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Toronto Star

More than half the money raised in the name of charity by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment was spent on fundraising and administration last year.

And the story is much the same at many professional sports foundations across Canada, a Star investigation has found.

“As community investments go, there are much better places to put your charitable dollars.”

Dr. Bruce Kidd, who was announced as chair of MLSE’s Team Up foundation in December, said his board of directors is “very concerned about the costs.”

“We are looking at the costs and the return on all of our activities and we’re trying to make them more effective to get the costs down to where they represent the industry standards or better than that.”

Fundraising and administration consumed 55 per cent of the $1.5 million raised last year by Team Up, according to the foundation’s self-reported figures to the Canada Revenue Agency.

That compares to 17 per cent reported by the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, the lowest figure among the country’s six NHL club foundations.

“The smart money isn’t giving through sports foundations (like Team Up) to achieve impact,” says Kate Bahen, managing director of Charity Intelligence Canada, a non-profit organization that analyzes charity finances. “(MLSE) is a massive hockey machine. But to present Team Up as experts in community development is a stretch.”

Asked what he’d tell a client donating money to Team Up, forensic accountant Ken Froese says: “I’d say find another way to give it more directly … to where it will make a difference.”

Froese, who reviewed Team Up’s filings for the Star, said he was “surprised” by the numbers.

“It should be the leading example in Canada for a sports foundation. But the foundation is a way of raising money and a lot of the use of the funds gives you advertising for the Raptors or the Toronto Maple Leafs. Other (charities) are more intent on solving issues and less on administration.”

Le Basketbawl

New York Vinnie believes that if you had a starting lineup with Kevin Durant and Bosh that Oklahoma City could be “Frickin Scary Good” next season! That would give the Thunder the luxury of either bringing Jeff Green in off the bench or trading Green for a center. Perhaps they could do a sign and trade with the Bulls for soon to be Free Agent Brad Miller. At that point you are talking about a legitimate contender for the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City at this point is really a four man team with Durant, Green, Russell Westbrook and James Harden off of the bench. Bosh would not only enhance Durant on the floor but he could be a mentor for this young man who had his break through season this year. As much as New York Vinnie would love to see Bosh in Blue and Orange; his chances of contending are far greater with the Thunder than they are with the Knicks.

HoopsWorld

Now, the Thunder wanting Bosh is one thing. Would he want them? Assuming the money is there and Bosh does want to leave Toronto – which I’m still not sold on – there are plenty of reasons to see Oklahoma City as a good fit. For one, they have a nice spot in the starting lineup for him. Whether Green stays or goes there would be no need to even think about moving him to the bench. The team also has a superstar in Kevin Durant to team with much like Miami will have in Dwyane Wade or Chicago with Derrick Rose. Plus, they also have the talented Russell Westbrook and plenty of other young talent. The Texas teams continually get brought up because of Bosh’s roots, but doing a deal with them would force Toronto to take back contracts they may not want (although keep an eye on Dallas and Erick Dampier’s contract, which is like getting cap space in trade since its completely non-guaranteed). Oklahoma City isn’t that far from home, if home is really a factor for him.

For the Raptors the talent and cap relief the Thunder could offer are significantly more than the other options. New York and Miami would have minimal talent they could offer in return – although the Knicks could offer David Lee in a dual sign-and-trade – and the Raptors aren’t going to be far enough under the cap without Bosh to offer anyone more than the Mid-Level Exception (they are committed to $47.5 million without Bosh, plus a lottery pick cap hold and holds for Amir Johnson, Antoine Wright, and Rasho Nesterovic).

In The Bullpen

Given Colangelo’s rudderless direction for the team – which will only get worse if Bosh bolts to the States – he needs to be fired, and the Raptors need to start anew.

The biggest misconception about Colangelo is that he’s a brainy general manager with a forward-thinking view of building basketball rosters. We tend to focus on his successes with Phoenix, such as the risky six-year contract for Steve Nash, which ended up being an absolute bargain, or his selection of Amare Stoudemire in the 2002 draft. But he’s continually put his franchises in a head-lock, even his Suns teams that were a couple breaks away from reaching the NBA Finals.

His biggest weakness has always been on draft night. With the Suns – and this might not be totally his fault, since the team’s owner, Robert Sarver, is apparently cheap enough to run into oncoming traffic for a crumpled twenty – he sent picks to other teams for cash considerations, or traded reputable talent to save cap room. In 2004 he chose Duke alum Luol Deng, whom he traded to Chicago for Jackson Vroman, a future first-round pick, and cash. The next year he selected Nate Robinson and Marcin Gortat, both of whom he traded that day. Neither Deng, Robinson, nor Gortat is a franchise player, to be sure, but all would’ve thrived in the Suns’ hyper, up-tempo offence. It’s this type of decision-making that left the Suns one of two options short of making a fruitful run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Jose Manuel Calderon

After the season ended, Jose Manuel Calderon returned to Villanueva (Badajoz) to be with his family and friends. Among his immediate goals are to finalize the details for the IV Campus Calderón in Cáceres that will be held in late June and to start preparing for the World Cup that will be held in Turkey during the month of September.