“I have been told by everybody since I got here, you are not going to keep good players, you won’t get good players, you are not going to get a good President or GM,” Leiweke said. “No one likes to come here. They don’t like the weather. We can’t get ESPN. They don’t like the taxes. We are never going to win. So I am looking at them and going, no wonder why you all lose.”“We fired 14 people in one day and hired the best front office in the NBA today,” Leiweke said.
“When I went after the three people (to replace Colangelo), one was Phil Jackson, one was Masai (Ujiri) and everyone looked at me and said you are never going to get those guys here in Toronto.”
“No one thinks you can win in Toronto,” Leiweke told Ujiri. “You win there and you are literally the greatest executive in the history of the NBA. (Ujiri) says every day, we will win in Toronto.”“I think culture is everything,” Leiweke said. “If you look at the culture Masai has created with the Raptors and you look at the chip we developed on our shoulders, we took all that can’t, won’t, never happens, can’t win, no one wants to come here, everyone hates you, in the NBA you guys are an afterthought like Charlotte, you don’t even exist and that became We The North.”
“My compass, my direction is Jurassic Park. That’s what makes me happy. Yes I believe in Fuck Brooklyn because that was a defining moment for what we were trying to do as an organization.”
‘Fuck Brooklyn’ was no accident. It was a calculated move designed to inspire not just the fans, but the players and the organization as a whole.
“Believe me Masai was very calculated with what he said at the rally,” Leiweke said. “That did not come out by mistake. We talked about a moment in time where we needed a rally cry. I didn’t know he was going to drop the F-bomb (pause) I kind of had a feeling he was going to drop the F-bomb.”“We already had two of (our management team) offered GM jobs and they turned them down because they want to be here,” Leiweke said. “We kept all of our players this summer with Patrick Patterson, Vasquez and our wonderful point guard Kyle Lowry. All three got better offers but stayed here.”“Winning ultimately comes from people that are committed to being great, but they will be ferocious about whatever they got to do to win,” Leiweke said. “Masai is ferocious. Dwane Casey is ferocious. You got to have an attitude. You got to have a chip and I hope that is the one thing that I will leave behind.”
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