SIMMONS: Former Blue Jays GM Ricciardi deserved more respect


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I can’t stop thinking that if Pascal Siakam had been just average, not terrible, the Raptors would have beaten the Boston Celtics in the second round of the NBA playoffs. Not sure they would have been tough enough to handle the Miami Heat and all their options in the next round, but I sure would like to have seen it … The basketball world went close to insane when Anthony Davis hit a game-winning three against the Denver Nuggets. Like it never happened before. When just a few days earlier, Kyle Lowry passed to O.G. Anunoby with no time left for a forever breathtaking winning three. The Davis shot was treated like man on the moon. The O.G. shot: in the U.S. … in other news … One letter away from being perfectly named: Tyler Herro … The best Toronto basketball-hockey name ever: Keon Clark … Eleven different NBA players, including Siakam, received votes for the MVP Award. Jamal Murray didn’t get a sniff. Twelve different guards, including Lowry, received votes for the all-NBA teams. Again, Murray didn’t get a mention … The older Denver coach Mike Malone gets, the more he looks like his dad, Brendan Malone — the first Raptors coach — in both body language and facial expressions.


There is nothing more disheartening than what the Edmonton Football Club managed in a season without games. They got him rid of long-time equipment man and team conscience Dwayne Mandrusiak. He wasn’t just part of the club; he was part of the furniture, the history, the culture. And, by the way, hand in your cell phone, too. If the Jeopardy category was ‘Classless,’ the Mandrusiak parting would be a question … Pick your order: The three best quarterbacks in the NFL are Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson … You never want to say it’s the end, but it sure looks like Drew Brees is getting close to it …. Will all NFL players who aren’t injured please put up your hands? … Much as people try, you can’t compare the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Maple Leafs. Tampa has the best defenceman in the world and a top-three goalie. When the Leafs have that, let’s talk about it … If Nick Nurse is worth $8 million a year, what’s the starting price for Masai Ujiri, if there is a price at all? Fifteen million? Twenty? Whatever he wants if he still wants to be in basketball … Forty-nine years after Frank Mahovlich played his last game for the Maple Leafs a statue of him was erected outside of Scotiabank Arena. It was probably a few decades late. But there are silly people now demanding a statue for Kyle Lowry. Like tomorrow. What’s the hurry? If a statue is built for Lowry, that comes after retirement, not while he’s still active … Happy birthday to Terry Greer (63), Mike Schmidt (71), Clara Hughes (48), Steve Kerr (55), Bob McAdoo (69), Scottie Pippen (55), Daniel and Henrik Sedin (40), Chauncey Billups (44), Matt Shoemaker (34) and Randy Bachman (77) … And, hey, whatever became of Juan Guzman?