Toronto Raptors Second Class in More Ways Than One

Despite Toronto losing Chris Bosh and making little progress this season, team president Bryan Colangelo is returning to run the team, according the several league sources.

That’s what caught my attention around 9 a.m. this morning. “Team president Bryan Colangelo is returning to the team.” First I had heard of that. I quickly Googled Colangelo in the news section and found not a single article by a Toronto-based reporter reporting the same thing. Sun, Star, Post, Globe? Zilch. Sportsnet, TSN? Nope. Fan, 640? Nyet.

I did find out that Colangelo called in to the Jeff Blair show today to address issues about Wright and Triano.

I searched all of the above media sources for information on that story and found… the exact same thing; nothing.

Couple of points here:

Imagine if you will that Larry Brooks wrote an article on a Saturday afternoon (5 p.m. or so) that stated, amongst other things, that Brian Burke, who, (in this little story of mine anyway) is in the final year of his contract with the Maple Leafs is in fact “returning to the team, according to league sources.”

How long do you think it would take for that to be reported in Toronto? Five minutes? Seven? How long would it take for the denials, arguments against, arguments for, call-in shows etc.? Hell, we would know that a writer in another city was reporting something about our president and GM about one second after he hit the send button.

Not here, not with the Raptors. I have looked around and unless I totally missed it, and if I did I apologize, but the first time this issue was raised in this market was when the idiot blogger I have to look at in the mirror every day tweeted it.

Add to that, again, if you will, if Brian Burke called into the Fan to defend a player or his coach, how long would it take for that story to be EVERYWHERE? The pundits would be out in full force. We would have opinions on every single word, the order of the words, the pronunciation of the words, parody’s about the words. When Bryan Colangelo does it? Nadda. At least not that I’ve seen.

Houston, we have a problem here. OK, the Raptors aren’t going to compete with the Leafs. Fine, I get it. When there’s news, however, it would be nice to see it somewhere, anywhere. OK, if it’s not in the print edition of the papers, I can live with that. Blogs, online editions, twitter, facebook, hell- EBAY!!

Fine, the big boys aren’t going to cover it. I get it. The beat guys though?

Then, when one of them, one of the good ones too, writes about it, he, in my mind butchers it:

From everyone I’ve talked to today … Colangelo has NOT be re-signed.

So, with due respect to the Daily News, the story is not accurate. Not yet.

I know and like Lawrence … so I don’t say this disparagingly … but perhaps his sources led him to believe that a contract extension will (eventually) happen or that it’s likely to happen but it’s not done yet. According to all of the folks I (and Jonesy) have spoken to no extension has been offered yet … let alone signed.

Now, let’s do this altogether now, scroll up and read what Mitch Lawrence wrote:

Team President is returning according to league sources.

Does it say:

“Team President has signed an extension”?


No, it does not say that.

And, yes, there is a big difference. In the world of sports, heck, in the word of business we know that a decision can be made long before a document is executed or an announcement is made. All Lawrence said was that league sources said he will be back. That’s the story, beginning, middle and end.

Eric Smith continues:

Further to that … it should be obvious that the talk of Jay Triano leaving and Mike D’Antoni coming in is very premature. Not only is D’Antoni under contract with the NY Knicks right now (and next season) but Triano’s status will be determined by the GM in Toronto — whoever that may be! And if’s it’s NOT Bryan Colangelo, one would have to assume that a new general manager MAY want to hire his own guy.

What did Lawrence have to say about this again?:

That could be good news for D’Antoni, whose offense has been a bad fit for Anthony.

The key word there is “could”. Lawrence is speculating. That’s what “could” means right? Of course it’s obvious, of course it’s premature, that’s not what the original story says…It says “could”.

Eric Smith, whom you know I happen to like, posted this story at 2:33 p.m. I have no clue what he was up to this weekend. He writes in the first line of his blog that his article is following a story from the weekend. Why did it take so long to get this story commented on? If it were the Leafs it wouldn’t have taken more than a NY minute.

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March 29, 2011 2:09 am

This is a good article. I agree, the Raptors have really been flying under the rader – both with fans and media this year.

I’m a Raptor fan, and most years I watch a bunch of games on TV and go to a couple a year. This year though, I haven’t been to a game and I’ve barely watched. Reason being – since there’s no hope anyway, I want them to lose and get a high draft pick. And it’s just too depressing to follow that everyday.

