The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Maurizio Gherardini + Primoz + Blue Jays talk

Posted by Arsenalist on July 21, 2008

Good morning, in today’s edition of the blog we’ll jump straight to some Maurizio Gherardini quotes where he’s talking about how there is an equal distribution of talent across the globe and that you’re as likely to find the next Michael Jordan in Azherbaijan as in North Carolina. The funny little fat guy says:

“I believe situations have shown you may find talent around any corner. There is no place where there are going to be better diamonds than other places. Spain is probably the best model in Europe and I would expect to see more players coming from there. The former Yugoslav republics have been the biggest producers of players in Europe, somehow because of their love of the game and the physical structure of people in the area, and so I expect that to continue. I think South America will always be a continent to look at. I think Africa, if the quality of the teaching keeps improving, if they are capable of putting together simple structures to work on their games, has a great possibility of developing intriguing talent for the future,”

There’s some truth to what he’s saying, as the game spread to more and more parts of the world the chances of finding good players becomes higher. I’m just not sure that right now is the time to draft European question marks as the top pick in the NBA draft, that’s all.

There’s a great fact in that article about how James Naismith taught the game in the late 1890’s to Christian missionaries on their way to China and how it helped spread the game there to the tune of them having more NBAers than us in 2008. On a side note, how does getting blown out against Croatia and almost losing to Korea make you feel as a Canadian? I have to say that there’s a tinge of embarassment in our national team’s performances, obviously I don’t know enough about the program to recommend fixes but as a casual fan of the national team I think you’ll agree that I speak for everyone here when I say, “Come on….I mean, come on people…please…come on, its getting a little ridiculous…huh? Yeah..that’s right..come on now”.

Oh, did I mention we lost a summer league game to Golden State where Joey Graham was our best player, I think it happened yesterday, or maybe even the day before. I don’t know, I’m just glad its over. Somebody find out how Andrea Bargnani’s off-season is coming along and what his plans are, I want to scrutinize his every move this summer, how many jump shots he takes, what he bench presses, how many times John Lucas gets a rebound over him, what he eats for breakfast, what TV he watches, what drills he’s doing, how he’s moving laterally, if he’s learned to pump-fake, if he’s learned to box out, whether he’s learned to make a mid-range jumper four times in a row…everything, I want to know everything!

Primoz Brezec walked out on us and signed with Roma. Its hardly worth a mention let alone a quote but its the summertime so why not:

“I am very happy and proud to play next year in Rome. It’s beautiful to return to Europe after seven years in the NBA with one of the best teams on the continent, with the great, successful coach Repesa and the most beautiful city in the world. The determining factor for my choice was the link with Dejan Bodiroga.”

Garbage time will never be the same.

Oklahoma City Thunder? That sounds like a WNBA team. Speaking of which, if you’ve been catching the summer league games on Raptors TV you’ve probably seen the WNBA commercials which end with the guy screaming all excited, “Now this is what the WNBA is all about!!!”. That right there is how bad summertime sports are.

Side step to some Blue Jays talk, I think its far worse to be a Jays fan in this city than a Raptors fan. The Jays have zero chance of making the post-season in the next 10 years. Seriously, they now have to be better than two of New York, Boston and Tampa Bay to even have a shot at the post-season. Before you shrug and go “Tampa Bay??”, I say yes, Tampa Bay! That team has sucked for the last few years but along the way has managed to develop some solid pitching and great hitting to top the AL East. This year is not a fluke but a sign of things to come.

I remember watching Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado not too long ago and thinking that if this team could just make a couple more signings here and there, they’re right there on the cusp of contention for a playoff spot and maybe even go deep in the post-season. That summer they let Green walk, didn’t replace him and assumed Delgado would hit at the same clip next without realizing that teams were going to pitch around him…blah! Frustrating man, the Jays have been looking forward to “next year” in July for 13 straight seasons, if I’m them I trade Roy Halladay and get something for him while he’s at his peak. That team’s not going anywhere, dropping 2/3 to Tampa sealed their fate, we needed a solid sweep to get things going and it just didn’t happen. Bryan Colangelo is a genius compared to J.P Ricciardi.

Thanks to the ArseBlog for the link on Sunday, 12,000 hits and counting for the Arsenal vs. Barnet post. Wow, there are a lot more Arsenal fans than Raptors ones, that’s for sure.

7 Responses to “Maurizio Gherardini + Primoz + Blue Jays talk”

  1. khandor said


    re: 12,000 hits

    ‘Football’ truly is a world-wide game and the EP certainly one of the very best leagues with the most rabid fan-base around the globe.

    In comparison the NBA is still a niche league.

    re: Bargnani’s summer development program

    I’d feel a lot better about his chances for signficant improvement if he’d spent his time at the famed ‘Pete Newell Big Man Camp’ instead of working out with John Lucas.

    Those who’ve observed an NBA team practice during the course of its regular season know full well that there is just not enough time in an exceptionally hectic daily schedule to make much headway with a specific player’s relatively weak skill base working with assistant coaches who were once good players themselves but who rarely have a solid understanding of how to teach skills to a new generation player at this level of competition. If a player isn’t able to put the work in himself during the summer/off-season he will generally not improve from year-to-year in the NBA cause the simple fact is … he doesn’t have the chance to work with the best coaches in the world everyday, contrary to popular belief.

    Hopefully Bargnani has done ‘the work’ or this season will probably be more of the same from last year.

  2. Endo said

    khandor, I thought he was attending Newell’s camp?? Maybe I read wrong somewhere.

    Its very pathetic but its true, being a Raptors fan is actually more rewarding than being a jays fan. With the Raptors you have some hope that in a year where the East is weak we could do something and surprise some people but with the Jays it’ll always be staring up and the Yanks/Sox. To be fair if they were in the central division, they would’ve made the playoffs a couple times during the last decade.

  3. […] The Arsenalist – “We’ll jump straight to some Maurizio Gherardini quotes where he’s talking about how there is an equal distribution of talent across the globe and that you’re as likely to find the next Michael Jordan in Azherbaijan as in North Carolina.” […]

  4. Raps Fan said

    endo is right, he is at newell’s camp. i distinctly remember reading that a couple times.

    my expectations for bargnani are null right now. my operating assumption is that anything we get out of him is a bonus.

  5. FAQ said

    Bargnani is a ‘project’ and it’s not his fault he was chosen first in the draft. BC wanted him and now we have him. His first year was good when all he did was pot 3-pointers and not much else. Last season he was asked to expand his game with slashing, posting up and rebounding … and we know how that turned out. I can’t blame him because he gave his best effort being put in a situation that was inappropriate.

    However in his third season, Bargs must put it all together and show improvement if he is to stay in the NBA .. otherwise it’s back to Europe where I suspect he will flourish in their style of game.

    The NBA only wants NBA-ready players and has no real development program. What we see in the NBA now is several star players and a lot of scrubs collecting big paychecks and playing bball like neanderthals.

  6. khandor said

    According to Michael Grange’s blog (From Deep) Bargnani is not scheduled to attend Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp.

  7. David Moro said

    No, he is going to Tim Grgrich’s. (spelling)
    He is, at least, going to a big man camp.

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