Bryan Colangelo Explains What Went Wrong

by April 20, 2010

Or, he tries to, anyway. The Raptors’ sure-to-be nerve-wracking offseason begins with a twisting GM. The Toronto Star (and the rest of the city) isn’t buying any of his spin: “Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors president and GM, wants you to know everything’s under control around here, and so it must be. On Monday Colangelo called Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the pension-fund-owned controller of the local NHL, NBA and fifth-division pro soccer franchises, and this is an actual quotation, ‘one of the best organizations in all of sports.’ He went on: ‘I’m talking about hockey, basketball, soccer, real estate. Everything. Television. It is a company that will do everything in its power to answer the fans’ concerns, and that’s what we’re doing.’ To paraphrase Allen Iverson: You’re talkin’ ’bout real estate? How relieving to know that the local sporting monopolists are condo-selling geniuses. And how fitting. Some sporting GMs are described as visionary architects, and maybe Colangelo will become one someday. But on Monday, in a wide-ranging post-mortem on his team’s second straight losing season, Colangelo sounded less like a savvy builder of great rosters than a desperate seller of swampland. Four seasons into his sub-.500 tenure, it’s getting harder and harder to buy a word he says. Two seasons after he told you Jermaine O’Neal was the answer, six months after he told you Hedo Turkoglu was the answer, on Monday Colangelo insisted he isn’t far from hitting on the actual answer. Never mind that his only all-star, Chris Bosh, is committed to testing free agency. Never mind that, in a guard-driven league, Toronto’s starters are certifiable second stringers. Never mind that Turkoglu’s massive contract appears as immovable as Jose Calderon on defence — not to mention Calderon’s contract. Never mind the toothless (and cheap-as-they-come) coach who is ‘learning’ on the job, and slowly.”