We posted the first part of our convo with DeMar DeRozan on Friday afternoon. While that part was about looking back on last season, this one is about the L-word. No, not love or like or anything nice, I’m talking about this damn lockout. Here’s DeRozan on the possibility of going overseas, why the rookies are really losing out and when he realized that he’d be without his best friend when/if the lockout ends this season.
HM: So, about this lockout, have you talked to anyone for advice?
DD: I talked to a few guys and they just prepared me, telling me what to do, how to prepare. Hopefully it turns out for the best, but just be prepared for the worst at the end of the day. A lot of players that had been through it before.
HM: Have you spoken with anyone besides NBA vets about the situation?
DD: Coaches, old coaches. Even the fans, a lot of older guys who had been through the lockout, not necessarily players, people who remembered the lockout in ’99, when it took place. Cuttino Mobley has actually been talking me through it a lot. He’s been giving me a lot of advice and everything.
HM: What’s the main thing they tell you?
DD: Save your money.
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Some of you might have spent your Saturday evening in the same glamorous fashion that I did: Camped out on the couch with a can of Coke beside me, eating a burger and fries while I watched Capital Punishment, aka the Drew League boys taking on the Goodman League boys. Yeah? No? Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
While the game was a ton of fun if you’re into street/pick up ball (not a lot of D, lots and lots of O and shot selection that can make you cringe, cry and then laugh all within the span of seven seconds), Twitter OG @Jose3030 was in attendance and he had his photographer hat on. While he snapped a bunch of amazing shots (check the Flickr album, there are some beauties of Kevin Durant dunking), I thought I’d post the ones he grabbed of DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan had a pretty quiet game. We can’t find a box score for the affair, but do know that Durant finished with 44, Brandon Jennings with 34 and that the Goodman League took the 135-134 victory after Durant made his free throws and Jennings and James Harden both missed jumpers in the final seconds of the game.
After the game, DeRozan took to his Twitter account to tweet: The @drewleague came a long way & I’m glad to be apart of the bball movement with everything. Much respect!
DeRozan getting his Dwyane Wade pregame routine on.
going in for a dunk (attempt…don't think this one was completed).
looking on during a break in the action
we're approaching the beginning stage of DeRozan having a fro to fear. Exciting.
While the game was lots of fun to watch, and another example of guys just wanting to ball, it was also depressing to know it’s going to be awhile before we get any legit NBA games to cover. Small consolation: The two leagues are already talking about a rematch in L.A., tentatively slated for September. Who is in for a trip to Cali?
P.S. Love those uniforms. Also, check out DeRozan’s shoes. So clean.
The National Lockout Association released its theoretical 2011-12 schedule today. The regular season is supposed to start on November 1 with a fun trio of games including Bulls vs. Mavericks, Rockets vs. Jazz and Thunder vs. Lakers. That would be a fun opening night if I thought there was a decent chance we won’t miss any games, which I don’t.
Here is the Raptors’ 2011-12 schedule. They’re scheduled to open at home against the Sixers on November 2 and then take on the Cavaliers and Timberwolves on the road. I smell a three-game winning streak right out of the gate! Of course, the Raptors are subsequently booked to face the defending champion Mavericks in Toronto — I expect that Mark Cuban will have fully detoxed from his summer of celebrating by that point.
Thirteen of the Raptors’ first 22 games are on the road, and 13 of those 22 games are against teams that had a .500 or better record last season. What a screw job!!!!1. Meh, not really. Anyway, here are a few noteworthy dates on the schedule.
- November 23-29: Deadly four game stretch against the Celtics, Heat, Magic and Celtics again — and the first three games are on the road.
- February 22: Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and the Cavliers come to the Air Canada Centre.
- March 21 to April 3: Seven-game homestand that could potentially provide a chance for a playoff push, except for the fact that four of the first five games are against the Celtics, Bulls, Magic and Nuggets
And that’s about all the “analysis” I’m willing to provide about this right now. Look, let’s just agree that it’s extremely silly to read too much into this schedule because it’s almost certainly not what the actual schedule for the Raptors will be if there’s any basketball at all this season. If you’re feeling even remotely optimistic about the chances of there being even a shortened version of a season, look to early February for a possible return to action — that’s when the 1999 post-lockout season kicked off, before they proceeded to cram a 50-game season into three months.
Did you know we now have a Raptorblog fan page on Facebook? If you “Like” our fan page, you might get a shout-out in a future video.
What does an MVP and gold-medal winner wear post-celebration after the U19 championship? Cargo jorts. Why? Because he can.
After dominating his competition at the U19 championship, Jonas Valanciunas just wanted to chill. And party a little bit, too. @DraftExpress tweeted that after the gold-medal game he responded to a reporter’s question about his NBA prep by saying he was focusing on celebrating for the time being. Today, thanks to Twitter, we get this awesome photo of Valanciunas at the team hotel post-celebration. Yeah, his tired eyes show the fun that was had celebrating his latest success. The sleek-suited guy posing with Valanciunas is Twitter user (and huge basketball fan) @Hugsis, who said Valanciunas was very cool and pleasant to interact with.
* Of note: The legal drinking age in Latvia and Lithuania is 18, so Valanciunas is in the clear.
We’ve spoken a lot about the amazing passion that Lithuanians have for basketball, but this video captures that love better than anything we could try and explain to you.
Many thanks to @Hendrix_Gizz for passing along this link of Lithuanian fans celebrating the U-19 championship, where they watched MVP Jonas Valanciunas lead Lithuania to the gold.
Just watch and try not to get goosebumps.