Without Tristan Thompson, Canada would lose some much needed experience at FIBA World Cup

All those cautions about not getting too pumped up over the list of invitees to the senior men’s basketball camp until we see who shows up on the court next month should not go unheeded.

Especially in light of yesterday’s Tweeter Machine announcement/suggestion/report that Tristan Thompson’s going to give the World Cup a pass.

That’s a bit of surprise because Thompson has always played, it seems. He’s one of those guys, like Cory Joseph and Kelly Olynyk and a handful of others who showed up just about every summer, went to all the qualifying tournaments and perennially left disappointed but who always came back the next summer and the summer after that.

They were proud and wanted to play and helped get the program back on track the last few years, along with too many others for me to mention here right now.


No reasons have emerged for Thompson apparently not playing and there still is a solid group of bigs on the list that includes Dwight Powell and Chris Boucher and Khem Birch but, I tell you, losing Thompson’s international experience is going to be a blow.

We’ve said it a hundred times before and will say it a hundred times more between now and the World Cup: FIBA basketball is rough and it’s tough and it’s a grown-up’s game. You need to know what you can get away with and when you can get away with it and being willing to hit first is a true attribute. It’s far more physical than the NBA game – wait ‘til you see how illegal most screens are! – and having guys who know that and who have been through it is going to vital to any success Canada’s going to have.

Okay, here’s the deal.

I’m definitely taking tomorrow morning off so get the mail into askdoug@thestar.ca today or forever hold your peace and I’m toying with the idea of maybe going to Summer Hours (every other day during the week on weekdays and the mail on Sunday) for the next little while.

Gives me a break, which I could probably use, and, truth be told, there’s not a lot going on these days.

Whaddya think?


Don’t tell anyone this, okay?

This whole “50 years since Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon” thing that’s going on today is a pretty big deal with me because I was a bit of a space geek way back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Made Super Mom and Dad let me stay up to watch him take that first step, used to do science demonstrations in front of the class on how rockets and their modules used to “dock” and I am pretty sure I would have had a John Glenn model somewhere in the chronic mess that was my bedroom way back in the day.

Not sure what it was, actually. Maybe the fact the moon was this crazy “thing” that was so far away, so unimaginable to reach and space was truly “the next frontier” that everything from orbiting Earth to landing on the moon was utterly fascinating.

So, yeah. I devoured that Tom Hanks series on A and E I think it was about space travel and I loved Apollo 13 and can’t turn it off when I stumble across it.

Not sure anything like that exists today, things to capture imaginations and to dream about and unattainable goals for a society to try and reach.

Too bad. It’s really too bad.

Just noticed the Argos lost last night in Calgary.

Anyone surprised?

Remember yesterday when David Duval made a 13 while I was typing?

Well, it was actually a 14 and it’s a crazy story but this is 1,000,000 per cent the right reaction to it.

That’s pretty classy response from Duval, a former Open championship whose game disappeared soon after he won but someone who’s always struck me as a standup guy who plays as well as he can and takes whatever slings and arrows come with it.

It’s also maybe the one thing about The Open that fascinates me more than any of the other Grand Slam events: It can humble anyone and how they handle it is usually quite telling.

I saw Rory McIlroy, who opened with a quad and finished with a trip on the way to a 79, handle a post-round interview extremely well after he choked as the overwhelming sentimental favourite in his own country and on a course where he holds the record at 61.

A humbling sport and you shouldn’t relish in the failure of the game’s best but you need to understand just how quickly a tournament can be over.

The Raptors made the Rondae Hollis-Jefferson signing official yesterday and if Bobby and Masai are reading this – and I presume it’s the first thing they look at every morning – they need to know it’s okay to calm down and take some well-earned time off now.

Thank you, gentlemen.


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