Dave Feschuk, the only real reporter at the Toronto Star, has come up with a bit of a scoop here. He’s claiming that Colangelo’s extension is being blocked by one man and one man only – Glen Silvestri. Who? Glen Silvestri. Read the full article to learn more about him, but he’s apparently the only hope for Colangelo critics who want to see the ex-Suns GM out the door.
It’s unclear whether Silvestri’s opposition of Colangelo is basketball-based or rooted in finances (he manages billions of dollars for the OTPP), what is clear is that he feels strongly enough about this that he’s willing to hold up the whole process that pretty much everyone else is in favor of. Personally, I think Bryan Colangelo’s team-building philosophy is very ad-hoc, lacking any sort of founded planning, and heavily weighted towards the offensive side of the ball, His infatuation with building around Chris Bosh cost this franchise precious years and draft picks, and his forays into the free-agent market have been vastly disappointing, I can’t think of another GM who had traded away his prime acquisitions so frequently. To some that might spell dynamic and an ability to react, to me it’s plain old confusion and trying to hit a moving target that you’re not even sure exists.
Here’s the relevant excerpt:
If Tanenbaum and his fellow directors support Colangelo — “Bryan has a plan and we back his plan as a board,” Tanenbaum said — why has Colangelo’s contract, which expires June 30, not been extended?
It’s because there remains at least one anti-Colangelo voice among the power brokers. That voice, multiple club sources confirm, belongs to Glen Silvestri, a representative of the organization’s majority owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Since the board has seven seats, three of which belong to Teachers’, and since another one of its members, CEO Richard Peddie, is essentially duty-bound to the majority owner, Colangelo isn’t likely to ink a new contract unless Silvestri comes around.
What, exactly, is behind Silvestri’s opposition to Colangelo’s continued presence in Toronto? That’s difficult to say since Silvestri, a chartered accountant who manages billions of dollars worth of the pension plan’s funds, referred all questions to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Raptors and Maple Leafs, among many things.
Peddie, the MLSE CEO, refused comment on board matters. As for the status of Colangelo’s contract? Said Peddie: “There’s nothing to report.”
That kind of silence has been typical of the pension plan’s representatives, and it leaves those who care to parse hearsay. Sources say Silvestri, who took a seat on the board last year, has emerged as an atypically opinionated presence around the Air Canada Centre. Along with criticizing Colangelo’s record as GM, Silvestri, one league source said, has also been heard to deride Colangelo’s career as the product of nepotism. Colangelo’s father, Jerry, was owner of the Phoenix Suns when Bryan became that franchise’s general manager in 1995.
Bryan Colangelo, who was GM in Phoenix for 11 years before he succeeded Rob Babcock in Toronto in February 2006, has had success outside his father’s shadow. He was named the NBA’s executive of the year in Toronto in 2007 for inheriting a 27-win team and turning them into the 47-win champions of the Atlantic Division.
He has made plenty of missteps in the wake of that triumph, to be sure. The Jermaine O’Neal deal, which insiders pin on Colangelo’s wish to assuage then-coach Sam Mitchell’s constant harping for more defence and rebounding, was a miss. Ditto Hedo Turkoglu. And Colangelo’s call-out of Chris Bosh, in the wake of Bosh’s exit to Miami last summer, raised eyebrows among those concerned about the team’s ability to land and retain free agents.
Here’s A-Dub’s take on this:
Thank you Glen Silvestri. There is a god. The accusations of nepotism are gold. How much of Phoenix’s success can attributed to Daddy Colangelo? Bryan started off with tons of cap space, a budding superstar and a 1st overall pick and look where we are now. I guess this clears up the confusion as to why Cloangelo hasn’t been extended despite all of Peddie’s sound bytes stating that it’s a done deal. For those who say that Colangelo has made MLSE a lot of money, what exactly has he done? Doesn’t having a successful team usually make you more money? There are good basketball minds out there, look at at Alex Anthopolous, who knew of him a coupel of years ago? We need a fresh face that is in tune with today’s NBA that will embrace concepts like advanced stats and a defense-first philosophy.