So the inevitable has happened, Kawhi Leonard has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
This was an eventuality expected the day Leonard was acquired by the Toronto Raptors, and while I admit I was starting to believe the championship win would have Leonard staying with the Raptors, it simply wasn’t in the cards. There were suggestions the choice was a close one, but in sports close only counts in horseshoes as they say. Leonard has his rings, the money when you are talking tens of millions doesn’t mean as much, and so the superstar that delivered the Raptors a title is going home.
The vacuum of his loss will be a large one in Toronto. There will be a digression, although the remnants of the championship team should keep the team in a playoff spot, albeit a long way from a championship.
It will help if OG Anunoby progresses even half as well as Pascal Siakim did this past season, but in the end the path likely has Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol traded as the team moves into a major retooling.
Speaking of a retooling Saskatchewan Roughrider fans have to be encouraged by the efforts of quarterback Cody Fajardo. His first two games were monsters. Yes he and the entire team stumbled on Saturday against Calgary, but that happens to even the best of quarterbacks; witness the rough start to Mike Reilly’s time in British Columbia this season. I have certainly seen enough to thank Zach Collaros for his time, but go home and avoid another concussion.
This is not a season where wins matter to me, but I do want to see the ‘Riders find the next quarterback, so give Fajardo five or six more games to see exactly what you have.
It’s also shout-out time to CBC sports online. They are an avenue to watch some great sports that aren’t making it to broadcast television because Canadian cable sports networks do a rather lousy job of following Canadian sports that are not hockey.
It was via CBC online I watched Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes win at the world beach volleyball championship in Germany on the weekend, earning a berth in the 2020 Summer Olympics in the process.
I was impressed by the game in a number of ways, starting with the players on both sides wearing full body uniforms rather than bikinis, which I’ve always thought detracted from the legitimacy of the sport.
In watching the action I was left wondering if a beach volleyball league, with men and women teams competing in a city-based loop across Canada could work.
Our country is starting to show some sport maturity. Once the realm of only the Canadian Football League, the new Canadian Elite Basketball League is now giving Canadian players a professional option at home. Ditto the Canadian Premier League in soccer.
Certainly beach volleyball with its small team rosters, and a sort of modern-age sport following, might be another sport that could find an audience in our country and help develop more players such as Pavan and Humana-Paredes.