Some insiders downplay the conflict between Colangelo and Silvestri, and certainly there are many other factors that could be influencing the Teachers’ reluctance to re-up Colangelo. Peddie, who has announced he’ll retire at the conclusion of 2011, is expected to welcome his replacement in the coming months. A headhunting firm is currently conducting a worldwide search for that person; Peddie said the field will be pared to a shortlist in the near future.
While Tom Anselmi, MLSE’s current chief operating officer, remains the in-house front-runner to get the gig, giving Colangelo a multi-year extension on the cusp of a new CEO’s arrival — especially since the date of that arrival is unclear — might not be seen as wise.
It’s also unknown how much longer the pension plan, which owns 66 per cent of privately held MLSE, will be the majority shareholder. The Star reported in December that Rogers has kicked the tires on the Teachers’ stake, which has been estimated to be worth about $1.3 billion, and other suitors are expected to emerge. The real prospect of an NBA lockout doesn’t clarify anyone’s view of how Toronto’s basketball operation will look after this season.
As one source said: “Confusion reigns.”
And so Colangelo waits. Is it possible the GM could make the Raptors’ first-round pick in the draft on June 23, a week before his contract expires, without a new contract? Multiple team sources said it is. Colangelo declined comment on matters pertaining to his contract.
“Along with criticizing Colangelo’s record as GM, Silvestri, one league source said, has also been heard to deride Colangelo’s career asthe product of nepotism. Colangelo’s father, Jerry, was owner of the Phoenix Suns when Bryan became that franchise’s general manager in 1995.”
Could it possibly be the case that Mr. Silvestri has actually been a regular reader of this lil’ blog, dating back over the past 4+ years?
Couldn’t be a snowball’s chance in h*** of that ever happening.
If the Raptors management group actually has the necessary level of Basketball Acumen to take full advantage of the team’s recent spate of injuries there is no legitimate reason Toronto cannot make a gradual rise in the standings over the course of the next few seasons and become firmly entrenched in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
1. Top 3 Selection in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery [?]
2. No. 1 Selection in the 2006 NBA Draft Lottery, i.e. Andrea Bargnani, C
3. No. 9 Selection in the 2009 NBA Draft Lottery, i.e. DeMar DeRozan, OG
4. No. 13 Selection in the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery, i.e. Ed Davis, PF
5. $10.8 M Traded Player Exception [TPE], obtained in exchange for Chris Bosh
6. Expiring contract of Reggie Evans [$5.1 M]
7. Expiring contract of Leandro Barbosa [$7.1 M]
8. Starting calibre PG, i.e. Jose Calderon [$9.0 M, plus 2 more years]
9. Rotation calibre PF, i.e. Amir Johnson [$5.0 M, plus 4 more years]
10. Rotation calibre SF, i.e. Linas Kleiza [$5.0 M, plus 2 more years]
11. Rotation calibre PG/OG, i.e. Jerryd Bayless [$2.3 M, plus 1 more year]
12. Salary Cap space … if the team chooses not to re-sign Sonny Weems [$0.9 M, 1 yr], Joey Dorsey [$0.9 M, 1 yr], Alexis Ajinca [$1.5 M, 1 yr] and Julian Wright [$2.9 M, 1 yr] after this season
13. World-class city with the 3rd largest market in North America
14. 10th most valuable franchise in the NBA 15. Rabid, loyal fan base
1. The absence of a deep pocketed ownership group that SHOULD BE prepared to EXCEED the Salary Cap and the Luxury Tax Threshold on an ANNUAL BASIS.
2. The absence of a highly respected General Manager with first-hand experience in the construction/operation of a championship-winning organization.
3. The absence of a highly respected Head Coach with first-hand experience in the construction/operation of a championship-winning organization.
4. An organizational culture which has failed to prioritize the winning of the League Championship as The Standard for Team Success.
5. An organizational culture which has failed to prioritize Team Defense, Team Rebounding and Team Offense as the THREE MAIN COMPONENTS required for Team Success.
