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  • Raptors gotta make a signing today right?
    Only one thing matters: We The Champs.

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    • Here's a story from the Montreal Gazette from 2019, when Khem Birch was starting for Canada in the China FIBA tournament.

      DONGGUAN, China — Khem Birch is his own man and pity the fool who tries to argue that.

      The Orlando Magic power forward/centre is one of just two NBA rostered players in China representing Canada.
      He along with Sacramento Kings’ point guard Cory Joseph were the two out of a possible 17 Canadian passport-holding NBA players either healthy enough, or in some cases free enough to answer Team Canada’s call.

      Birch may be the most free NBA player of his generation. The man doesn’t even have an agent at the moment.

      “I don’t let anyone dictate my career or anything,” Birch said following a practice at the Dongguan Basketball Center. “I let Khem Birch dictate what he wants to do and Khem Birch decided to play for his country because I want to go to the Olympics.”

      Birch is somewhat unique in this regard and we aren’t talking solely about him referring to himself in the third person.

      “Regardless of whether I was fourth string, fifth-string, third-string I was going to come here and represent my country,” Birch said. “Luckily for me, no one showed up and I’m starting but unfortunately we didn’t advance and now we have to take another route to the Olympics.”

      Rather than see the negatives — look no further than Jayson Tatum for one example — Birch sees the positives in taking part in the FIBA World Cup. And unlike most other NBA types he has no one offering up advice, wanted or not.

      ““I don’t have an agent as of right now, so no,” he said when asked if anyone tried to dissuade him from coming. “Like I said Khem Birch decides Khem Birch’s career. If I get hurt it’s because Khem Birch got hurt and if Khem Birch wants to do something Khem Birch is going to do it.”

      The biggest positive for Birch is playing for a championship coach in Nick Nurse who not only allows his charges to explore their untapped potential but gives them the confidence to do it.

      “As you can see I’m doing things I have never done in the NBA that I’m getting to do right now,” he said referring to handling the ball and stepping outside to shoot. “That’s what a lot of guys don’t understand. Coach Nurse gives you the confidence and freedom to do whatever you want. Basically everything you want in the system you have here so I’m lucky.

      “A lot of guys say they want to stay home and work on their games, but there is no better way to do that than in an actual game and I’m doing that right now,” Birch said.

      Were he not here doing that work he would be working out in Orlando but without the access to game conditions.

      “Obviously I’m sore but that is the nature of basketball,” he said when asked how his body was holding up. “Right now I would probably be sore in Orlando working out with those other guys and not playing games. So this is a good kind of sore and I can’t wait to get back on the court tomorrow.”

      If only Canada’s management could bottle what makes Birch this way and sprinkle it throughout the NBA hitting all the Canadian bodies."

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      • “I let Khem Birch dictate what he wants to do and Khem Birch decided to play for his country because I want to go to the Olympics.”

        pffffttttttttttt... you can mix talking about yourself in the 1st and 3rd person in one sentence .... needs an agent

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        • G__Deane wrote: View Post
          “I let Khem Birch dictate what he wants to do and Khem Birch decided to play for his country because I want to go to the Olympics.”

          pffffttttttttttt... you can mix talking about yourself in the 1st and 3rd person in one sentence .... needs an agent
          Kind of depends on how many of him there are, doesn't it?

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          • Puffer wrote: View Post

            Kind of depends on how many of him there are, doesn't it?
            That's gotta be great for the defence wouldn't you think? He can be switching on the P'nR all while having Khem Birch at the rim ready to catch the blow by.

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            • Montreal Front court ready to dominant
              To be the champs you got to beat the champs

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              • Puffer wrote: View Post

                Kind of depends on how many of him there are, doesn't it?
                S he's a Gemini or multiple personality disorder?

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                • Just glad we are getting a big man, I don't care if he thinks of him self in the 3rd person or not, lol

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                  • So Alize Johnson signs a 2 year deal with the Nets.

                    He’s a rebounding machine and we desperately needed rebounding all year, but we couldn’t even find a 10-day roster spot for him? And we also invested resources in developing his game in the 905.

                    But now he can find a full roster spot with the deepest team in the league?

                    So weird.

