I listed to the new guy on the radio, did a little research about what he’s done in LA, checked his relationship with Jeanie Buss, and have concluded that Bryan Colangelo’s days in Toronto are done. With the Leafs making the playoffs and bringing some genuine enthusiasm to the morose Toronto sports scene, the Raptors under Colangelo are now ominously standing out to be the missteps that Tim Leiweke is being brought here to correct:

The Raptors, for me, are the #1 reason this was an intriguing opportunity because I think we can change that team and we will change that team. I’m an NBA guy by heart, I love hockey and I certainly love soccer, but for me the first task at hand is working with the organization to bring not only a focus, but an energy to the Raptors, but a sense of enthusiasm and environment where people believe this will be one of the great organizations in the NBA for a long time to come.

There’s been no support of Colangelo from the board and the silence pertaining to his option is clear indication that they haven’t bought what was being sold by the Rudy Gay trade. Maybe they would’ve sign on, but under Leiweki, a man who tends to see things for what they are, and has genuinely high standards for the teams he oversees, Colangelo’s act wears too thin and there are simply too many sins in the resume for Leiweke to forgive. The Phil Jackson rumor is a nice one to mull over, and if that happens it would bring real credibility to the scene. I say “real” because that’s what Colangelo’s hire was supposed to bring, however that didn’t last past the honeymoon period.

For me, aiming for Phil Jackson speaks to being serious about winning, and offering the Zen Master the highest position available to a basketball executive is something that will, at the very least, peak his interest. Whether he bites or not is a different matter. Of course, maybe this is just a mummer’s farce and a publicity ploy by the Raptors, who find themselves paling in comparison to the blue and white. If that is the case, then **** whoever started this rumor.

Let me break it down in simple terms. The salary cap and luxury tax is a nice thing and brings a bit of parity to the NBA, but success in the league is ultimately built on whether your’e a financial have or have not; the Raptors find themselves to be perennial losers and its not for lack of financial power and spending:

This organization has greater resources than any organization in the NHL and NBA today. This is amazing what we have with Bell and Rogers, and their commitment to winning, and to have Larry and his reputation, I think that’s an amazing combination. Now our job is set a tone and an environment where everyone knows we’re going to get up everyday and say, ‘What can we do today to get ourselves closer to three championships?’

Toronto’s there, I think the frustration comes from when you don’t spend [the money] well.

The ratio of being top third in salary and bottom third in winning is a serious matter which speaks to mismanagement more than anything. After all, you have to spend the money in the right place and guys like Jason Kapono, Andrea Bargnani, Linas Kleiza, Jarrett Jack and Landry Fields hardly speak to smart purchases. This is a damning track record that will be tough for Leiweke to look past.

Bryan Colangelo’s been on the record as saying that you have to overpay for players to come to Toronto and that, “if there’s a chance to play in one of the major markets in the States, like Chicago, LA, I don’t think we’ll ever win that”. This is at odds with Leiweke’s thinking that Toronto, as a package, should be easy to sell to NBA players. To me, this is a major disconnect. I’ve long maintained that the lack of winning is the problem with players not wanting to stay or come to Toronto, not the city or the taxes, the latter even Colangelo acknowledged isn’t an issue. As Leiweke said:

I do not accept the fact that players want to leave Toronto or won’t come to Toronto, and we’re going to change that culture.

The Leafs are an overachieving young team and TFC just finished making sweeping changes (hired a new head coach and GM), which makes the Raptors situation the most interesting. Keep in mind that this hiring has a lot to do with changing the intangibles around these parts. I’m hearing terms like culture, mentality, and approach, and it’s difficult to change that without a cleaning of the leadership up-top. Now, Bryan Colangelo is supposed to make a presentation to the MLSE regarding the state and future of the Raptors, which is basically, and embarrassingly, a job interview. A lame duck GM (and coach?) who are being made to wait by the ownership by not having this resolved during the season speaks to the lack of confidence MLSE has in Colangelo.

Leiweke doesn’t start till June 30th but don’t be fooled into thinking that he won’t have a complete say in Bryan Colangelo, especially given how he’s an NBA guy more than anything. It’s an exciting time, mostly because change is exciting.

Here’s the interview which aired on TSN 1050, I’ve cut the clip so it’s just Leiweke’s part:

Share this:
  • Milesboyer

    Luxury tax here we come! So who are the top candidates to replace Colangelo (other than P. Jackson and his small chance of coming)? I still think there’s a good chance Leiweke lets BC stay for his final year just to have an opportunity to feel things out.

