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NBA’s glut of Christmas games diminishes the day


Have had a conversation or two of the last couple of days about the Raptors and Christmas, mostly about the ghastly schedule the NBA stuck them with but also about plans and games on Dec. 25 and where these guys should fit.

I didn’t do an awful lot of research into this because it’s truly not all that big a deal to me but I’d think that a conference finalist from the year before would play somewhere on the following Christmas Day and we all know that didn’t happen with these guys this time around.

Too bad?

I suppose it would have been good to be on TV on Christmas Day but a couple of guys I talked to are quite happy to have the time with their family rather than more time on the job.

And I would think the most special aspect of a Christmas Day game would be playing at home so you could have all the trappings of the night before and the morning of without having to travel on Christmas Eve and play and then fly on Christmas Day.

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That would suck.

And thanks the teen pucks tourney that’s taking over the arena starting any time now, a home game for the Raptors wasn’t possible.

And the over-riding sense I got was that if you’re not going to play at home, a Christmas Day game is more inconvenience than fun.

Besides … I personally think the NBA has gone way overboard on Christmas Day games with five of them basically running from noon until 1 a.m. Boxing Day.

It diminishes the sense of “event” around the day, if there ever was one, actually.

I would be a proponent of giving the league the entire day off – and that goes especially for arena workers, concessions stand servers, ushers, other team employees – but I know that’s not going to happen.

So, how about two, max?

One in the mid-afternoon that’s maybe some seemingly big mathchup of rivals and one in the early evening that pits the two finalists from the season before against each other?

Works for me.

This had to be on the list, right?

A personal scheduling update.

A 9 p.m. east start on a Friday night in Salt Lake would make it impossible to get anything in our Dec. 24 paper and we don’t publish on Christmas Day so thanks to the good graces of The Mighty Quinn in her previous incarnation as my boss, we are taking the Raptors-Jazz game off entirely.

But we will be back on the scene for Boxing Day from Portland and the rest of that crazy trip that’s all over the place.

And I know they’ve gone to more of a computer to do the NBA schedule but I didn’t know they had enlisted the aid of a computer that had to be drunk.
Tell me why we’re going Portland to Oakland and then inland to Phoenix and then back west to Los Angeles and then back East to San Antonio on the trek?

Makes no sense, right?

Well, how about this one in February:

Start in Boston, head down to Orlando and then back up to Brooklyn. How ridiculous is that?

Think the malls will be busy today and tomorrow? Got a few things to pick up and some errands to run.

Oh yeah, I absolutely was at a toy store at 8 o’clock yesterday morning to check out Kyle and Ayanha Lowry doing their thing to make Christmas special for a bunch of kids.

It yielded this item and, we need to keep this just between you and I, it was a lot of fun.

With Super Son being of a Certain Vintage where he no longer wakes up at 4 a.m. to see what Santa brought (now, he’s more likely to be shutting down the games at that time to crash than to be getting up) I’d kind of forgotten about kids and toys and this time of year.

Was cool to see them smile and shop and, my goodness, toys are expensive these days.

Mail? We could use some more for sure. With the way our publishing schedule is with crazy holiday deadlines, I have to pretty much have all of Saturday’s stuff in tonight so tomorrow is putter around time.

Get to askdoug@thestar.ca and say hello, please.

So how about Edwin Encarnacion’s agent basically laying blame for his Blue Jays departure on management for its haste in filling a gaping roster hole quickly after he apparently rejected four years and $ 80 million, as this story from Zorro points out?

Guess we are at the scorched earth part of the nonexistent negotiations and I’m wondering if management won’t leak something to a sympathetic reporter today to counter the agent’s claim.

Nothing like a little he said, he said back-and-forth to wrap up a situation that, to me, was poorly handled by both sides.

I think the agent and Edwin misread the marker and came to that realization too late; I think the Blue Jays could have easily held off a bit on Morales to let the better player in the conversation mull over his situation a bit longer because I refuse to believe that teams would have been lined up to get Morales signed, especially the way the whole free agent market has played out.

No, this was botched from start to finish and, not surprisingly, the biggest losers in the whole affair are the fans.

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