Third, when Toronto used the No. 1 Selection in the 2006 NBA Draft to pick Andrea Bargnani/C;
2006-2007, 47 wins [up]
2007-2008, 41 wins [down]
2008-2009, 33 wins [down]
2009-2010, 40 wins [up ... but, failed to retain the services of Chris Bosh]
2010-2011, 13 wins so far [down?]
and, in each instance, the opportunity has been wasted by the relatively poor work of their:
i. Ownership Group, whose chief responsibility is to hire the right GM and then stay out of his way;
ii. General Manager[s], whose chief responsibilities are to: A. Hire the right Head Coach & Staff, and B. Obtain the right mix of players, and then stay out of their way;
iii. Head Coach[es] and staff[s], whose chief responsibilities are to: A. Fully develop the players on their roster into a highly effective and cohesive group, and B. Win as many games and playoff series as possible, on an annual basis;
with the prime directive being, “The Winning of the League Championship.”
It isn’t just time for Richard Peddie to leave. It’s overtime.
He used to sell packaged goods and if anyone understands best before dates, it is him.
Peddie likes to point to all his successes — four professional sporting franchises under his watch, three television networks, the condos, office towers and sports bar that is Maple Leafs Square — and it has been a massive undertaking for the king of bafflegab.
As a businessman, he has been an immense success.
As a sportsperson, he has been a dismal failure.
In this instance, however, he has knocked a Deep Shot, clear over the stands in Right Field.
In spite of the rabble raised by an increasingly displeased general fanbase …
Last night’s loss to the visiting Charlotte Bobcats [2-7] epitomizes what exactly should be considered a “lose-win-win” situation for this year’s version of the Toronto Raptors, at least, if their embattled President/GM, Bryan Colangelo, really does know what he’s doing, as a long time NBA executive whose long term goal should be the building of a championship-winning franchise for the great City of Toronto.
COMPONENTS OF A GOOD LOSS FOR THE RAPTORS THIS SEASON
1. Their opponent is a team with more NBA level talent on their roster than Toronto.
2. The game’s final outcome is only decided in the last 30 seconds of play.
3. At no point during the game does Toronto fall behind by more than 10 points.
4. At no point during the game does Toronto go ahead by more than 15 points.
5. DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis – only once he is 100% healthy, again – receive at least 20+ minutes of PT, including at the start of quarters #1 and #3, plus during the last 6 minutes of quarter #4 [and, in any overtime session which might be played].
The long term objective for the Toronto Raptors this season should be focused, exclusively, on obtaining the future rights to a Top 3 Pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Anything which, in fact, moves the team closer to achieving THIS specific goal next summer is a good thing for this franchise heading towards the future.
Damon Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and [now] Chris Bosh are no longer members of the Toronto Raptors and what this team needs to do next is obtain another young, high calibre, multi-dimensional NBA player, via the Draft, who is truly capable of becoming the Cornerstone Player this franchise has been unable to develop and retain since its inception 15 years ago.
Without actually having such a player on your team, in the NBA landscape, everything else which an organization does is mere window dressing and, quite simply, a waste of your precious time … i.e. not intended to help bring a League Championship your way anytime in the not-too-distant future … as a die-hard fan who has a thorough understanding of what the game is all about, at the highest levels of play.
- Traded Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinça for Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll
A deal that was apparently done for economic reasons, but one where they actually end up paying more money in the long run and lose their best center. The deal Michael Jordan nixed at the last minute sending Chandler and Boris Diaw to Toronto for Calderon and Reggie Evans would have benefitted them more. This deal simply doesn’t make sense from an economic standpoint or a basketball standpoint.
- Signed Kwame Brown
Does acquiring Kwame Brown ever work out well for Jordan? Does Kwame know Jordan owns the team? Is Jordan trying to prove something here? I just don’t know.
- Signed Shaun Livingston
Now when Shaun Livingston was drafted by the Clippers in 2004, I thought Livingston had a chance to be a very special player. Unfortunately one of the most gruesome injuries in professional sports derailed what could have been a great career. Livingston still has talent and I’m hoping that he finally gets his career back on track in Charlotte. He should get a decent chance with only DJ Augustin the only other real competition at PG on the roster.
