Desperate Raptors at yet another crossroads | National Post

When I asked him directly on TSN 1050 Monday whether Casey’s job was in jeopardy, Colangelo said, “No. A change at the top in terms of coaching has not been contemplated at all to date. We think he’s earned the right to see this thing through.”

Raptors’ Amir Johnson gets one-game suspension for throwing mouthguard at ref | National Post

“I guess the ref didn’t let me have the ball so we kind of got into a tug of war,” Johnson said Monday. “No words were really said and he rejected me out of the game and I kind of lost my cool from there.”

Dwane Casey Not In Danger…For Now | RaptorBlog

After all, if the team’s 4-16 start (as of Colangelo’s comments on Sunday. Now, the team is 4-18) isn’t a talent issue, but has more to do with focus and attention to detail, wouldn’t you say that sounds like a coaching issue? There was also a random Colangelo comment about how he hoped Terrence Ross would have got more playing time in the pre-season.

RaptorBlog Radio: Rock Bottom? | RaptorBlog

What’s next for the Raptors? | Toronto Sun

Bottom line is the Raptors are in a mess and whatever the decision-makers — and we’re not even sure where that power lies right now — decide to do, really no one can feel safe at this point.

Is Bob McCown Right On The Toronto Raptors? | Toronto Sports Media

McCown “These guys built this team, they’ve already committed to this group and it’s not working”
Armstrong “what’s the alternative? you are going to promote an assistant…..
McCown “No, I’d promote Butch Carter”

Raptors limp home after dismal road trip | Globe and Mail

After playing 15 of their first 22 games on the road, the Raptors will play five of their next six, and 11 of their next 15, in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre.

Brooklyn at Toronto | CBSSports

Coincidence or not, the Brooklyn Nets are in the midst of their worst stretch of the season while Brook Lopez nurses an injury. The struggling Toronto Raptors are dealing with their own woes, and they’ll be without at least suspended forward Amir Johnson on Wednesday night when each team looks to snap a five-game losing streak in Canada.

Raptors using Bargnani as trade bait |

The Toronto Raptors are reportedly using Andrea Bargnani as trade bait, but no one seems to be interested thus far and there is good reason for that.

Note: Send me your Raptor links

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  • Buschfire

    Bargnani trade bait? lol who is going to want him? We’ll get nothing for him… at least he’ll be gone!

    • lloyd

      a box of hand sanitizer, you can never have enough of it, and the stuff costs money

    • The Truth

      Pretty much, any Bargnani is going to hinge on someone really wanting Jose and I can’t imagine that being the kind of trade that is going to turn this ship around right now (imagine John Lucas being our backup PG first in off the bench…).

  • Me

    Hell I’ll take a Bargs for Charlie V at the moment.

  • Destro

    lol @ the last article…vicious !

  • I do believe that the Raptors’ organizational problems extend far beyond Andrea, Jose and even Colangelo. About 2 years ago, I wrote an article about their brand strategy, or lack thereof. What do you think has really changed? I am curious to hearing your thoughts:

    • Destro

      How does it extend beyond the GM ? The problems with the brand is reflective of the lack of success which you can attribute to Colangelo,i dont see how its “beyond” him…

      IF we were a winning team,organization with winning wouldnt see any of these articles or blogs or after game team meetings and you wouldnt struggle to sign players and keep them here….

      I think the organizational problems begin with the General Manager and his mistakes…

      • Thank you for your answer Destro. I do not believe Colangelo is a successful GM. That said, I think Raptors’ problems cannot be solved only by hiring a new and better GM. Let me try to explain myself…

        Indeed the GM plays a crucial role in shaping a franchise. We can actually envision Colangelo being at the centre of a spider web. However, if we look closely, we’ll realize that in life everything (even sub-atomic particles that are millions of lightyears away!) is interconnected, and that’s is scientifically proven. That particular finding lead business strategist to reconsider how organizations, brands and culture are formed. Today, we know that every brand, every organization operates within a system, that is called the System Theory. We can analyze different parts of the system, but only through enhancing their interaction we can grow the system. Any attempt to maximize “a part” of the system causes the overall value of the system to decrease. Unfortunately, bringing a better GM might not be the silver bullet.

