Toronto’s long-term viability as an NBA franchise will depend on international players because international basketball players are a great deal like Latino baseball players: They’ve grown up with passports, so for them going through the Canadian border is not akin to an invitation to a night in Guantanamo Bay.
The flip side is that people still wonder about communication and culture. Hell, old-time basketball guys still wonder whether a team with so many internationals gets less respect from NBA game officials.
Colangelo wonders why Turkoglu doesn’t get more calls (“Hedo, for whatever reason, has just struggled getting calls but it has nothing to do with him being an international player”) and Bargnani’s limited trips to the charity-stripe are due to his hovering on the perimeter by design. But with Bosh out, Colangelo agreed that, “Andrea does need to get more post-oriented and get to the line.” Colangelo acknowledges his team has problems with defensive intensity but “that is not something limited to the international players.” “Regarding defence and intensity,” Colangelo wrote, “we seem to be challenged across the board.
“I have to continue building this basketball team following the same philosophy, convictions and instinct that have helped me find success throughout my career,” Colangelo said. “No disrespect, but I can’t let the media (or bloggers for that matter) dictate the way we conduct our business. In the end, winning games is the single biggest key to keeping our fans content and engaged.”