There were a myriad of responses after he Toronto Raptors removed the interim tag by giving Jay Triano a three-year contract. I spoke with many media and non-media people all with different takes on things. Whatever their opinion, was it really a surprise? Not really.
Brian Colangelo has supported Triano throughout a tumultuous season. He said Triano was dealt a bad deck of cards from the start. This is what he said today:
“It’s been a great opportunity to see what he’s made of, and see what his basketball mindset is,” Colangelo said of Triano’s years as an assistant. “But then to see it put into action when he was named the interim head coach, he was given not the most ideal circumstances to fight through. Yet each day he showed up with a positive attitude.”
Weather you like or hate this move, at least he put his duckets (or MLSE’s) where is mouth has been all year.
In 2004 Mike D’Antoni was 21-40 in his first season with Phoenix. He stuck with him and was rewarded with a 62 win season the next year. It helped to have a guy named Steve Nash on your squad, but he didn’t pull the trigger and fire him after that awful season.
Colangelo puts the blame squarely on himself.
“Any deficiencies in the roster I’ve already talked about, that falls on me,” he said. “Make no mistake about it, there’s no deficiencies here with Jay as the head coach of this basketball team.”
Colangelo said he plans to spend a lot of time with Triano over the next couple of months talking about the roster. Triano will have a major say in the direction of the team, Colangelo said.
Let’s hope this doesn’t come back to bite him.
The players have respected Triano since his arrival in 2002 as an assistant under Lenny Wilkens. Let’s face it, players get coaches fired in the pros. To have a team that respects a coach is big, although that didn’t work out too well for Sam Mitchell in the end.
If the Raptors have another year like this past season, they could both be gone.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s nice to see someone practicing what they preach.