only) basketball writer gives his, um, blunted, unconventional – and occasionally obsessively detailed – take on recent happenings in the hoops world.
I’m currently in the midst of a crazy period of my job that’s taking more time than I would like, but it will end fairly soon, and High Posts will start getting in full swing. For now, I still set aside time to join the boys at Raptors Republic to talk shop.
You can find the podcast here.
Before I give you phdSteve’s trusty bulleted list of topics, I’d like to say that the tanking discussion, prompted by former Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo’s comments to the media earlier this week, (which comes at the top of the podcast and goes for a while) is a polemical one. Many will agree/disagree with some of the viewpoints. But I’d like to emphasize my claim. Colengelo’s description of his strategy for the 2011-12:
“…I didn’t ‘come out and say, ‘Coach (Dwane Casey), you’ve got to lose games.’ I never said that. I wanted to have him establish a winning tradition and a culture and all of that, but I wanted to do it in the framework of playing and developing young players, and with that comes losing. There’s just no way to avoid that, but I never once said, ‘You’ve got to lose this game.’ ”
THAT ISN’T TANKING, PEOPLE. It’s rebuilding. But it helps shed light on how irresponsibly the media – even arguably the best NBA writer on earth right now, Grantland‘s Zach Lowe – and fans have started to use a term that specifically refers to essentially cheating, aka losing games on purpose. While liberal use of the word “tanking” has increased over the last few years as it applies to the NBA, there are a fair number of teams that are merely rebuilding, but accused of tanking. What’s more, a bad front office that screws up the rebuilding process doesn’t automatically mean that franchise is purposefully trying to lose games. As I say in the ‘cast: When a trainer comes in and tells a boxer that they have to strip him back down to nothing and rebuild his technique from the ground up, he isn’t saying “you have to throw the next few fights, go down in the sixth round.” But that’s what too many people are doing with the word tanking – saying those two strategies are the same thing.
It’s a pretty serious thing to accuse an athlete and/or organization of losing on purpose. Let’s either come up with an agreed-upon updated definition of the term “tanking”, or let’s be a lot more careful with the word. Actually, let’s do both.
On to the topics we cover in the podcast:
- Colangelo on tanking
- Is Landry Fields the missing piece for this season’s Raptors?
- In the summer- if the roster remains the same and the Raptors add just 1 player who does it need to be to get to the top of the East?
- What to do with Jonas?
- How can Casey get more out of Jonas?
- Why fans need to exercise patience and tolerance with Jonas.
- Where does Jonas go in this year’s draft? In past drafts?
- And of course the week that was and the week to come recaps and previews.