NBA exhibition disappointing

JOHN SHORT

, Last Updated: 2:28 PM ET

For many years, I've been convinced that the world's greatest athlete is a basketball player.

To reach the peak in that sport you need every possible physical attribute: strength, speed, quickness, good vision, good hands and agility, including a talent for leaping. You also need a degree of physical toughness; life under the boards can be tough.

Flaws can be found in any argument, of course. Michael Jordan, generally recognized as the best basketball player in history, was exposed in minor-league baseball as a guy who couldn't hit.

Nevertheless, I looked forward to seeing the skills of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh and their buddies in last week's NBA exhibition game here between Denver and Toronto.

But I came home disappointed. They went through the motions, that's why.

Strictly from a competitive standpoint, I'd rather watch the Golden Bears, Alberta's best college teams or some good high school seniors in action. All of them work hard at playing hard.

During the playoffs, the NBA usually provides riveting entertainment. The rest of the time, they turn a good game into an exercise in boredom. Tuesday was one of those times.

ONE GOALIE TOO MANY

Edmonton Oilers bosses have a legion of reasons for speaking softly about Dwayne Roloson. No three-goalie system has ever worked and he carries a sizeable contract so everybody knows they're somewhat desperate to move him.

The veteran goaltender, who turned 39 two weeks ago and has the wear of almost 15 professional seasons on his frame, has equal cause to be quiet about wanting out.

If they've had time to look seriously at the netminding mess being tolerated by the Ottawa Senators, both the Oilers and the truly-professional Roloson must be gaining hope.

There was a day, not long ago, that Martin Gerber was seen as a future big-timer in the NHL. The day has past.

Alex Auld, at best, remains a journeyman.

After their recent late-season collapses, the Senators can't afford to spin their wheels endlessly this year, although they've put themselves in good position to do so.

ALLERGIC TO PIGSKIN?

Only one thing prevents me from picking the Eskimos to go all the way to a Grey Cup game this year. Well, maybe not. I'm just not convinced they can stop playing like they're allergic to pigskin.


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