Grange: "retain Colangelo"
My vote is firmly for MLSE to retain Colangelo; the sooner the better and with a contract that shows their commitment to him.
I think the way he handled himself was as good an example as any. As we all know he can spin and lobby for his cause with the best of them; ‘you’re right, I was wrong’ is not a phrase he’s ever run through Google Translate.
But in his own way he’s been more accountable than he’s typically given credit. He never set out to become the face of the franchise when he came from Phoenix, but he very much has been, which has been a less desirable role in the past 18 months than it was before.
under Colangelo’s watch, with his own contract and the contracts of the rest of the front office staff and the coaching staff hanging in the balance and heading into what will likely be a lockout year, he did what was probably the hardest thing for him to do which was, essentially, not much.
The biggest deal was to move Jarrett Jack’s contract for Jerryd Bayless; gaining cap relief and a young player with some potential. Acquiring James Johnson from Chicago for a low first-round pick was also a low-risk move to gain a player with reasonable upside at little cost and no salary cap implications.
But mostly the year was about letting the season run like water down a dry creek bed as an over-matched team with injuries and personel issues found it’s level and will have the third-best chance to win the first overall pick in the NBA draft lottery. As a man who fusses over decorating touches in the Raptors dressing room and the shade of red on the floor when it was repainted; simply letting things unfold was an act of considerable restraint and sacrifice.
That was accomplished while players like DeMar DeRozen and Amir Johnson continued to develop; while the roster managed to play hard deep into the fourth quarter most nights. The accusations of his man-crush for Andrea Bargnani have generally been off-base. Sure he made the pick; but the kid has been just good enough to get people fired and will continue to be just that for the rest of his career. Colangelo signed him to a relatively cap-friendly deal of $50-million over five years and there will be no hesitation to trade him now that five years into his career there’s a comfort level within the organization that Bargnani is most likely going to be one of those players who looks like an MVP candidate some nights and a decent sixth man some others and shot-hogging stiff everyone once in a while just to confuse things.
Winning is what professional sports is all about; but there’s something to be said for an executive who has experienced the heights of industry – putting together 60-win teams; winning executive of the year recognition twice – accepting (perhaps too late or too grudgingly for my tastes) the need to take multiple steps back in order to go forward again.
Source: The Globe And Mail
We’d all have more confidence in MLSE if they’d recognized they wanted to fire Colangelo and had an alternative plan in place and made the move in December. That would suggest sports intellects in charge that could plot a clear path and execute.
But that never happened and instead there was the single person most closely identified with a $399-million asset and one of the most influential and respected figures in the sport giving a season-ending press conference qualifying nearly every answer with some version of “If I’m here” and listing his accomplishments like an MBA grad at a job interview: “In terms of passion for the business and dedication to the organization …I would hope people think I am the right guy.”
The temptation to light a fire to the whole thing, I’m sure, was real. To just say it’s been five years of climbing up hill here; I did some pretty good things; I took some risks and not all of them worked out, but guess what? This is pro sports; not the investment industry. There are no management fees built-in to assure everyone a profit regardless of what happens to market.
Those so eager to see Colangelo move on might want to give a some hard thought to what the Plan B might be.
I am extremely certain that as is, if Colangelo is allowed to walk, a lesser GM will take his place at a critical moment of a Raptors rebuild. It's just plain stupid not to keep him when they have no backup plan. It's not fair to us the fans even if we don't all realize the negative consequences of what may unfold thanks to some accountant on the board representing a investment group who could care less about how the product looks or how the fans feel about it.