In the light of this lunacy in Toronto last night, one question:
Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to take down basketball nets in city parks in the first place?
Never mind that, apparently, as this magical tweeter machine moment got widespread notice, that the mayor got on someone’s back and vowed that the rims will no longer be taken down (and I hope everyone with a park near their houses are watching closely tonight to see if in fact that’s true) it shocks me that some boss even decided originally that it was a wise course of action to rip them down every evening. Or any evening. Or any night or any weekend. Ridiculous and, supposedly, the last time it’ll happen.
Lunacy, I tell you. Lunacy.
Forget, if you can, the recent groundswell of basketball interest thanks the Raptors run the caught the attention of so many new fans and created unprecedented interest in the sport.
Those backboard and rims certainly didn’t go up all of a sudden and kids didn’t start playing them right after the Raptors won the NBA championship.
Those parks – and they are everywhere in every city – are vital and have been for years. We need to promote kids figuring out how to be physically active on their own, the social benefits are incalculable, the health and fitness benefits, now and in the future, are vital to keeping kids in some kind of shape so that they grow up living active lives.
The other day Masai Ujiri was incredulous when he was first informed that there were some short-sighted people who wanted rims gone in a park that his organization had helped refurbish and support.
This was the exchange according to our transcripts:
“Noise from basketballs? Really?”
THREATS TO TAKE DOWN THE RIMS
“Threats to take the courts down?”
RALLY TONIGHT YEAH
“Are you guys serious? This is going on?”
“We’ll take those courts to Africa. We’ll build them somewhere else. I don’t know what the details of this is, but my first reaction is anywhere there’s a basketball court it’s a good thing. Kids play basketball, and it’s my job, so I’m going to be biased towards basketball however it’s played, anywhere it’s played, whether it’s the noisiest place or the most quiet place, I’m just going to be biased about a basketball court being put anywhere.”
He said biased, I say smart and aware and knowledgeable enough to know kids need places to play and hang out doing something constructive, playing games and figuring it out as they go along.
That some city worker and the dopes who obviously complained about kids being kids decided it was a good idea to rip down the rims WHILE KIDS WERE USING THEM is so astonishingly tone deaf, I could hardly believe what I was seeing last night.
And I certainly hope that Toronto’s mayor and every other mayor and every other elected official wherever they are realize the idiocy of doing that and live up to their words that the rims will remain.
And that more will eventually be put up.
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Got a couple of very solid questions for the mailbag after yesterday’s reminder for you all to play along so we’ll prod a bit more and see what fruit it bears.
It’s firstname.lastname@example.org and all you’ve got to do is think, click, type and send and, magically, some kind of answer will appear on Sunday morning. And since there’s basically no way in the world I’m going to be here Saturday morning to offer one last reminder, get it done now.
While I was having a typically outstanding time the Hoop Talks chinwag a the Rivoli – those are really fun to talk at and see – I missed the soccer drama were the TFCs win on a late penalty and the horrid VAR comes into play and everyone goes away happy.
I had checked earlier in the day about the soccer team because I haven’t been able to pay much attention since early April and it was disheartening to see the Red hadn’t won in eight games but it was heartening to see they were somehow still clinging to a playoff spot and that the season hadn’t been a total disaster already.
Not sure what that says about the playoff system or the conference or the team but it should at least provide a fun summer/fall sports distraction since there’s no indication the baseball or football teams around these parts are going to command our attention.
So, the first Raptors domino has fallen with Marc Gasol opting in – not a big surprise but it’s still good that it’s done and resolved – and now I can spend the better part of today, tomorrow and Saturday trying to find different ways to tell the same team and league stories.
Wish me luck.
At 34, I don’t know if Gasol would have gotten even a two- or three-year deal but he very well could have in this day and age with his skill and background and that he didn’t even bother to check is kind of telling.
I do know the guy loved it here, the city, the organization, his teammates, and it’ll be nice if he’s around all next season.