    • Moby Colangelo

      I wouldn’t mind breaking up with BC nor would I mind keeping him for 1 final season anything lower than the 6 seed is a failure. To be honest I don’t care what (mainly Tim W. ) says about the core of Derozan (hopefully improved somehow next year), Gay (yes, unfortunely each are overpaid by a good 30%) and JV (maybe KLOW too) … I would like BC gone but a new GM would rip what we have apart obviously, which would be result in the city famous REBUILDING stage which we all hate. But yeah a shot at PJ is like a no duh situation …

      • raptorspoo

        Rip it apart!

        Rebuilding? That was a pathetic attempt at rebuilding considering OKC has amassed a similar talent level of youngsters in the past 1~2 years (including our draft pick this year).

        Bring on PJ (if we can) and start from the bottom again (properly this time).

        I can learn to have hope again!

      • robertparrish00

        Iknow this is about BC and MLSE but I don’t think anyone has bitched about Casey yet on this post, so let me. I don’t mind the starting core either, I just don’t like 3/5 of their salaries. The second unit is a disgrace and Casey’s over reliance on the 2nd unit loses games.

    • Copywryter

      Two showy, alpha salesmen probably cannot exist in the same org. I don’t see these two co-existing.

      • FLUXLAND

        I hear ya, but this may be a two headed sales monster… MLSE is salivating, to say the least. I can see them loving each other.

  • Marz

    lol, does no one else find it hilarious that these are the same marketing terms bandied about by MLSE, the media, and bloggers when Colangelo arrived?

    I’m not saying Tim Leiweke isn’t the answer to the Raptor’s problems. But I’m also not saying he is. Tim can talk the talk as well as Colangelo, Babcock, or Grunwald before him, but it won’t matter. Until I see results, I’ll reserve judgement and excitement. Don’t buy into the hype, because right now that’s all it is.

    • thead

      I would say the difference is a real track record in winning

      • DumbassKicker
      • John

        So are you saying that Colangelo’s team weren’t winners? You may want to do a little research before spouting off.

        • Two things. Colangelo’s record with the Raptors has been poor. That can’t be disputed. What he did in Phoenix may have been due to better support staff, maybe his father. We don’t know. All we do know is that he hasn’t been able to achieve remotely the same success in Toronto as he did in Phoenix.

          And if you don’t mind, the “spouting off” comment is uncalled for. We’re trying clean up the comments section and things like that don’t help.

          • Marz

            You can’t simply dismiss Colangelo’s success in Phoenix like that. If his support staff and father were in Toronto, do you think that things would be that different? Hardly.

            • Matt52

              I think there is a big difference. I am not going to take the success Colangelo had in PHX away from him. For years PHX competed with the best in the league and Colangelo was a big part of building that. However, Leiweke’s track record is championships. Now he wasn’t the primary owner nor was he the GM but he was head of the minority ownership group and did have very close ties with Buss/West.

              I’m tired of Colangelo making excuses and pointing the finger at everyone but himself. I’m also tired of limiting myself to just making the playoffs. I’m happy to hear championship talk.

              • Marz

                My point is that, just as the situations in Phoenix and Toronto are different, so too are the situations different for Leiweke.

                So be as happy as you want, he still hasn’t delivered anything and I don’t think his track record provides any certainty for us on him being better than Colangelo.

              • DumbassKicker

                “However, Leiweke’s track record is championships”

                He’s had little or nothing to do with personnel or team management of a single championship. He’s an entertainment facilities management/marketing guy.

              • smh

                “However, Leiweke’s track record is championships.”

                biggest point of comparison there is.

              • FLUXLAND

                What success in PHX? Please, enlighten me.

                • Sam Holako

                  Come on, Flux; they were always a win or two away from the finals for a few years there…

                • FLUXLAND

                  Sam, that was one year, right? How many first round exits and how many years of no playoffs during his time there, after he took over for the old man. How many coaching changes? Take a look.. carbon copy of what you see in TO, essentially.

                • DumbassKicker

                  Not accurate/fair there Flux. 2004/5– lost to the ultimate champ Spurs in conf. finals. 2005/6– lose conf. finals to Dallas. Though BC had moved to Toronto, the team he put together in 2006/7 took out Lakers in 5, were tied with Spurs 2-2 when Horry went all pucks on Nash, the NBA suspends Amare and Diaw for stepping over the sideline, and we have no idea if they would have got further, but they got jobbed. That was a heck of a team, man. Just ask the Lakers who got knocked out by them in the first round twice over those 3 years.