        Going back to the spider web analogy, Brian Colangelo operates within a large system. Again, I don’t think he is successful. But, let’s assume the Raptors fire him today and bring Sam Presti tomorrow. He would have to operate within the same system that Colangelo is working now. He would have to deal with the same ownership group, who’s not as passionate about basketball as let’s say Mark Cuban. My “personal” observation is that the ownership is in this primarily for the money. That is a part of the Raptors System that shapes its GM.

        Another part of the system is Toronto sports fans. The team has yet to win 50 games a season. But, every game is nearly sold out. Despite the lack of success, the franchise is one of the 10 most valuable NBA teams. The mere fact that a franchise can make money while losing games is another building block of the Raptors System and it makes you think of the GM’s performance evolution criteria.

        Then, we have to look at the larger system: Toronto sports culture. Unfortunately, Toronto teams have not been particularly successful for some time. For instance, for the ethos of Lakers is “championship or bust.” That, is not how Toronto sports teams approach their business. The GM has to live in that system too.

        Finally, there is the largest system: the Canadian culture. I write about this topic a lot. To use the correct term, the collective unconscious of Canadians and Americans are different. The dominant “warrior” and “explorer” archetypes that exist in the US is toned down in Canada. Instead, being “part” of the action, not its “vanguard” is more appreciated. For instance, it is a taboo for a Canadian brand to make profit “by any means necessary.” I greatly appreciate that. Community-driven brands are vastly successful in Canada (Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire etc.) That is certainly the opposite in the US, which is another system that the GM has to operate within.

        All of the above, is not an excuse for mediocracy. However, Colangelo is not the first unsuccessful GM of Raptors. People come and go but the storyline stays the same. That is the outcome of the Raptors System.

        Curious to hearing your thoughts.



        • FAQ

          Okay, but according to Chaos Theory, everything is cycling between chaos and order… so the question is are the Raptors still descending further into chaos?  Your model is somewhat static, whereas life is dynamical.

          • Excellent point FAQ. 
            Life is a continuos tug of war between destruction and creation, and organizations are nothing but “living” entities. Chaos Theory states that, even the tug of war has an inherit order that has boundaries. That is precisely what I was referring to when I said: “People come and go but the storyline stays the same.” In the theory, such boundaries are called “strange attractors.” In the business environment, we can call it the organizational culture. In depth psychology they are called “archetypes”, pattern of behavior-story.

            So as you stated, Raptors’ story is dynamic, not static. However, before Colangelo, with Colangelo and after Colangelo (once he gets fired) the storyline does not change much. It just repeats itself. I think the Raptors organization continuously descends to and ascends from chaos, but not much changes, which might be an indicator of the boundaries set by the system that it is in.

            Thanks for bringing up the Chaos Theory!

            • FAQ

              Günter …. thanks for your thanks, and perhaps I didn’t or couldn’t recognize that your analysis was dynamical too…  because we are all getting sucked down into a Big Black Hole and beyond the Event Horizon.  They say you can’t feel getting sucked into a Black Hole until you disintegrate.

              Methinks we are all getting sucked into chaos and the worse is yet to come as the Raptor become a Work Under Destruction.  Perhaps the solution is to collapse the franchise and shift it to Las Vegas …. ya think???

              • No, Raptors belong to Toronto. It’s way too valuable, in the broadest sense of the word, to Canada. Probably, finding a passionate owner is a good starting point!

