Happy Wednesday all. With the Olympics about to go into full swing, thankfully there's some basketball to discuss, prolonging the time period before we enter the NBA's dead zone.
The Raptors of course have three participants in this summer's grand event, Jose Calderon playing for Spain, and Linas Kleiza and Jonas Valanciunas suiting up for Lithuania. The full schedule can be found here.
In Dino news, let's catch up on a few leftover links from Summer League.
First we have Raptors' coach Dwane Casey on TrueHoop TV talking about the club's defensive success last year and the emphasis on improving the offense this year. It's a good watch if not for the Raps' info, but to see Casey call the ACC, the American Airlines...mumble, mumble.
Next up, some Terrence Ross talk. First in terms of his connection to fellow Summer League participant Terrence Jones, then from SI.com's Zach Lowe, who discusses how Ross' play may impact DeMar DeRozan's future in TO.
Moving away from Summer League but staying with the Raps, HoopsAddict's Ryan McNeil touches on the CBA and how Bryan Colangelo is making deals to maneuver with its new constraints, while we may see some familiar jerseys being sported by the Dinos next year.
In a somewhat Raptors-related post, ESPN.com's TrueHoop looks at former Dino Jerryd Bayless, wondering how good he actually is. From the post:
The issue might be Bayless's mentality, not technique.
The long 2 is the shot shared both by the superstar and high-volume, inefficient scorer. Superstars are destined to have that shot in their arsenal due to the heavy burden forced upon them. Whether it's a called isolation or unavoidable heave after a poorly executed possession, star players will always be prone to taking more of these shots.
A number of good but not great offensive players are held back by their inability to swap these shots for more efficient looks. This can happen for a variety of reasons. For players like Josh Smith, there's a frustrating willingness to chuck the kind of shot that doesn't guarantee them the most success. Monta Ellis, though, might best embody the mentality Bayless must avoid. Ellis plays as if it in his DNA to play the part of a star and his shot selection reflects as much.
Any other improvements Bayless makes won't the desired impact if he doesn't learn to navigate this very fine line.
It's an interesting call-out and one I completely agree with. The post could go a long way towards explaining Bayless' success as a starter versus a bench player too. If indeed a "superstar mentality" is ingrained in Jerryd's DNA, then he would likely play better when given a key starter role, something a bad team like the Raptors could do, and therefore I'm incredibly curious to see how he does in Memphis where as the post notes, he's likely the sixth best player.
Finally, some more general NBA news regarding the apparent move by the league towards allowing jersey sponsorships. The move will provide a new source of revenue for the NBA, but not as big of a get as one might expect. Considering an EPL squad like Manchester United makes an estimated $31M for the Aon sponsorship on their jerseys alone, the fact that the entire NBA revenue from such a proposed move will likely amount to about $100M shows just how far the league needs to grow on a global level to get to the same recognition as sports like soccer.