Arthur: Whether BC stays or not, his legacy has already been sealed
Leiweke confirms a decision is imminent, but denies one has been reached. One source familiar with Leiweke’s thinking says the chief executive is leaning toward replacing Colangelo, and that a decision could be announced as soon as Monday. But reached Sunday afternoon by email, Leiweke said, “I have not gotten to a decision and I need to get board interaction so I think it is still up in air. That said, he may not want to be here if he does not get a long-term commitment. A lot will happen in the next few days.”
Rogers and Bell each own 37.5% of MLSE, and have agreed to vote as a bloc; neither is believed to be in favour of retaining Colangelo, but in this case they are not making the final call. Leiweke, the former CEO of sports giant AEG, is in charge.
But then, the Raptors have never been an especially lucky franchise, and that continued under Colangelo. The pick the Raptors sent to Indiana for Jermaine O’Neal turned into centre Roy Hibbert in 2008, and Hibbert became an all-star. Trading O’Neal to Miami for Shawn Marion helped open up the eventual salary-cap space Miami used to sign Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Signing Hedo Turkoglu with the money freed up by Marion’s departure as a free agent looked good at the time. It didn’t go well.
We'll find out soon enough if, in the eyes of Leiweke, he's failed at making the franchise relevant. I'm stating the obvious by saying he's definitely had highs and lows being part of this team.
There were good moves mixed in, of course. Remember, Colangelo once traded Rafael Araujo for something that wasn’t openly toxic. Well, it was Kris Humphries, but at least he’s still in the league.
But he failed to anticipate Bosh’s departure, failed to build around him while he was here, failed to find a coach who could stay on the same page. When Colangelo arrived he was a star, the son of an NBA godfather, the man who built Phoenix into an ill-fated and spectacular contender. He was supposed to be the man who made this sad-sack franchise relevant in the NBA for longer than a few minutes, finally. He tried.
What will his legacy be for you?