        • voy

          Gunter, a few observations:

          “the ownership is primarily in this for the money”.  Granted.  However, your point here does not automatically preclude ownership from spending.  when have the raptors ever done anything on the cheap?  Fine, ownership is making money with a losing franchise.  However, I think they are aware they can greatly increase profitability by building a winning team.  I heard the same argument when the teachers had a portion of the maple leafs. “the leafs will never win because the teachers only care about penny pinching and making money”.  one look at the leafs mediocre roster and their overinflated payroll would tell anyone this was not the case. 

          toronto sports culture vs any other sports culture. its alot easier to say “championship or bust” when you have a kobe on your team. the lakers have done an extraordinary job of managing their roster.  I dont think it has anything to do with the sports culture of los angeles vs the sports culture of toronto.  I think it has everything to do with player management.  los angeles have had their fair share of horrible sports teams.

          lastly, how do you reconcile your position raptor “ownership is primarily in this for the money” with the implication being its hindering winning vs “it is taboo for a Canadian brand to make money by any means necessary”.

          thanks for the interesting read.

          • Thanks voy for raising great points.

            It is well documented that Raptors don’t have an issue spending money. However, I think that approach does not bring success for two reasons:

            First, this might sound counterintuitive but too much budget is as harmful as too little. It creates complacency, preventing an organization from learning from its mistakes and searching better ways to do things. It allows the organization to postpone serious decisions, significantly interrupting growth of innovative ideas. 

            Second, I genuinely believe that in life and in business, passion and purpose are prerequisites for success. Toronto is a world-class city and Raptors are the only team in Canada. I think when push comes to shove, any owner can find the necessary funds to create a winning organization, provided that they live and die with basketball. Passion is contagious just as lack of it. When Andrea does not defend and rebound and yet continues to stay in the game, it negatively impact the psych of his teammates. When Lowry plays bulldog defense, DeRozan plays better defense too. That particular example can be scaled up or down to all levels of the Raptors system.

            To your second point, Obviously, “championship or bust” is not unique to LA, where Sterlings’ Clippers had been a disgrace for decades. But, it does exist in Oklahoma and San Antonio too. We have to also keep in mind that Kobes, Duncans and Durants are attracted to that mentality. For instance, recently, Timberwolves and Love are going through a rough patch, which will end up him leaving Minnesota. Seems like some organizations have it, some don’t. 

            Finally, I don’t think the ownership group does anything to harm the community – a taboo, let’s say the way Walmart being a bully, or Investment Banks deceiving people. What I tried to mean is that great Canadian brands have a triple bottom line: commerce, culture and community. There is always a balance, which allows them to be successful wherever they go, because they respect their local communities. The ownership makes money without disrespecting anyone. They simply are not interested in success on the hardwood. That is my take.

        • ghost

          One of the most retarded explanations I’ve heard for the Raptors woes…no, make that the most retarded. Exactly, how does all your BS account for bad draft picks, poor trades and over paying average players. That’s why BC sucks…nothing else. You should learn something about basketball before you try write about it.  

        • FAQ

          HEY… all you T.H.F.’s (Tribal Honking Fans)… see… genius Günter said I, FAQ, made an “excellent point” about the lugubrious Raptors…. and you shmucks thought I wasn’t smart because I don’t spew yesterday’s statistics to predict the future….!!!!!

          THERE IS NO FUTURE based on all yer silly stats … there is only NOW..!!!

        • Destro

          Well i thnk you will see the sellouts start shriveling down to 15000 a night as this season goes on…Alot of people bought tix in the off season thinking this was going to be a decent team now thats it not you’ll see alot of half empty games second half of the season….

          I think a new GM comes in here makes some positive moves it will bring about a new culture here which could breed the winning which would increase the brands value and credibility…All ownership groups want to make money,thats not exclusive tio MLSE…
          I dont think they have inhibited BC from doing anything he has wanted to do or spend wherever he felt he needed too,hes had freedom to do as he pleases for the most part…I think the links all come back to him….

    • The Truth

       Colangelo is both the GM and the President. By holding dual roles he arguably has more control over the entire organization both on and off court than most other GMs in the league. Every player on this roster with the exception of Jose is someone he brought in, same with everyone on the coaching staff.

      If you can’t hold him responsible for where we are at after 7 years then I don’t see who you can hold responsible.