                • FLUXLAND

                  (Let my just say I appreciate a comment from you that doesn’t involve throwing around jabs)

                  I’m not dismissing what you are saying, and I do remember the suspension fiasco very well – Nash asked Cuban point blank if the NBA was fixed,after that. As far as the Lakshow getting knocked out the 1st round, we should probably take a look at those rosters, no? Do the names Slava,Kwame, Divac or Radmanovic mean anything? : )

                  That being said, you are ignoring that BC became GM in 1995 and his 11 year tenure
                  yielded a 452-336/.574 record, consisting of:

                  2 times of no playoffs
                  5 times losing in the 1st round
                  2 times out in the 2nd round
                  2 times out in the 3rd round.

                  So, essentially 7 out of 11 times his teams didn’t make it past the 1st round. That is 60 %, accurate and fair.

                  And you are bringing up 2004 as the 1st sign of some kind of competence; while the cold hard truth is that claims of his “success” in PHX are grossly overstated. Now, add his “success” in Toronto to that record and I completely fail to understand why anyone feels his “plan” must be seen through. That is simply ignorant and not fair

            • Yes, he doesn’t have the support staff and his father in Toronto, does he? And it could be he was made to look better than he actually was because he wasn’t as responsible as we originally thought.

          • Dan

            I would also say Steve Nash and Jason Kidd in their primes can help make many gm’s look better then they actually are by making the game easier for everyone else. The two of them made most of bryans moves all look like steals.

          • Guy

            I think what’s uncalled for is the ‘Hall Monitor’ approach you seem to be trying to enforce all on your own. I’ve seen other bloggers (Arsenalist, Holako, etc) get ripped for some of their opinions without them resorting to the finger wagging you’ve adopted.

            The people on this site are passionate about the Raptors & there will be times when that passion is expressed in colorful terms. Confrontational terms. And that’s okay. I’m very confident that every person that has posted here would climb all over anyone that truly crosses the line. My advice to anyone that’s actually offended by the phrase ‘spouting off’ would be to toughen up or go somewhere else because that’s a pretty tame expression.

            While you may think you’re cleaning things up, in my opinion, you’re over-stepping your bounds. If you want to play the Comments Cop, do it on your own ‘The Picket Fence’ blog.

            • I think mature people don’t need to resort to insults to get their point across. If you’re not mature enough to be able to voice your opinion without insulting the other person, then you’re not welcome to do it here.

              As I said in another comment, when I was brought on board here, there was some discussion about the comments section and how everyone felt it needed to be cleaned up. Since I didn’t mind doing it, I decided to do it. If you feel I’m overstepping my bounds, then you may take it up with Blake or Arsenalist. Most people seem to be able to communicate, whether passionate or not, without insulting.

              • DumbassKicker

                This comments section was way out of hand at times. No question about that. But the extremes, dude. Using the term “spouting off” is too immature or offensive for this board? Really? You gotta be kidding. I had something pretty damn tame deleted also. Sheeeesh, clean-up is one thing, but this isn’t the 1840’s and your name isn’t Joseph Smith is it? Extremism seldom serves a good purpose, including in either comment moderation or basketball analysis.

                • I may be going overboard right now in order to make a point and try and push things the other way. I’m simply asking people to be more respectful of one another. Behave more as if the person they are speaking to is standing in front of them. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

                  Quite frankly, I’d recommend rereading a lot of your own comments. I’ve stopped replying to yours because the tone of most of your comments is rather antagonistic. You complain that I don’t accept other people’s opinions, but you really need to look in the mirror. There’s barely a comment you leave that doesn’t take a veiled shot at the person you’re responding to. I don’t understand how you don’t see that.

                • DumbassKicker

                  Taking a shot at an opinion and/or the roots of that opinion, to expose flaws is what discussion is about in most circles. One doesn’t learn/grow from sitting around the campfire with only people that agree with you, singing Kumbaya. Yes, civility should be exercised, but it appears the only griping you wish to allow is griping against the team, as you do yourself every day. I see nothing wrong with confronting people about their opinions and “facts” through challenges. At least for those who wish to expand their minds, challenge and balance in a discussion beats kumbaya every day.

                  That being said, one problem I have, and it seems others do as well, is when and where you choose to draw the line. You deleted a comment that simply referred to “spouting off”, yet:
                  1. You tell people that are trying to express an optimistic view, that they’re unrealistic. That’s not personal?
                  2. You allow, from someone who agrees with your views:
                  “you’re drinking the kool-aid”
                  “you can sell them poop on a stick and they’d be happy.”
                  “Do you ever provide anything of value here?”
                  “you don’t know anything about basketball.”

