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Old 02-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Colangelo: We are clearly rebuilding, Jay doing a solid job

Q: This is Year 16 for the Raptors and Toronto and while the team has had some promising seasons, it has never been an NBA contender. Do you foresee the day Toronto contends for a championship or are the Raptors doomed to being a franchise on the fringe?

A: Absolutely not doomed. This franchise will be fine because it has an ownership committed to winning, a dedicated and passionate fan base and Toronto ranks as one of the elite cities in North America. Couple all of that with a shifting landscape where competitive parity remains a key objective and I think this franchise is poised, not poisoned.
Q: This will be your third straight year out of the playoffs. I realize you didnít envision anything like that happening on your watch, but as Bill Parcells says, you are what your record says you are. With your contract expiring, make a case to the fans why Bryan Colangelo should be brought back next season - and in the future - as president and general manager of the Raptors.

A: I certainly donít want to be accused of negotiating through the media, so I wonít. I just hope people realize how much I care for the organization Iím working for and the city I have chosen to live in. I will also add that despite our current record, the franchise is in a pretty favourable position. I do hope Iím here to complete the task.
Q: This is not just the end of your contract. This is the final year on coach Jay Trianoís contract. If you are back as general manager next season, will Triano be back as coach?

A: Jay has done a really solid job here given the difficult circumstances. We are clearly rebuilding and we have been decimated by injury, yet the young guys are clearly developing nicely and the atmosphere around the team has remained positive. The organization will likely address his contract status and whether to pick up his option year sometime after the season.
Q: Your fan base has been considerably loyal over the years but Iíve seen more empty seats at the Air Canada Centre this season (attendance figures aside) than ever before at Raptors games. How worried are you that your non-contender status has rendered this team to an afterthought in this difficult sporting market where only the Maple Leafs seem assured of sellouts? And what do you say to the fans who are losing patience with your team?

A: Let me correct you to say that this is a great sports market with great fans that just want to see their teams win. Our fan base is our livelihood and yes they mean everything to us so we care very much about dwindling crowds. They deserve more and we intend to deliver more. Based on my interactions, I see and hear the frustration but I also think that people realize what is taking place here and that patience has to be part of the process. I also hear many of them say how much fun this team is to watch We have a plan that has been very clearly laid out ... develop our ďcoreĒ talent, add a solid draft pick or two to the mix and utilize our financial flexibility to add an additional impact player where possible. The sooner we get back to winning games the sooner the stands will fill back up.

Also just for clarification, announced attendance is based on tickets sold. No-shows are different than un-sold inventory.

Colangelo: 'Raptors poised, not poisoned ' | Steve Simmons | Columnists | Sports | Toronto Sun
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