March 29, 2011 7:52 am

Who do they want as a GM if not Colangelo? Bosh left after stringing them along for 18 months. Colangelo has built a pretty good team of supporting players – he is not an idiot. Everyone forgets how hamstringed he was by that idiot Babcock. Having said that, I am not a basketball fan and the Raptors could leave town tomorrow and I wouldn’t miss them. ut give him two more years – the fortunes of NBA teams can turn on a dime. (Look at the Celtics and lakers in the last 5 or 6 years.)

March 29, 2011 11:39 am

At first I thought lack of attention was due to either the hockey culture or even the mainstream sports culture. But now I am starting to think the problem is the actual BASEKETBALL media (especially electronic first guys) PBI really said it so well here about a week back in a reply. Until we have the main basketball voices willing to be critical of players and suits there will never be decent basketball talk. so Bball fans, blame those guys. When the team does good, you can just focus on the game, but when the team doesn’t, guess what “Conflict sells”

I know I am critial of hockey culture, but at least when you get half a dozen of them in a room. and you get local hockey guys talking Leafs. You will get a lot of guys who think Wilson should not be the coach, you will get some who think Burke is overrated and the Ducks was a made team for him and he did some real horrible trades that made no sense. You have guys being critical of the selection of the Captian and his play. Kessel doesn’t have the mindset to be a top guy. There is so much hockey talk that could be talk because there are people with diverse opinion & aren’t afraid to go against the team. You get a mix of apologist and the angry/bitter.

But you look at basketball and every Raptor player is “a good guy” every player somehow is always playing to their potential. The GM/Coach is soooo respected around the league (anybody wants to take bets on if/when Triano is fired here how fast he gets anotehr head coach gig in the league? ) Even winning only 27% of the time, nothing wrong just wait until the draft, you know the Clippers/Warriors mantra.

I am a sports fan who likes diverse topics (Raps, TFC, NFL) but it’s hard to blame a host when these Raptor media shills come in with “everything going to plan” after giving up a 130 points and losing a dozen games in a row on the road. Sorry but where the heck is the topic, where is the story, where is the conflict. If there none of that, then there is no interesting topic on a team that wins just a quarter of their games. Basektball people I guess think negativity will hurt basketball in this market, but I don’t think negativity hurts nearly as much as apathy which I think a lot of the big basketball voices are causing.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 29, 2011 11:43 am

The Raptors are a team of convenience or inconvenience for the media in this City. As a person who grew up eating, living, breathing basketball the coverage of the Raptors in my opinion has been second rate overall from the beginning. The team itself has been run second rate from the beginning.

The media here only follow the raptors when they are winning, or when they can throw mud at them for obvious blunders.

While I think they have no choice but to keep Colangelo, he made the decision to play out the contract with Bosh. He was wrong, and even though he wasn’t here to witness McGrady, Carter do the same thing, he should have still learned a history lesson from that. Until it changes, star players do not want to stay in Toronto.

This franchise has mishandled its best talents, and made very poor decisions on GM’s and Coach’s.

Triano should not be the coach of this team, he has zero NBA experience except what he has learned at this franchise. American Basketball players like to visit Toronto, but they want to play for the franchises in the US. This makes it an uphill battle for the Raptors and requires top level mgmt and coaching to make the players respect this organisation and be a part of it.

The beat writers for this team in T.O. became bball writers only because the paper needed a beat writer. These aren’t media who grew up following and understanding bball and it shows.

Hopefully Colangelo can hit a home run in the draft, and hopefully Demar DeRozan can continue to develop and remain a raptor long term. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the Barnagni experiment. It really is shame that the year we had that #1 pick, there wasn’t that bonafide core star available in the draft. (No one knew Brandon Roy and Rajon Rondo would become the leaders they have)

James High Park
James High Park
March 29, 2011 12:08 pm

#1 triano should never have been the head coach (he’s the coach for only 2 reasons… canadian and comes cheap)

#2 bosh should have been traded (similar to what happened to carmelo)

#3 andrea bargnani should not have been the #1 pick for the raps
(he would fit better on an established storied team, boston, lakers, knicks, philly, chicago etc. that has a true bball culture and wouldn’t put up with his aw shucks laid back attitude and lousy defense)

#4 mlse (whoever is the majority owner) does not and will not ever care if the raps are a championship team
that kind of “we don’t really care about this team, the leafs are our focus” trickles all the way down the line to the players

Raptors Devotee
March 29, 2011 12:19 pm

Paul Jones gave Colangelo a B- when asked to grade his performance. Need I say more.