                  Point is, where exactly are you drawing this line of censorship (always a slippery slope) and are you drawing it consistently, regardless of whether people support your opinions or not.

                • If you don’t understand the difference between civility and discussion, I really have no clue what to say. I enjoy when people disagree with my opinion because I enjoy discussion.

                  You seem to think I am favouring comments that agree with my opinion, and that’s not true. I’ve deleted comments that have agreed and disagreed with me because they did so with personal insults. Do I see every line in every comment? No. Sometimes I scan and I miss. As for comments like “drinking kool-aid” etc, I’ve let a lot of similar comments from you go without comment.

                  I don’t know why you’re up in arms about this. The comments are being moderated after not being moderated. Lots of comment sections are moderated, just as lots of forums are moderated. How hard is it to have some civility when commenting? Is it really that difficult for you?

              • Guy

                That’s one of the most hypocritical, hilarious things I’ve read on this site…

                I think mature people don’t need to resort to insults to get their point across.’

                You’re now trying to pass yourself off as some sort of authority on political correctness but, by posting that statement, have identified yourself as immature because virtually every article you write is filled with criticism. And whether you care to admit it or not, criticism is a form of insult. The number of comments you’ve posted ripping Colagelo, Bargnani, etc is countless. But why do I get the feeling you’d exclude yourself from any form of immaturity.

                I’ll simply reiterate what I’ve expressed several times… you are not the authority on what is or is not mature & I find it quite distasteful & insulting that you would pass yourself off as a moral authority over everyone else. It’s an arrogant stance to take, & arrogance is another form of insult.

                If you want & expect this site to be some conducted like some sort of bible study, you’re seriously mistaken.

                • DumbassKicker

                  That assumed “moral authority” falls right in line with the basketball authority arrogance toward, among other things that differ from his views, an optimist’s view as “unrealistic”. Unreal. Somehow he feels that me saying “he needs to get over himself” (which was quickly deleted), is far worse than the condescending paragraph ending in “Is it really that difficult for you?” that he just laid on me.

        • smh

          Yes. They weren’t winners. None of Brian Colangelo’s teams won a championship. None. You may want to check that. The teams that Tim has been part of have won championships. The Lakers, King, and Galaxy. Go ahead and research that.

          • DumbassKicker

            And what were his responsibilities for those teams? Like did he have ANYTHING to do with those championships? I believe his responsibilities were totally on the BUSINESS side, but enlighten us.

  • Slick

    I find these articles hilarious considering know one knows anything about leiweke

    • Right Clique

      Welcome to the internet.

    • Why does one need to know anything about to write an open letter to him? Is there something in the article that would necessitate knowing anything about him?

      And I do know a little about him. I know he worked in the T-Wolves and Nuggets front office. I know he ran AEG for a number of years and most of the sports franchises under his control won Championships during that time. And I know he’s got the same first name as I do.

      • DumbassKicker

        Everyone knows you like to toot your own horn (sheesh, it seems this place is becoming your marketing tool for your own blog site), but this isn’t your open letter entry that people are responding to.

        As far as working with the T-Wolves and Nuggets, you do realize that both of those positions had nothing to do with managing the team. In both cases, he was hired to market the team increase attendance (didn’t bring any championships there, now did he), just like his AEG responsibilities. I’m finding this hilarious. I want him to bring something new to the Raps as much as anyone else, but so much of the bitching that goes on about BC is that he’s a salesman, yet people are now so excited about getting a better salesman. Funny as hell.

        • FLUXLAND

          HA! Something we agree on.

          This guy is a salesman, that is all.

      • Jamshid

        Tim, You can delete my posts as much as you want, but it will not change the fact about you !!

        • MelanieInTheMorn

          Lol ever since this guy returned back to this blog and been given mod powers he’s been deleting posts and its just clearly obvious. I can’t remember the last time comments on this blog were deleted and moderated…. oh wait THEY NEVER HAVE!!! The problem with Timmy here is that he literally takes every argument to the heart and has this obsessive compulsive disorder to prove his point is correct. Isn’t it enough to just say your point and leave it at that? Sure a little back and forth is great but I’m sure nearly everyone here will agree we don’t want to be reading a lifestory in the comments.

          Anyways one can only hope.

          • If you think I’m deleting comments that disagree with me, you just need to read a few to realize that’s not true. I delete ANY comments that personally insult anyone or are simply rude and immature, whether that person disagrees with me or not.

