Colangelo actually attempted to sell his audience on the notion that MLSE is in these games to win these games.
“The plan is to win basketball games at whatever cost,” Colangelo said at one point.
I am not making this up.
“At whatever cost,” are the words he used.
That, folks, isn’t a sales pitch: It’s just a lie. The defending NBA champion L.A. Lakers are spending some $25 million (all figures U.S.) more than the Raptors on salaries this season — you can argue their plan is to win basketball games at whatever cost.
Heck, the Cleveland Cavaliers are outspending the Raptors by millions upon millions in their quest to keep LeBron James in town, this while Colangelo and MLSE are only now talking about possibly spending to keep Bosh. This week brought news that the Cavs have been losing many millions in the process. And yes, you should always distrust claims of losses with a lockout looming. But you can’t deny that Cleveland’s majority owner, Dan Gilbert, believes victory can’t be achieved on a balance sheet. And you just can’t say the same thing about Toronto’s owner.
Toronto’s profiteers are paying Colangelo some $4 million a year to dance around the obviousness of this uneven playing field; to toss a mismatched mix into a locker room every October, to up-sell their merits to the ticket-buying public, and to appear positively shocked when the new guys don’t play well together. We all understand this.
And we understand, too, that Colangelo is angling for a contract extension. So certainly that explains his elegant sips of the corporate Kool-Aid. Still, credibility’s a precious thing, and Colangelo lost some Monday.