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                    • Some background on Freddie: https://ca.nba.com/news/who-is-fredd...01jfr75gb0l6cx

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                      • golden wrote: View Post
                        So Alize Johnson signs a 2 year deal with the Nets.

                        He’s a rebounding machine and we desperately needed rebounding all year, but we couldn’t even find a 10-day roster spot for him? And we also invested resources in developing his game in the 905.

                        But now he can find a full roster spot with the deepest team in the league?

                        So weird.
                        We've needed center help since Len went down (and even before he did).. the front office essentially caused this collapse. We all saw how ineffective Baynes was, and how badly we needed rebounding and rim protection help. Alize Johnson sucked in preseason.. but there were options out there.

                        Masai/Bobby fell asleep at the wheel this year.. or they wanted to tank a season and just bounce back next year. If they can't bring in a quality big in the off season we will suck again. Big pressure on them to fix this.

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                        • planetmars wrote: View Post

                          We've needed center help since Len went down (and even before he did).. the front office essentially caused this collapse. We all saw how ineffective Baynes was, and how badly we needed rebounding and rim protection help. Alize Johnson sucked in preseason.. but there were options out there.

                          Masai/Bobby fell asleep at the wheel this year.. or they wanted to tank a season and just bounce back next year. If they can't bring in a quality big in the off season we will suck again. Big pressure on them to fix this.
                          Just think they prefered to wait. What would have been an option that would have turned the season around?
                          Now we get a Canadian for the minimum, who is actually a good big in the NBA and still relatively young.

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                          • The biggest difference maker will be the ability to play from home next season. It's a bigger factor than not having a decent C.

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                            • TomAmnot wrote: View Post

                              Just think they prefered to wait. What would have been an option that would have turned the season around?
                              Now we get a Canadian for the minimum, who is actually a good big in the NBA and still relatively young.
                              We had options earlier in the year. Why didn't we try and land Freddie early on in the year? We gave Donta Hall a 10 day contract but he never saw the court for the Raptors. Lots of chances to make trades, before the deadline too. Heat picked up Dedmon recently.. why didn't we pick him up 2 weeks into the season to replace Len? Alize Johnson grabs a lot of boards. Why is he signing a contract with the Nets when he was on our G-League team?

                              When covid hit, why didn't we give Lowry and Norm more options? They basically tanked the season at that point.. and just rode it out. Getting Birch now won't help.. it's a little too late IMO. There are only 19 games left and we are still pretty far away from the play-in let alone the playoffs.

                              We've lost to mostly every bad team in the league. Detroit three times, Cleveland once, Minny once, OKC once, Houston once (we broke their 20 game losing streak lol), Chicago twice, New Orleans twice, and Sacramento once. The only bad teams we've beaten are Orlando and Washington.. and we needed a buzzer beater to beat the Wizards. We were down 19 points at one point in that game too and they were missing Beal and Rui. We were awful this season.

                              If we had a better center, we win more than half those games.. and are already in the play-in round, if not the 7th or 8th seed already.

                              I just think them waiting was them dropping the ball. But I'll forgive them if we get a decent pick out of it. If we get to the playoffs (which will already be a miracle) and somehow beat the 76ers or Nets in the first round... well I'll take that over a mediocre draft pick. But that would be crazier than Kawhi's 4 bounce buzzer beater

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                              • golden wrote: View Post
                                So Alize Johnson signs a 2 year deal with the Nets.

                                He’s a rebounding machine and we desperately needed rebounding all year, but we couldn’t even find a 10-day roster spot for him? And we also invested resources in developing his game in the 905.

                                But now he can find a full roster spot with the deepest team in the league?

                                So weird.
                                Yeah that was a head scratcher, especially considering we gave Gillespie a 10-day instead of him. Maybe they felt they knew enough about Alize from training camp, but still, his G-league performance warranted another look imo.

                                I also didn't get why they didn't give the Donta Hall kid a look during his 10-day. The whole premise of the 10-day contract is so you can evaluate the on-court fit of a guy with the current players (It's not for depth/injury insurance, it's a temporary thing). So I yeah don't really get why you give a guy a 10-day and don't play him.
                                2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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