            Cleaning up the comments section was something we discussed when I was brought on board because no one was happy with them but didn’t really want to take on the task. The comment section had become devoid of intelligent conversation and resembled the Youtube comments. If you’re complaining that your comments are being deleted, maybe that’s a hint that you need to clean up your comments.

            • Guy

              After reading the number of comments lambasting you, it’s seems safe to say a number of people find your comments distasteful. Would those people be justified in asking to have your postings deleted? Using your logic, they absolutely would but I doubt you’d consider it.

              The point I’d like to make clear is this…. you are not an authority on what is or is not acceptable. Deleting comments based on your own views is tantamount to censorship & that is far more offensive than any comment I’ve read on this site.

              • The fact that I was given the power to moderate the comment section pretty much says that I am, in fact, the authority on what is and what is not acceptable here. if you don’t like that, you are free to go elsewhere to leave comments.

                If you can point to any comments I’ve deleted that you felt shouldn’t have been, you are free to bring them to my attention. As far as I know none of your comments have been deleted, so you seem to be complaining about comments I deleted that you’ve never seen.

                The fact is that reading the comments section here has been like, in my own words, “wading waist high into a cesspool of schoolyard-level taunting and insults”, and none of the other contributors were happy with it either. Maybe you enjoy that sort of environment, but I don’t think it leads to intelligent conversation, which is what I would like to see on this site. And it scares a lot of people away who might contribute to intelligent conversation.

                Is it really too much to ask for people to behave respectfully towards one another? Are you really complaining that I’m asking you to do that?

                • Guy

                  The first sentence of your response is as fine an example as there is of how this ‘controversy’, if you want to call it that, has come about.

                  “I am, in fact, the authority on what is and what is not acceptable here”

                  I cannot adequately express how offensive & arrogant I find that comment to be because if I do, you’ll delete the comment. This whole thing was nowhere near as prevalent until you re-appeared on this site. Simply put, by expressing yourself the way you do, you rub some people the wrong way. No two-ways about it. What makes it even worse, is you’ve now done what seemed impossible. You’ve put yourself on an even higher pedestal by telling everyone, especially those you’ve ticked off, they can only respond in a manner dictated by you. It’s unbelievably ridiculous.

                  Whether I’ve had or seen any deleted comments is irrelevant. What is relevant is that you have deleted some. It’s censorship. You keep making reference to ‘intelligent conversation’, but are under the false assumption intelligence can only be expressed your way.

                  In my opinion, the quality of this site has fallen since you re-emerged. I used to follow a different site, RaptorsHQ, but stopped because of you. Seems that will happen again here. And it’s really too bad.

  • Slick

    Bc is staying get over it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • “There’s been no support of Colangelo from the board”

    You should have stopped right there.

    prior to BC, MLSE lost Vince because they choose not to spend the money to be a contender. Bosh left because he knew the Raptors would never spend the money to be a contender – that’s not on BC. Jay Traino was the head coach because BC couldn’t spend the money to get an experienced head coach.

    Leiweke’s challenge is to figure out what Colangelo would have done if MLSE wasn’t so cheap and he could have spent into the luxury tax and hired proven head coaches.

    It won’t be easy.

    The next GM of the Raptors will have the support of the Board because the Board will do what Leiweke tells them to (or Leiweke will just pack up anf leave)

    • arsenalist

      Support from the board regarding his extension is what is meant there.

  • By the way – Leiweke has already started – it just doesn’t start full time until June 30th – but he is already working for MLSE and he’s working on the Raptors first.

  • Slick

    What they need to get for a second unit. The starting five now played really well according to nba stats. I don’t really care for stats to much. Especially the ones that hate on demar and is shorting percentages. Just take a look at other top scorers around the league and that’s enough said. Lol. But your post are great wrote about players raptors should aquire.

    • rapturd

      “Shorting percentages” not sure if you meant it but good nontheless

  • Statement

    “lame duck GM (and coach?) who are being made to wait by the ownership by not having this resolved during the season speaks to the lack of confidence MLSE has in Colangelo.”
    Both of those parties mutually agreed to put off talks until the offseason, according to Colangelo.

    • DumbassKicker

      A prime example of the imaginary world of RR vs the real world.

    • root_cause

      The Raptors off-season is here. This is definitely a “made to wait” situation, as also mentioned by Zicareli in the Sun a couple days ago.

