That really was some performance by Masai Ujiri yesterday morning, an hour long session touching on a hundred different items that really didn’t yield any “hard” news but which was fascinating nonetheless.
Part soliloquy, part stream-of-consciousness, part answering myriad questions: I can’t recall ever seeing him more relaxed than he was sitting there just chewing the fat.
The stories were the stories. I had this, Bruce had this, Dave had this and that just about takes care of it all. But, of course, there was a bit more.
There was a lot of no comment about the situation on the court in Oakland:
“My lawyers are updating me. Honestly, with that incident I’m going to respect what the process is there and the investigation and I am confident about who I am as a person, my character, and as a human being. So for now I just respect their process there, and wait for the next step.”
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Then there was the logical admission that things went awry at the parade in a handful of ways.
“Honestly, my heart goes out to the people that got hurt. I was going to come out with a statement but thought I’d wait until today. I will reach out to them eventually and I know our organization has already. That was a very unfortunate situation, I’ll say that. But we’re learning. It’s our first time. I also had to leave this to the authorities, whether it’s the police or the mayor’s office or just the organizers overall. You make mistakes when you do things for the first time. And I think my feeling and my hope is that there are more (parades).”
A bit more on that: I was told yesterday privately that the organization has absolutely reached out to some of those caught up in the stampede and they did it entirely without fanfare because it was the right thing to do.
But other than that, the overwhelming message from yesterday was that Masai is proud to have delivered what he said he would deliver, his and everyone in the organization are catching their breath a bit before ramping up for another run and that the championship was somehow psychologically freeing.
The hard work of doing it again has already started and will really get intense for a couple of weeks starting this weekend but, for one day at least, it was Ujiri Unfettered by the hard work of building something.
It really was something to see and hear.
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Surely, now you have questions.
The mailbag went askance yesterday but that was before yesterday so if anything’s happened that’s caused you to have queries, I’m here for you.
All you’ve got to do is click on firstname.lastname@example.org and spill your guts and we’ll deal with what we have to deal with for Sunday morning.
Go ahead. Unload as you will.
Today is shaping up to be one of about three days since about April 7 that there isn’t anything scheduled or to be done with the Raptors, which means some legit news will break mid-day and we’ll be in scramble mode.
But on the off-chance that nothing untoward happens – and it will have to be truly legitimate news to get me involved rather than more zany free agency speculation – it’s going to be a day of loafing and catching up on paperwork at my leisure.
And it’ll end with some siting around and story telling as part of another Hoop Talks event and I don’t know if there are any tickets left but if there are, you should snap them up.
Go here to do that.
In the Olympics.
I give up.
No disrespect to breakdancers the world over but really?
I think it’s entirely cool that Hayley Wickenheiser could not comment on being named an inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday because the 40-year-old was sitting an exam at medical school in Calgary and that’s truly putting priorities in order.
Obviously, I can’t speak to the Hall’s 2019 class and whether there were snubs or omissions or whether the someone secretive process of selection should be more open but it would seem from afar that Wickenheiser is more than a worth inductee and her well-rounded existence and having to miss the original announcement should probably garner her even more accolades.
I will say this, however, for the greater game:
Strikes me as entirely odd that the NHL would pick precisely the same day as the Hall of Fame class was announced to publish its entirely 2019-20 regular season schedule.
I don’t think the schedule thing would usurp the Hall announcement or take anything away from it, really, but it seems to counter-productive – and a little bit petty and shortsighted, to tell you truth – to try and steal even a slight rumble of the Hall’s thunder.