      • 2damkule

        i thought stefanski was the ‘GM’ & BC the pres?  not that it really matters, since we know who’s making the decisions.

        technically, although jose wasn’t acquired by BC, he was retained (at an exhorbitant pricetag) by BC.  so jose is most certainly a ‘BC guy.’  his fingerprints are on every fibre of the raptors…pretty sure that embry is the only guy who pre-dates him, and a) i’m not sure he’s even around anymore, and b) if he is, he has zero influence (unfortunately).

        • The Truth

           BC holds both positions (GM and President), Stefanski’s title is assistant GM or something like that.

          • 2damkule

            thanks, i stand corrected…stefanski is ‘exec. VP of bball ops’

            i can only guess that BC is up for another promotion, as this is what happens when the team he’s built sucks.

  • 511

    Surprised Amir only got one game. Losing the seventy three grand he’d have been paid for the game has to sting but … might’ve got off easy. Wonder if Stern had a moment where he thought something like, “yaa … we’ve been screwin that team over pretty bad for a while now; hard to blame one of their players TOO much for losing it. And the ref was a dumber shit than Johnson was for not letting him have the ball for a second or two. One game.” 

  • NyAlesund

    Will AB play tonight?

    • lloyd

      no he has a bubu, maybe if Bryan blows it better

      • tweed8

         Needs to rub some A535 on that crap and man.  Ugh. Would trade the guy for a pack of gum for each player and staff member.

      • NyAlesund

         Or worst is it officially start the tanking?

        • FAQ

          Are we going from a deevelopment team to a deestruction team now..??!!!!

  • Destro

    Hoopshype article on the NBA softest players whos featured first with picture at the top of article lol

    YEP you guessed it our very own Andrea Bargnani…


  • voy

    ha. bob mccowan. the dude is as oblivious to basketball as he is to that horrible 1970’s lesbian haircut he’s been rocking forever.

    “they built this team…” is the same thing as looking at a builder building a house with only the foundation laid and a few bricks on the main floor and then saying “this looks nothing like a house. fire the builder, smash everything and start again”.  the next builder, is going to, or should anyway, do the exact same thing – go with youth and suffer through a few horrible seasons.

    for the sake of the future, I’d rather have what he have now rather than thinking we have a mansion with a starting frontcourt of o’neal, bosh and bargs, or bosh bargs and turk.

    • voy

      just to clarify, i am not advocating to keep bc or to fire bc.  i’m just saying the argument “we should fire bc because this team as a finished product (that bc “built”) is not working” is ridiculous.  well, no kidding its not working. its not a finished product. 

      in retrospect, trading bargs when bosh left, 2 seasons ago, could have been a potentially great move, in my opinion.  however, the same disatisfaction we have now, with the team not being able to compete most nights on a talent level, is the exact same disatisfaction we would have had back then with the team minus bargs.

      I’m not saying we shouldn’t have traded him back then, but I am saying its important to recognise that properly rebuilding, 90% of the time, involves several horrible seasons.  its not like if we would’ve traded bargs back then we could have escaped the rock bottom that we are facing now.  we just would have experienced that rock bottom earlier.  my opinions.

      • Nilanka15

        There’s a part of me that truly believes Colangelo thought this was a finished product (with some room for individual skill development internally).  Why else go after Nash?

        • voy

          thats interesting. i’d be curious to hear bc’s thoughts on what he thought the ceiling was for the raps if they had signed nash.   

      • 2damkule

        so, you’d be comfortable letting BC ‘fix’ yet another mess he’s made?  when there is but a single constant in a 5-year process that has returned almost no positive results, then maybe – JUST MAYBE – it is that one constant that is at fault, and is the first thing that needs to change before yet another fix is undertaken.

        look, stefanski ain’t anyone’s wet dream of a GM, but at this point, it really would be next to impossible to find someone to replace BC who could possibly do a worse job.  but in no way do i want the guy responsible for creating the problems be responsible for fixing them.  seriously, holy fuck.