  • Graeme

    True enough regarding players not wanting to be here. That is old world Antonio Davis/Steve Francis nonsense. It is no secret players love coming through Toronto and as the league has gotten younger it has also seen that sentiment disappear. Rudy/Amir and Demar love it. I saw Kyle at the island airport and unprompted he started to tell me how much he loved it here. Jennings loves it. AI loved it and god knows KG has long loved the ladies here. An the tattoo shops. It’s the organization they don’t care for. Or rather, the losing.

  • WhiteVegas

    Sounded more like Colangelo will be back for another year than he’ll be gone. When he was talking about the extension he was saying it had to happen before he takes over the position, and that he’d just be giving some advice to MLSE. It didn’t sound like he had enough time to fire Colaneglo and bring in someone new, at least not this year. Even if they got Phil Jackson, he would just be team President and we’d still need a GM. I can’t wait for this guy to fire Colaneglo and replace him with someone better, but from the interview it really sounded like he won’t be able to do that this year. You probably shouldn’t have put “He’s Gone” in the title, because it really doesn’t seem that way after listening to the interview. Maybe quote the part of the interview where he talks BC so readers who don’t listen to the MP3 can make their own opinion.

  • Jay

    Being a Lakers fan and living in Cali for years, Tim is a well respected sport figure in that town. Just listen to ESPN 710 radio station and you will see how guys like John Ireland and Mason and … talk about him.
    If Tim can not change the culture of this team then no one else can and it would be time to move this team out of Canada.


      Being a Laker fan you should also realize there’s a reason why Jerry left, there’s a reason why Magic sold his share, there’s a reason Jax and Jeanie are in the situation they are in, there’s a reason why they barely made the playoffs and got swept.

      The Dr. is gone and Jr. is running them into the ground. Bringing in Nash – Kobe’s nemesis? Bringing in Howard – the most disliked player in the L by other players?

      Timmy boy is gone too, pulling a BC leaving PHX – coming to a place where he’ll be viewed as a prophet because the bar is so low, he can’t lose.

  • Tee

    I wouldn’t worry about Colangelo( whether you support him or not) its seems that it is all secondary now with this new hire. If bc gets fired supporters of bc should take comfort in knowing that a suitable replacement will be found. If bc stays non supporters should take comfort in the fact that aknowledgable basketball CEO made that decision.

  • monocled_gentleman_scholar

    Whether or not BC gets the boot, it would be a giant mistake for next year’s GM to blow up the team and start from scratch just as we are about to see the fruits of all of BC’s labors since Bosh’s departure. You may disagree with BC’s plan, but like it or not we’ve invested a lot in that plan. To start from scratch now would be like dumping all of your stock in a company that has reached its lowest value because you’re disappointed. The rep of the team and the value of individual players are at an all time low. If you wait even one more year, I guarantee you’ll be able to ask for more value for the Derozans and the Lowrys playing on a 40+ win team (supposing you insist on trading them) than you’d be able to get for them right now.

    Plus, like it or not, the fans have been putting up with losing for long enough. To ask them to put up with ANOTHER rebuild immediately after the first one is just too much. Toronto fans may be unusually loyal, but another year or two of being bottom-feeders in the league and they’ll abandon the Raptors in droves.

    • That’s a bad analogy. I see it more like you’re trying to build a building. The higher the better, but you need the right foundation to build it high. Going ahead with a poor foundation means you can’t build it very high. So you gut the foundation and start again so that you can build the building higher than would have been possible if you didn’t.

      As for the fans, if you give them a reason for hope, that’s all they’ll need. I haven’t seen the level of enthusiasm for the team this low since before Colangelo was hired because so many fans see how poor the foundation of the team is. A lot of people don’t want to watch a team with no hope of being anything more than mediocre, no matter what the team has been through.

      • WhiteVegas

        ” I haven’t seen the level of enthusiasm for the team this low since before Colangelo was hired because so many fans see how poor the foundation of the team is.”

        Really? The enthusiasm looked pretty damn high after the Rudy Gay trade. Lots of raucous sell out crowds. Definitely higher at the end of the season than the beginning, and higher than most of the prior BC years as well.

        • And then people realized he wasn’t the elite player Colangelo claimed he was, realized how much salary the team was using on middling talent, and then quickly lost their enthusiasm.

          • DumbassKicker

            You actually think that the few dozen people that agree with you on the internet represent most people. You really do. Reality is the ACC was rocking at the end of the year, not anything close to “quickly lost their enthusiasm”.