- Waived Erick Dampier
Instead of using Dampier’s non-guaranteed contract to better the team, they simply waive him to save money. Bobcat fans must be so proud.
I have no idea what Jordan is doing in Charlotte. It may be that he makes most of his deals while golfing, so doesn’t pay much attention, but while Charlotte did well last season, making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, they only won 44 games and didn’t improve themselves over the summer, and in fact got a little worse. That wouldn’t be bad if they had a young team, but their three top returning scorers (Jackson, Wallace and Diaw) are all at least 28 years old, so it’s not like they’re likely getting better. The team’s average age is relatively old 27.3. If I had to point to a perfect example of how NOT to build a franchise, it would be Charlotte. A team mired in mediocrity with little hope of getting better, but good enough to keep their head above water.
Jordan is probably the worst type of owner. He’s cost conscious but also not the greatest judge of talent.
I’ve been reading a lot of “It’s going to be a long season” comments concerning the Bobcats.
I’ve got to tell you I’m surprised by that. And since many of you have accused me of being Mr. Negative, I’d think you’d listen.
I’m not saying everything is rosy. I think they’ll be about the same team they were by the end of last season: A group that will be one of the last three franchises in the East to make the playoffs, and will likely be eliminated in the first round. But 12 months ago, they weren’t that.
I predicted in the preseason a year ago that they wouldn’t reach the playoffs with the roster that showed up for training camp. They wouldn’t have. The Stephen Jackson trade made them viable because they had nothing vaguely resembling a first offensive option.
I had this fascinating conversation with Celtics coach Doc Rivers a month after the Jackson trade, following up on what Rivers said following that opening-night blowout. Rivers said the Bobcats were so bad offensively that, if league rules allowed it, you would have played them in a college-style zone with every defender leaving one foot in the lane.
Jackson demands double-teams, which is something you have to elicit from the other team. He might be high-maintenance and he might be expensive, but he addresses a problem.
I read a lot in your comments about how shaky the Bobcats are at point guard and center. I totally agree. But as a guy who is constantly accused of being a glass-half-empty sort, I’m surprised you miss the point that they’ve never entered the preseason with more collective talent and experience.
That’s no small thing, by the way. In order to fix the roster, the Bobcats have made a slew of in-season trades the past two seasons. Some were good. Some were bad (see: Gana Diop). They acquired Boris Diaw and Raja Bell in Larry Brown’s first season. Then they got Jackson early in Brown’s second season and Tyrus Thomas just before the deadline.
Brown welcomes change, and is better than most coaches at adapting on the fly. But change is hard (just ask Diaw, who I think is still trying to find his role, post-Jackson).
The point here is the Bobcats are a better team than they’ve ever been entering training camp, and less likely to be shaken up than any team in the Brown era. Some continuity might be a plus. They have material to work with in Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Diaw and Tyrus Thomas.
Quote 1: “I will make a recommendation to the board (on Colangelo’s future) at some point during the season. I’m not going to leave Bryan hanging out. He’s got kids in school here.”
Quote 2: “We still really believe in Bryan Colangelo.”
Quote 3: “Politicians don’t get paid much. They pay me well to do this.”
Quote 4: “Of the 14 clubs I’ve been around, I really like the attitude and culture of this club the best. There are no egos. They’ve very engaged. They’re enthusiastic as hell. But we’re young, very young. . . . I want to see them play hard and be active and be better defensively. And we’ll see where it goes.”
Quote 5: “I’ll just watch, and if I like where I think it’s going, we’ll re-up Bryan.”
When the specific person responsible for overseeing the overall operation of that pro sports franchise … within the environment of a business consortium … is quoted extensively in the piece and, over the course of his 123 words, declines the opportunity to include a single one which includes these same letters in combination with one another:
i.e. c, h, a, m, p, i, o, n, s, h, i, p,
it’s enough to make one nauseous, as a long-time follower of the team.
