Somewhere in the Arizona desert, Bryan Colangelo is packing a couple of warm sweaters and a sharp suit for the upcoming news conference. He can’t help but grin into the mirror as he shaves and hums a terrible rendition of Nelly’s Must Be The Money. Money has a way of lifting spirits.
The Toronto Raptors have finally got their man, pilfering him from the back pocket of Robert Sarver and the Phoenix Suns. In assuming the role of president and general manager of the Raptors, Colangelo inherits a club in much better shape than that of his recently booted predecessor. The franchise boasts a rising young All Star in Chris Bosh, a core group of solid rookies, money in the war chest, and a city of fans anxious for some action.
Some critics have been quick to denounce the deal as a desperation move on the part of Richard Peddie and the Raptors management, forcing the club to over pay for Colangelo’s services. Some would have liked to wait until the end of the season to entertain other potential GM candidates. Others are content on riding the Wayne train as far it will go.
Colangelo’s hiring not only brings a proven track-record and basketball proficiency to the front office; it also brings credibility and clout to the organization’s name. The Raptors will be looking to attract free agents in the off-season to a city, which by and large has been disfavored by NBA players in the past. People want to be part of a winning environment, and championship institutions are built from the top.
With the season over halfway done, it’s unrealistic to predict immediate results as Colangelo moves into the GM office. However, there already is a buzz in the air, one which hasn’t been felt since the birth of the club. People are suddenly excited again and the black cloud seems to be receding from above us. We may look back years from now and pinpoint this day as the turning point in the franchise’s history. Because from small stirrings come big ripples, and maybe it’s finally time for a Sun to shine down on us.