      • monocled_gentleman_scholar

        This seems like wishful thinking to me. Why is it that so many people think that the next rebuild will be entirely different? Haven’t BC and Casey been talking about “changing the culture” for the last two years? And haven’t they to some extent had success with getting the young guys to buy into playing hard? So what magical ingredient will Leiweke bring that will transform Toronto into Boston, LA, or Miami? It’s such a crapshoot every time that every rebuild is risky and there’s no guarantee that the next one will be more successful than the last. Why throw away what we’ve already started here for an unknown?

        • It’s a crapshoot when you’ve got a GM like Colangelo in charge of the rebuild. That’s why the Raptors need new management. A good GM with a good plan will have a more successful rebuild. There’s no magical ingredient except talent, both upstairs and on the court.

          And why throw away what they’ve already started? Do you honestly think that this team realistically has a chance to be much more than a perennially low playoff seed with the roster they have? And realistically, Gay is going to remain the inconsistent offensive and defensive player he always has. DeRozan is going to remain mostly a one dimensional player who is a below average defender and ball handler. Lowry is going to remain a PG who makes frustratingly poor decisions at the worst time. And Valanciunas is going to become a good, but not great player in the league.

          I see the ceiling for this team in the high 40s, and I think that’s reason enough for me to say they should start again.

          • monocled_gentleman_scholar

            I’d enjoy watching a 6-7 seed for a few years to get our guys some playoff experience. Also ok with changing management.

            • Playoff experience for what? If you don’t have the ability to build on the playoff experience and become a contender, I simply don’t see what the point is. I’ve said it previously, but if you don’t demand excellence, you’ll never get it. Being happy with a 6th or 7th seed is settling for mediocrity, in my opinion.

              • DumbassKicker

                ” If you don’t have the ability to build on the playoff experience and become a contender, I simply don’t see what the point is.”

                You have that crystal ball working overtime again? What do you know about a few years from now, that the Raptors, with a few years of playoff experience under these guys’ belts, and some other moves, that they couldn’t be a contender? Are you that good a judge of NBA talent, that you are able to define that JV(20), DeMar(23), Gay(26), Lowry(27), Amir(25), Ross(22), Fields(24), Acy(22), with some key veteran presence, can’t become a contender? You speak as though you’re certain, so please enlighten us with your NBA player/team development experience that would help the less informed.

              • monocled_gentleman_scholar

                Presumably a commitment to making the playoffs is one way of cultivating a winning culture.

                • And what exactly do you do with that “culture”, if you’re not going to go beyond the first or second round? How has making the playoffs year after year helped Atlanta?

                  An even better way to cultivate a winning culture is having the right players who will help you actually win, and not just get you to the playoffs.

                • monocled_gentleman_scholar

                  This may sound old fashioned, but I think that a long as there are games to be played any team can win. Even though a 6-seed may have only a 5-15% to win in Vegas, there’s still a chance. And if the underdog does win (and teams CAN get hot in the playoffs), then all the more glory to them. I would be pretty happy if my 6-seed team played out of their minds and got to the conference finals only to be destroyed by a vastly superior opponent. This is Sparta, dude. The Lakers are the Persians (Jeannie Buss is Xerxes), and we’re the outnumbered Spartans, but we’re totally ripped and we fight to the death! Cue Gerard Butler …

                • There’s nothing old fashioned about it. It’s just simply never been all that realistic. Any NBA team can beat any other one on any given night, but not in a seven game series. In the NBA, it’s almost alway the best team that wins the title. And to be one of the best teams, you pretty much need one or two of the best players.

                  In the last 30 years, only one team that wasn’t one of the top three seeds, in their conference, has ever won a title. The Houston Rockets, in 1995, who were a 6th seed and won. That team had won the Championship the previous season and featured Hakeem Olajuwon and traded for Clyde Drexler before the trade deadline. They were obviously MUCH better than their record.

                  So while it’s all nice and good to be optimistic, it’s simply not in the least bit realistic.

                  And the Spartans had one of the best trained armies and best soldiers the world had ever seen. The Raptors have Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Enough said.

        • FLUXLAND

          Oh sure, they’ve been talking about it. But again, where are the results? Or are results to you “some extent of success”?

          Never seen this much reaching from someone defending BC.

          • monocled_gentleman_scholar

            Guys are trying hard, though not nec. winning. You can see that on the court.

            • FLUXLAND

              Guys are trying hard? Should that not be the bear minimum to expect from professional that get paid guaranteed millions? I’m certainly not impressed by someone only putting in effort. At some point one has to expect results, I would think.

