All Jay Triano

Ok, here’s a rundown of one of today’s events, the dismissal of Toronto Raptors Head Coach Jay Triano.

Doug Smith:

“Bryan Colangelo now embarks on the most important mission of his tenure with the Toronto Raptors — finding a replacement for the man he once hand-picked to coach.

And it is Colangelo’s intent to find the antithesis of Jay Triano, the 52-year-old native of Niagara Falls, Ont., who was kicked upstairs in the organization Wednesday after nearly three years as head coach.”

It seems that the next hire is going to be crucial (unlike other hires where it doesn’t really matter right???)

“For our team . . . we need somewhat of a pedigree or resume,” Colangelo said on a conference call, “someone who has somewhat of a defensive-minded presence (and) a flow to the offence.”

Someone with a name. Got it. Someone with a reputation. Got it.

“Speculation will focus on a handful of former head coaches looking to return to the top job. One NBA source told the Star that former New Jersey head coach Lawrence Frank, now an assistant with the Boston Celtics, is a distinct possibility.”

Everything I have read so far has had Lawrence Frank as the top candidate.

A couple of interesting points from Colangelo:

“There were certain things I felt we needed to address from a different point of view,” said Colangelo. “Not only did Jay get a fair shake, he’s got an ongoing opportunity to be part of the process.”

That was the question being asked on TSN Radio tonight, did Triano get a fair shake given the teams he had.

“The only assistant coach signed for next year is P.J. Carlisemo, but he will not be a candidate for the head coaching job “given the makeup of this team and the direction we want to go,” Colangelo said.”

That is what McCown surmised on PTS tonight given the timing of this.

The soon to be former Globe and Mail employee Michael Grange:

“He fared well in a lot of areas, but at the end of the day in terms of a gut feel for where this needs to go and how we need to get there and how quickly we want to get there in terms of accelerating the process, Jay and I had a chance to sit down in earnest once my contract situation was resolved …[and] we decided it was time to change the voice, to change the leader at the helm,” Colangelo said on a conference call with reporters.

Those close to Colangelo said Triano, who was unavailable for comment, had a sense the move was coming in the past two weeks and another insider said the sentiment to make a coaching change had been “maturing” over the course of the season in which a young, injury-plagued Raptors team finished 22-60. His relationship with Colangelo was considered good and he’s been retained by the Raptors as a consultant.”

The silence around this had to be deafening.

“Two names that will doubtless move to the top of the Raptors list are Jeff Van Gundy and Lawrence Frank who, like Thibodeau, are disciples of the defence-first philosophy espoused by Heat president Pat Riley, who gave Van Gundy (currently a broadcaster with ESPN) his start and who in turn had Frank and Thibodeau on staff. Frank is best known for his work as head coach of the New Jersey Nets, while Van Gundy made his mark as coach of the New York Knicks. “

Let the guessing begin….

Ryan Wolstat:

“Why the about-face?

“Without getting too detail-oriented, I think I was pretty clear at end of the season we had set some performance standards in place,” Colangelo said.

“Not necessarily by wins and losses, but it was more about environment and direction. Jay fared well in a lot of areas but at end of the day, gut feeling of where this needs to go and how quickly we want to get there in terms of accelerating the process … I decided it was time to change the voice, change the leader at the helm.”

I think despite what was perceived, this was still quite a shock no?

Eric Koreen:

“Bryan Colangelo, the Toronto Raptors’ president and general manager, was steadfast in his message throughout the NBA season: Jay Triano was doing a good job as the team’s coach.

Triano was not set up to win — not with power forward Chris Bosh leaving to join the Miami Heat as a free agent, with no immediate help coming in return, and not with forward Hedo Turkoglu becoming a free-agent bust a year earlier — but he did a fine job nurturing the Raptors’ young talent.

But Colangelo, who recently received a new two-year contract (plus an option) to remain as the Raptors’ president and general manager, apparently is not satisfied with a slow build. In a move that was not expected, the team announced Wednesday that Triano would not be returning as head coach next season. The club did not pick up his option.”

Says it all for me. But it looks like this has been in the works for some time:

“Jay and I had a chance to sit down after my contract situation was resolved,” Colangelo said. “We talked about the direction of the team, and we decided that it was time to change the voice, change the leader at the helm. And I should be very clear in stating that I have tremendous, tremendous respect for Jay — that is the single biggest reason why he will be part of this process going forward.”

I wonder how long ago they decided this.

The New York Post:

“Donnie Walsh has never said he is looking to make a coaching move, but perhaps Mike D’Antoni will make one for him.

D’Antoni, entering the final year of his contract as Knicks coach, could emerge as a candidate in Toronto, where the Raptors announced Wednesday that coach Jay Triano will not return.

Toronto president Bryan Colangelo has a good history with D’Antoni from their time with the Phoenix Suns. Colangelo hired D’Antoni and together they transformed the Suns into one of the NBA’s most successful and entertaining teams.”

The list and intrigue grows..

“Jeff Van Gundy would be an obvious choice but the former Knicks coach and current ABC/ESPN analyst is happy in his current role. According to a source, Van Gundy wants to wait at least another year before he returns to coaching.”

So much for that idea, I guess.

Eric Smith:

“I am grateful to the organization for the opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA,” said Triano in a statement. “I am proud of the work that I and the coaching staff have done with our young players and feel confident we have laid the foundation for a team that will continue to improve. I look forward in assisting Bryan to deliver a championship team to Toronto.”

It’s a little light right now, but what I can tell you.

I will add more as stories go live.

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

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Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
June 2, 2011 8:24 am

I have felt all along that Triano was given this Coaching job based on his reputation in Canada and that alone. There is no other way that an NBA team would hire a guy based on coaching a Canadian University squad and our National team as credentials to Head Coach in the NBA.

The NBA is a unique league where the coaches really have a challenge in handling their players. First and foremost, as a coach in this league you have to have the players respect as a Coach. I don’t feel the players in Toronto ever looked at Triano as a bonafide coach and bought into his system. I still feel the best coach this team ever had was Brendan Malone.

It is time this team brings in a NBA coach with NBA experience, and no not another Lenny Wilkens….

The names like Van Gundy, D’antoni are exactly the kinds of coaches this team needs. This will be a crucial decision for Colangelo. This franchise has for too long taken 2 steps back and 1 forward.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
June 2, 2011 11:53 am

From day 1, when Triano was hired, I felt it was a huge error in judgement, one which will set the Raptors back for years. Sadly, this has happened.

You have to remember the circumstances of Triano’s hire at the time. Mitchell got off to an 8-9 start if I remember correctly, certainly not an abysmal record. By then, Mitchell was not seeing eye to eye with Colangelo, not that he ever did, but their relationship had deteriorated to the point that the axe was going to fall on Mitchell, and it was just a question of the timing.

It is unfortunate that Colangelo did not have the criteria he has now for choosing a head coach back then. He wanted a lapdog to run the team where he was controlling everything. It is Colangelo’s micro managing that was the real problem, not that Triano ever could succeed as an NBA coach anywhere, because, as Gerry said above, he is incapable of getting the players respect, regardless of statements made by players over the years that he has it.

To me the amazing thing is that Colangelo, who has beem a failure of epic proportions while here, has managed to deflect and blame everybody else and rarely take responsibility for things. He threw Triano and prior to that Bosh under the bus, and due to his cozy relationship with outgoing Richard Peddie, was able to get a new contract, even if for limited terms. Based on performance alone, he should have been fired first, ahead of Triano!

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