If you paid me an extra two million dollars to shoot the moon down with elastics, I’d be the first one scaling Mount Everest with a hockey bag full of rubber bands. So it comes with no great surprise that league sources are whispering through the cracks that Bryan Colangelo is set to replace Wayne Embry as the permanent general manager of the Toronto Raptors. I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would turn down a salary offer that is triple what they currently brought home.
Colangelo’s reputation speaks for itself. His family name carries tremendous merit in the NBA, and Bryan hasn’t done too bad for himself as GM of the dash-and-dish Phoenix Suns. Unlike Rob Babcock, his tenure has moments worth mentioning. In 2002, he selected Amare Stoudamire 9th overall in the draft. In 1996, Phoenix drafted Steve Nash 15th overall. Other players that were drafted under the Colangelo era include Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Luol Deng, Stephon Jackson, and Nate Robinson. Let’s not forget he’s the reigning Executive Of The Year as well.
In recent years, through great team management and wise player signings, Colangelo has succeeded in building a Western Conference powerhouse and solid contender for the NBA championships.
But to jump ship in the middle of the season so abruptly has to raise concerns about professionalism and loyalty. Sure it’s a lot of money, but a general manager must project a sense of stability and endurance to his franchise. Blowing off the Suns mid-season shouldn’t be something Raptors fans should overlook amidst the excitement. The revolving door to the Raptors brass is historically quick to usher people in and out, and the last thing we need is someone to ride through in a great flash.
Bryan Colangelo may very well be the best thing to happen to this franchise since Vince Carter took us within smelling distance of the Eastern Conference finals. Let’s not deny Colangelo any credit he deserves. Ten seasons, eight of which continued into the playoffs is a statistic the Toronto Raptors would love to be able to boast. But an individual’s character is just as paramount as their working skills. Colangelo may be a great basketball mind, but will his heart truly wrap itself around the city of Toronto?
The foundations of this team are now in his hands to either shift into place or dispose. The re-signing of Chris Bosh and Mike James, Sam Mitchell’s future as the head coach, and Hoffa’s rotting player value are all things Colangelo can immediately impact. The Raptors franchise is barely a decade old, yet it’s clear we are entering a new and crucial chapter in the club’s tale. Let’s hope that revolving door has made it’s final revolution so we can create stories worth telling down the road.