        • voy

          i’m not advocating keeping bc around.  i dont really care who the gm is as long as they commit to the rebuild process. if there is someone ownership thinks can do a better job with the rebuild, then yeah, I have no problem letting bc go. 

          the way I look at it is the end result of bc’s previous efforts resulted in what he thought was a completed product featuring bosh, bargs and hedo.  an obvious fail.  if you wanted to fire bc then I wouldn’t have necessarily objected. 

          however, your thesis it’d be next to impossible to find someone who could do a worse job (since bosh left?) I dont agree with.  to fire bc because the team is bombing out during the first 1/4 of the season, in year 3 of a rebuild where his recent draft picks all seem to be useful players, I think is definately not a no brainer. 

          this being said, I’m not pounding the drum for bc.  if we can find someone who can draft better than bc has, give out better contracts, manage the salary cap and commit to the rebuild, I’ll be all for that guy.

      • The Truth

        The problem is that at this point we have realistically dragged it out and turned “several” horrible seasons into 2 so far, 1 in progress, and least 1 probably 2 more following it before there is any chance of having a respectable roster again.

        I’m with Nilanka on this I think BC seriously thought we could make the playoffs this year, hence the big play for Nash, the trade of a first round pick for Lowry, and the slightly overpaid contract Fields got.

        None of those moves make sense if you are serious about sucking it up, playing out the horrible seasons, and rebuilding as pieces become available because we now have very little of that “flexibility” BC raves about as a result of these moves.

    • Theswirsky

      oblivious to basketball?  why because he doesn’t think the way you do?

      He has been stating for a very long time the path this team was taking was wrong.  For years he’s been talking about moving Bargnani and Colangelo needing to make major changes to this team.  How this team overrated Bargnani and they weren’t going anywhere with him playing a key role on the team.

      Turns out he was right (not really a suprise to some of us).  He’s not the oblvious one.

      • voy

        i can cherry pick the worst stock picker’s portfolio and say he is a financial genuis, too. but I dont.

        • Theswirsky

          Yeah because its so much more effective to make a broad statement based on not agreeing with a single opinion?

          Thats like thinking Warren Buffet is the worst stock picker because you don’t like coke.

          • voy

            the value I place on bob mccowan’s basketball opinions come from years of listening to him, not because of any one thing he said correctly or incorreclty. 

            just because I may not agree, I’m not going to disregard someone who thinks lebron had no 4th quarter.  just because I dont think so, I’m not going to stop listening to someone because they thought keon clark was a potential all star.  I’m not going to devalue someone’s opinion if they think bargs is the worst #1 pick in the history of the nba.  however, if all these thoughts, and more, are coming from the same guy, i gotta think he either knows little about basketball or he likes to put forward inflammatory arguments to spark interest in his show. 

            • Theswirsky

              what was that about ‘cherry picking’?  Oooops…….

              • Theswirsky

                oh I was also wondering if you could quote some of that stuff you claim?

                I’ve never once heard him say Bargs is the worst #1 pick in history.  In fact I’ve hear him say something very different.  That he was a bad pick, but there have been worse.

                But ofcourse leave it a fan boy to create a straw man argument to support their otherwise unsupportable thoughts.

                • voy

                  “fan boy”. real cool. 

                  I guess you must have accidentally missed the part where I said from years of listening to mccowan. the items I pointed out were just a sample group of his large body of opinions.  I thought that was pretty evident.  but I guess if you’re trying to defend mccowan as not oblivious to basketball you need to grasp at anyting, right?

                  well thats the thing with mccowan, he’ll say whatever he thinks he needs to in order to provoke debate.  I dont blame the guy, but I’m certainly not going to reference what he says as a knowledgeable opinion.  if you want to then go ahead.  maybe you can voice some of damien cox’s opinions on ball as well.

                  I must have missed that segment where bob said bargs was not the worst #1 pick in nba history.  I’ not worried though.  If I wait another few months I’m sure he’ll say it again.  Then backtrack.  And say it again.

                • Theswirsky

                  I’ve been listening to McCowan for years to, and I’ve never heard that stuff out of him you claim.  Definetely never that Bargnani was the “worst #1 pick in NBA history”. 

