Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Colangelo takes helm of Raptors

It's something that hasn't been said in a long, long time, but after today's news, it rings true: The Toronto Raptors are on the rise.
He's young, he's experienced and he's on a roll. And now he's the man running the Toronto Raptors.

Bryan Colangelo, 40, is expected to be introduced today as the club's president of basketball operations, possibly the most significant off-court move in the franchise's 11-year history.
Significant indeed.

NBA followers — and I haven't a clue how many of you there are here — will note Colangelo has been the architect behind the Phoenix Suns' transformation into a 62-20 powerhouse in the 2004-05 season. It was a feat that earned him NBA executive of the year honours last season (and, as The Globe article notes, he's once again a favourite to win it this year).

In summation, the so-called hapless Raptors have gone from having likely the worst NBA executive to the best — and have done it in a little over four weeks.

You'd be hard-pressed to find another sports franchise where the general feeling has gone from despair to jubilation in such short order.

Of course, the team's ownership group, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, accomplished the Colangelo hiring by doing something they should have long ago with both the Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs: relying on their strengths, the biggest of which is their financial heft.

Colangelo reportedly triples his earnings from what he made in a similar role with the Suns, proving that it's much easier to motivate coaches and executive personnel with money (and power) than players reluctant to come to Canada (and who are going to make their millions regardless of where they go).

It's also a strategy that could work well for the Maple Leafs, who this season seem headed for a playoff miss now that their financial advantages have been levelled by the NHL salary cap. That cap, however, won't hold MLSE from using some of the excess millions in their coffers to lure the league's best coaches and GMs to Toronto.

This is just the beginning.


At 6:46 p.m., February 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In summation, the so-called hapless Raptors have gone from having likely the worst NBA executive to the best — and have done it in a little over four weeks.

Second worst, maybe; there's no way he was the worst.

(Technically, I guess they did have the worst. Not recently though.)

At 9:02 p.m., February 28, 2006, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

This is one of those things that makes a complete mockery of a salary cap. Can anyone explain the logic behind coming up with mechanisms to keep the rich teams from monopolizing the on-field talent, but taking no steps to keep them from monopolizing the off-field talent?

I concede, my dislike of salary caps is immense, and hinges on things seperate from this question, but it certainly makes it look as if salary caps are more about breaking the union than about producing a level playing field.


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