Seen & Heard – Friday, May 31, 2013

by Rob G

Well, to quote the great Ricky Bobby from one of my favourite movies (Talladega Nights), I’d like to thank the dear Lord Baby Jesus, for the the hiring of Masai Ujiri as the new GM of the Raptors. If Ujiri hadn’t been hired, I’d hate to hear what the fallout might have been from an already bizarrely fragile 4th largest metropolis in North America.

What struck me this evening after hearing about the hire was the following tweet from Bruce Arthur of the National Post. He said “So now we get to spend a few years carefully determining just how much Masai Ujiri is his own man.”

He would take the role on without understanding that this will be his show? Seriously?

My take from this quote is it’s an extension from the media spinning their wheels regarding Bryan Colangelo having the GM tag removed from his title, while “remaining” in the role as President. The Globe & Mail’s Jeff Blair seems to be amongst the few writers in town who has a realistic view of this move, while most others seem out of sort, suggesting that whoever was going to take over the GM role would have the shadow of Colangelo in the background. Anyone taking on the role of GM would deal with that barely potential possibility before accepting the job, and only the spineless would take the role on knowing Colangelo would still be in the background carrying any weight behind the title. The whole idea is sublime, considering MLSE hired Tim Leiweke to take over the reigns in part to fix what is wrong in Raptorland (or will that be Huskieland?). People need to understand Colangelo was thrown a bridge until his next role in another organization. Get over the optics and definition of his remaining role – he’ll be gone before long and all this will be moot. I’d like to think most in the media would get this, but given the coverage of the other storm in the city, I guess it really isn’t a surprise. Half baked conjecture and innuendo (and no, I’m not part of Ford nation) seems to play too big a part in the Toronto media lately. It all makes as much sense as storm chasing an Oklahoma tornado.

The good news is Ujiri has a 5 year contract, and fans can only hope he takes the right steps to set up the franchise with a view to the long term. Quick fixes have been part of the menu lately, and another quick fix isn’t the answer. As a Raptor fan, I hope he tackles the hard decisions that need to be made.

About the Author