                  Also pretty funny how you classify it as a sample group of his large body of opinions, which when I did the same you claimed its ‘cherry picking’.  Rather covient isn’t it?

                  Difference is I didn’t exagerate them to fit a flawed initial argument that he is ‘oblivious’.

                • hater

                  why dont u just admit that you are bob mccowan you dumb fk. talk some bball for once 

                • voy

                  you did the same? what were the examples of his astute basketball observations you shared with us? you only mentioned that mccowan wanted to move bargs years ago.  what other nba insights has be impressed you with that you recall?  Dont worry I wont ask if you’ve recorded those comments on a memory stick or have the transcripts of those shows.

                  I’m not interested in exaggerating any of my references to strengthen my argument.  Its really not that important to me that I have to warp the narrative to favour my point of view.  If you choose not to believe me, good for you.  if you think mccowan has note-worthy basketball insights then I’m happy for you. I’m sure you’re not the only one.  there are lots of hockey fans out there 😉 

                  enjoy the game.

  • lloyd

    We need Donald Trump to say a couple of words to Bryan.

  • Brian Gerstein

    I commented here: Is Bob McCown Right On The Toronto Raptors? 

  • KJ-B

    -7 out indefinitely.  Happy for him in one sense, he won’t have to face the ACC crowd of boos–got spared some real ugliness… Adversely Special Ed was born to ball and his pops played in the L for like 10 years, so he saw it all before he got to the Association… GO RAPS!!!

    No Lowry, No -7 this could be a W…save for Amir, who’ll be the 3rd big–curious to see if the NBDL/the street has some bigs that can board/block??

  • FAQ

    From hoopshype:– “Lakers’ top PG trade target, of course, has long been Pau’s pal Jose Calderon. But Raps, to this point, want to attach Jose to a bigger deal.”

    Okay… but what do LAC have to offer for Jose… Antwan?  Now if Bargs could be traded to Dallas for Vince + fillers…..!!!!!!

    • WhiteVegas

      LAL could offer Blake, Hill, and Clark for Calderon after December 15th.
      Blake is a nice backup PG and Hill is a nice player, although another PF (do we have enough of those yet?).

      If we did this Bargs and possibly Ed/Amir would have to be moved. Or maybe bring in a 3rd team who wants Hill in exchange for a draft pick.

    • 511

      Vincenhonker. ‘Scuse my german. 

      • FAQ

        But Vince recently said “er liebt” (Ger.- he loves) Toronto… which is a signal that he wouldn’t mind coming back home to his beloved Raptors and play a couple more years and to help the Raptors  in their time of need.  Vince’s player contract with Dallas ends after this season, and he may not be invited back.What think you??? 

        • 511

          What Vince said, I believe, was more along the lines of, if it so happened that he found himself back in Toronto, that’d be fine and dandy. If there was a signal being sent up there, it was more an attempt to release, finally, some of the sour air in the balloon that the ‘VC SUCKS!’ crowd tows in to the ACC every time he shows up. 

          He’s not sitting by his phone waiting for a call from Raptor-land. And I don’t think anyone here is trying to figure out a way to get him back. He’s having a good season last I saw, in Dallas, yes, but … wayyyy too much water under the bridge. And really, what would be the point other than a corny Hollywood end-to-his-career that few except himself would even care about? 

          Raptors ain’t goin to Vegas … and VC ain’t (likely) coming back to the Raptors. But … you know, don’t let that stop you from throwing stuff at the wall. Always kind of fun. 

        • Jebediah

          You liberal scum, it would be foolish to think Vince would come here or be welcomed back by any fan, whether or not of the tribal honking variety. I make doltish statements routinely because I am an old age pensioner that cannot contain his own bowel movements, but what is your excuse?

          • 511

            FAQ’s a long-time RR comedian. And he knows his hoops more than he lets on. 

            • 511

              Edit (meant to say) -> ‘he knows his hoops more than he might let on, at times’. 

  • NyAlesund

    BC reminds me Thomas (when he was Knicks GM). A disaster.