March 29, 2011 12:48 pm

The prospect of hitting it big in the draft is more of a crapshoot than usual this year. I don’t think it’s considered a strong draft year and one would think many underclassmen would stay in school with a lock out looming. The teams might be looking at next years draft if a whole season is lost. Given that the Raps probably aren’t going to be much better next year, they might be better off not playing and hoping they somehow get a high pick in the next draft.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
March 29, 2011 1:36 pm

I do not follow the Raptors or Basketball at all, but WHY would MLSE even consider bringing back the GM and coach after no success the past few years?

March 29, 2011 1:39 pm

I’ve given up on the Raptors media because they’re simply unwilling or incapable of offering a diverse set of opinions/viewpoints and most of the prominent members (Paul Jones, Leo Rautins, Jack Armstrong, Eric Smith, Matt Devlin, etc.) have direct links with the team so their opinions can be taken with a grain of salt.

If you want Raptors coverage that isn’t incredibly one sided and isn’t built on preemptive optimism in the face of a perceived abundance of negativity then you’re going to have to go online to RaptorBlog or Raptors Republic or some other blog. You won’t find it anywhere in the TSM because the Raptors media still has this reverential view of Colangelo even though he’s done a piss poor job simply because he was a very highly touted executive coming in.

It’s pretty interesting to see both the Leafs and Raptors bring in high level executives within a couple of years of each other and how differently they are viewed by their respective fan bases and their respective beat writers/team assigned media members. The Raptors media seems to have this blatant inferiority complex, like Colangelo was the hottest girl at the school who surprisingly said “Yes” when asked to the prom and are afraid of losing her even though she treats everyone like crap while the Leafs media is more open to holding Burke accountable and didn’t blink for a second that someone as prominent as Burke would want the job.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
March 29, 2011 2:24 pm

Geeze all these comments are so right on!
Let me just add a few more.
Basketball media In Toronto is well lacking (except Grange)
Sick and tired of always hearing excuses..
Raptors tired, played 4 games in 9 days, Well EVERY,EVERY team In the NBA does It but T.O always seems like the only team that has a tough schedule!
GM B.C why not bring him back? What better is out there?
Raptors are 2 years from being respectable and 3-4 years from just being competitive.
Jay Triano,let”s be blunt If he was let go today he would be life and death to get an assistants job at a major U.S. college.

Mike S
Mike S
March 29, 2011 4:04 pm

Just about every time the Raptors make a roster move we end up hearing most of the members of the Toronto basketball media tell us how good the move is………….do you remember how many of them said that acquiring Marco Belinelli was a stroke of genius??……………if all of the moves they made were so good then how have they become so bad that they are basically an irrelevant franchise?

The Raptors have had a god-awful season…………it’s hard to believe there are several teams that have an even worse record than them…………..the gap between the top teams and the bottom teams in the NBA is probably bigger than any other sport

March 29, 2011 7:21 pm

Paul Jones giving Colangelo a B- shows what shills we have in the media.

This is a team that has been over .500 1 time in 5 years. It’s cumulative 40 games under .500 during the Colangelo era and has won 3 playoff games.

If that = B-, then we have to scale from there

– an overall .500 record = B+
– being a playoff team for 3/5 years or better = A
– winning a playoff round = A+

what a joke of a standard the media is holding Colangelo to.

In what other market would an A+ be 1 winning playoff series in 5 years?

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
March 29, 2011 8:03 pm

Believe it or not, the media is never the problem with bad teams. Sorry, that dog won’t hunt….Jones works for Rogers who has the broadcast rights. Look around any league. Which play by play guys are tough on teams and/or management? Have you heard Vin Scully say anything negative about the Dodgers? He is the reining king of broadcasters and he is guilty of the same thing. so you cna’t really blame Jones. He should not offer those types of comments, then he’s not exposed to criticism. Call the game as you see it. Interview a few players and go home…(Smith too, but he should go. I am not a fan)

No, there is always going to be whining from fans when teams lose. There always will be.

Here is my biggest complaint about the Raptors. The league comes to Canada – and then every big name player that gets drafted can’t wait to leave Toronto, as if this is a third world country or something. Every single one of them. The team gave or offered them whatever they wanted, they really just wanted out. I am sick of it. NBA players want out – well, I want the NBA out. i could not care less if they go. I don’t hate basketball. after last summer and “the decision” I am beginning to hate the NBA. I am hoping for a very looong lock out and a 30% or more salary rollback.

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