After reading nonsense of this type from an MLSE executive, die-hard fans of this team should ask themselves the following two questions today:
Q1. “What”, exactly, is the “this” Richard Peddie is “well paid” to do?
Q2. “Where”, exactly, is it that Richard Peddie thinks ”it” is going?
The sad reality is that, in today’s environment in the NBA, this specific franchise … with its current collection of players and coaches [and executives] … is not one step closer to eventually being able to win a NBA championship, anytime in the foreseeable future, than it was a decade ago … and, in fact, is further away from ever achieving this goal than it has been for the last several years.
P.S. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, feels like a duck and smells like a duck; then, in all likelihood, IT IS a duck.
If you look at yesterday’s blog entry, you will see the list of Major Personnel Moves which the Raptors have made during this specific time period.
These are the team’s records of achievement:
Since 2006, Winter 2005-2006, 27-55, failed to make the playoffs 2006-2007, 47-35, made the playoffs/#3 Seed, Lost 1st Rd 2007-2008, 41-41, made the playoffs/#6 Seed, Lost 1st Rd 2008-2009, 33-49, failed to make the playoffs 2009-2010, 40-42, failed to make the playoffs
2010-2011, sub .500?, fail to make the playoffs?
2011-2012, sub .500?, fail to make the playoffs?
When you look at these items closely, what you should begin to see is the illogical reasoning involved with asserting that top flight NBA players have been disinterested in playing for the Raptors … if/when Toronto has legitimately focused on putting together a championship-winning calibre team, which is not something that has actually been done since Steve Stavro [i.e. one-time principal owner] sold his controlling interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.
While a specific team’s fanbase might not fully understand what ‘the game’ is really all about – at least, at the highest levels of competition – elite level NBA players do not fit into this same category.
The fact is … elite level NBA players understand very well that:
* Bottom-line profitability is not what operating a successful franchise in this league is all about;
* Simply fielding a “competitive” [i.e. "winning"] team most seasons is not what operating a successful franchise in this league is all about;
* Trying one’s very best to gradually build a legitimate contending organization which is actually capable of competing for and eventually winning multiple NBA championships is precisely what operating a successful franchise in this league is all about;
* Repeatedly changing the same basic furniture in one’s original ‘starter home’ does not equate properly with making an authentic attempt at …
When a team in the NBA makes a series of highly questionable basketball-related personnel decisions … which, on the whole, fail to prioritize the development of a championship-winning organization … over a lengthy period of time, then, the best basketball players in the world, and their respective agents, take note … even if the fans of this specific team do not, because they are focused on the wrong things, e.g. if the best player in the history of their franchise may have “checked out, mentally,” in the 2nd half of last season, since this is what has been identified by [A] the team’s President/GM and [B] certain other no-expert basketball observers, as the chief reason for the current state of the franchise.
During the latter stages of Chris Bosh’s tenure in Toronto, there were a number of highly vocal Raptors fans who suggested that he was someone without the type of “leadership skills” other great players respect.
“When Chris was in high school, he didn’t even say he was the best player on his team,” said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, who had Bosh on his team for one year before the then-teenager jumped to the NBA. “And they went 40-0 and won a national championship. That’s who he is. It’s not about who gets credit for what.”
Playing in Toronto wasn’t exactly been a path to superstardom for Bosh. The Raptors—who have ravenous fans in their own city—simply haven’t drawn much attention in the United States, mainly because of a lack of postseason success (Bosh has never reached the second round of the NBA playoffs) and that they’re just not on television as much as the glitzier clubs.
That’ll change now. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas already are saying the Heat are favorites to win the 2011 NBA title.
“Just with us coming together, it’s going to be out there,” Bosh said of the immediate pressure to win. “So we just have to be prepared for that and we have to stay behind each other, keep each other standing tall and just support each other and that’s all it’s about. When you’re having tough times, you rely on your friends, you rely on your teammates to pull you out of it.”
Bosh might only seem like the ‘other guy’ in this Heat star cluster.
No, he doesn’t have the MVP trophies like James and the championship ring like Wade. Make no mistake: He can play.
