Toronto’s late-season collapse has him asking for help from a franchise that has trouble getting it from anywhere but Europe. Thus, he’s considered the most likely big-ticket free agent to leave.
WHY HE’D COME: The Knicks’ two-max-contract salary-cap room means he could play the sidekick role for which he’s better suited, with a sign-and-trade involving David Lee considered possible.
WHY HE WON’T: He could be Wade’s sidekick just by signing with Miami and there’s even talk that Oklahoma City (close to his Dallas home) will make a run to pair him with Kevin Durant.
Is “patience” not Toronto’s middle name when it comes to sports? Or is there finally a sign of a local shortage of it? Well, maybe lately with the Blue Jays, who have chosen to publicly bite the bullet and rebuild from the bottom up. Knowing this, the fans so far have decided to stay away in record numbers.
But what of the good children representing Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the very conglomerate that Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo only the other day termed “one of the best organizations in all of sports.”
This kind of loose talk, indicative of the Kool-Aid overdose, would be mightily disconcerting to fans of the Raptors, many of whom still trust Colangelo to float a good boat here. But the GM quickly recovered, as he often does, by branching off into talk of real estate and television ventures, where MLSE more than earns its stripes and its return on investment. Colangelo neglected to mention pouring concrete, but he probably meant that part of the operation, too.
In terms of sports performance, though, how bad is it and how much patience already has been supplied by the customers?
The answers are pretty bad and plenty. The simple W-L tables reveal MLSE, with its Maple Leafs, Raptors and FC, are significantly down the break-even charts. If you start with the 2003-2004 season, which would be the first under what passes for current upper management — meaning Larry Tanenbaum as chairman of the board, while Richard Peddie sitteth on the right hand — your pals at MLSE are a combined 506 wins and 630 losses, plus the 24 soccer ties in FC’s first three seasons. That counts only wins and losses in both hockey and basketball and that won-lost percentage works out to the wrong side of 45.