              • monocled_gentleman_scholar

                You’re really expecting 20-yr olds to hold themselves to a standard of professionalism? You must be disappointed with human beings on a daily basis.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Crazy stuff, I know. But yes, yes I do. I expect professionals drafted by professionals to, (again, we are talking about the BARE MINIMUM) put in maximum effort. Results aside, that is not too much to ask and no one should be impressed by “trying”.

                  The only thing I am disappointed by is people like you continually excusing sub par performances and borderline incompetence, buying into a lot of talk and hype, while ignoring the actual on court results or worse, chalking up those results to “bad luck”.

                  If luck is when preparation meets opportunity, bad luck must be the absence of preparation and effort.

                • If you acquire professionals, they will act in a professional way.

                  During the Spurs-Lakers 4th game, Kenny Smith was talking about how the Spurs weren’t going to let up for the game like a lot of teams would because of the players on the team. He said Popovich doesn’t have to tell his players to play hard for that game because it’s a given. That’s why they’re in the league and on the team.


      “we are about to see the fruits of all of BC’s labors”

      Hilarious. I’ve been reading a lot of “he makes mistakes” lately, but not hearing much about actual results. Is that because there are none? I guess it must be “bad luck”.

      • Dan

        Even using the record this year as a sign of improvement is misleading. The last 5 wins came against teams who were resting players for the playoffs.

        • FLUXLAND

          Agreed. But if you ask DD, “they learned how to win”.

  • Brandon

    “peak his interest. ” should be “pique his interest.” Pique = To provoke, to arouse.

  • Matt52

    Arse, good pick up on the disconnect between Colangelo’s views on attracting talent to Toronto and Leiweke’s.

  • Amigo

    He should bring a Top Coach like A Wenger, he never wins but no one cares !

  • Bouncepass

    I would be very cautious about jumping on the bandwagon for Phil Jackson as President. He has no meaningful front-office experience, and more importantly, the models for his success were having superstar-laden rosters. Successfully coaching superstars is a lot different than trying to build a winner in a second-tier market (sorry, but in the NBA TO will remain below NYC, LA, Boston, Chicago and maybe Miami as markets). This is not an apology for BC, but I wouldn’t want the Raptors to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  • Guest

    Tim W. I love your writing and your articles. No need to vehemently defend yourself in the comment section after every article. Your writing is sound and comment threads are a joke, take solace in that.

    • Thanks. Much appreciated. I do enjoy some back and forth with readers, which is one reason I wanted to clean up the comments section. I’m starting to learn who to ignore and who might actually have something intelligent to say.

    • morons

      tim is that you?

  • Bendit

    Leiweke is a money guy brought in to leverage the entire enterprise into another large value catapult. A NFL or even a Premier League team would do that. The other major need would be to act as front man to protect the brand of the ownership groups He of course has to address the current assets and the Raptors is undervalued and this needs to be corrected. BC has probably got his resumes out because Tim L. is someone who can out-corporate BC with corpspeak and has the clout as well. Seems like he has smelled what BC has been selling and is unpleased. If not Jackson then Jerry West would be ok by me.

  • ckh26

    Two thoughts before the summer doldrums….
    1) LIke to see the Raps get an enforcer type low post player… a David West / Nic Pecovic / Paul Milsap … all three are UFA’s .Yes it will take them over the luxury tax…. Its not like the Bell and Rogers are paupers …

    2) Think TL as the “new guy” won’t make a rash decision on his GM or his coach. .. look for a one year extension for BC .. but it comes with a very short leash… with both Casey and BC contracts up at the end of next year you may get a new commitment or a new dyanmic duo at the ACC…. MLSE did what it had to do and has paid handsomely for it…it has finally got the NBA type it needs to determine which way the winds are blowing in the NBA… this is the cliquiest league in north america… and if your not in.. your nowhere…and Leewiki will either bring a new discipline and standard to the existing mgt team or get a new set within 12-16 months.

  • Colangelo won in Phoenix for one reason and that was Steve Nash. Every player on that team except Nash was medicore, Nash made them look like superstars. There is no Nash here, hence no wins. Colangelo is so enamored with Bargnani he forces his coach to play him even though its apparent to everyone except Colangelo that Bargnani sucks. You can’t blame Casey for listening to his boss. Colangelo is somewhat over his Euro-infatuation, except the JV for Harden thing (He should be fired just for that). So now is time to wipe the slate clean because Colangelo has lost a significant amount of credibility throughout the league and the Raptors haven’t had any in EONS.

  • Pingback: Report: MLSE to Appoint John Cassaday as Tim Leiweke's Successor - Raptors Republic: ESPN TrueHoop Network Blog()