Bosh is one of only three players with at least 10,000 points, 4,500 rebounds and 600 blocked shots over the last seven seasons, joining Kevin Garnett(notes) and Tim Duncan(notes). He’s averaged a double-double in three of his seven years, and coming off a season where he put up career-highs of 24.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 52 percent shooting.
And James is already letting Miami know, this team isn’t being built as a one- or two-man operation.
“This is not just all about D-Wade and C.B. and LeBron,” James said. “It’s about the whole team. It’s about the whole organization, starting from the top to the bottom.”
Bosh has been at the bottom for too long, never getting remotely close to an NBA title.
In Miami, thanks to his decision, he’s got that long-awaited chance to finally see the top.
“We just have to take that chance,” Bosh said. “And we were not afraid to be great. So we’ve jumped in the water. Now it’s time to swim.”
It is going to be very interesting to see how Chris Bosh is characterized by the US media moving forward from this point.
From the perspective of yours truly …
There are very good reasons why the USA Men’s National Team failed to win the Gold Medal at the 2006 World Championships but were then able to redeem themselves, 2 years later, at the 2008 Olympic Games …
i.e. which include the presence of Kobe Bryant [OG] and Chris Bosh [C/PF] on the Redeem Team
were written on this blog, well before others in the basketball community first began to recognize what a player like CB4 … if he’s used correctly … actually brings to the table for the he team he plays on, when afforded the opportunity to work with other like-minded individuals who are fervently committed to the concept of making sacrifices in order to win championships:
Hours after Wade met with the Bulls, Bosh, another of the Heat’s top targets, met with the Heat’s delegation in Chicago. It’s possible that Wade could call off his future visits if Bosh commits to the Heat. Moments before his meeting with the Heat, Bosh posted, “looking forward to seeing what Miami has to offer” on his Twitter account. After the meeting with the Heat, Bosh tweeted, “Pat Riley is very passionate about winning.”
Chris Bosh is a special player, in the NBA, and those Raptors fans who chose to only see “weakness” when they looked at his body of work, as the captain for Toronto, just might be eating some serious crow over the next several seasons.
When a man like Pat Riley speaks about “winning”, he is not just talking about “the winning of a relatively high number of regular season games and being competitive with some of the other above .500 teams in the NBA”.
When Pat Riley speaks about “winning”, and
Chris Bosh cites Pat Riley’s passion for winning, and
D-Wade speaks about “winning”, and
LeBron James speaks about “winning”,
they are making reference to “the winning of multiple league championships.”
As opposed to the type of long term goals which have been discussed in Toronto for much of the last 7 years …
We believe we have the best fans in the NBA and we believe in the city and country that we play in. Your passion, pride and support has been tremendous no matter what the circumstances, and we cannot thank you enough for that. We all share a commitment to winning both on and off the floor and MLSE/Toronto Raptors ownership and management will do whatever it takes to WIN while also making the community a better place. Our franchise will evolve and emerge stronger than before, and I assure you that our combined efforts will produce the WINNER you are hoping for.
President and General Manager
Toronto Raptors Basketball Club
and search carefully for a reference to the …
Winning of a NBA Championship?
[Hint: The specific words you are looking for are "NBA Championship".]
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. [MLSE], and its President/General Manager for the Toronto Raptors, Bryan Colangelo, STILL DON”T SEEM TO REALLY GET THE MESSAGE.
It is simply not “good enough” to try to put a “winning” product on the floor in this league year-after-year.
What is actually REQUIRED, at least, from a 1st-class organization, to be able to get and, then, retain enough of the best players in the world is to:
First. State publicly that it is your intention to try your VERY BEST to build a championship-winning organization;
Second. Through a whole series of actions which you take, begin to MAKE THAT INTENTION COME TO LIFE gradually, over a number of years, within the framework of a comprehensive Plan Of Attack.
The fact is …
Empty promises are worth less than the pen and paper which they are written with … usually in invisible ink.
PS. Whatever people are advising Bryan Colangelo to write this sort of nonsense should be removed immediately from his inner circle.