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Old 12-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
effin' ineffable

In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 30,070
Default The In Over Their Heads Club

Let's go way back. Remember Glen Grunwald? He did some good things. But ultimately even the little taste of success turned out to be too hard to handle, as he ended up handing out contracts to too many broken down bodies, handcuffing himself when it came to any ability to help take the team to a consistently strong level. And he was up against Vince's mom. Along with the MLSE braintrust, he decided Kevin O'Neill would make everything ok. Somehow. But KO was clearly in over his head. And it became apparent that Grunawald was in over his head as well. The braintrust replaced Glen with a guy who immediately revealed that he was not waving hello in the deep end, but flailing, and drowning.

Finally the braintrust got out of the way altogether and hired a legitimate exec. whose head rose above high collars and could assuredly stay above water. Happy happy day. And that first year was exemplary. A team that found itself and managed to win games in a professional manner. The playoffs were disappointing, but Colangelo signalled that the result was unacceptable and would be improved upon. He then went on to make a number of moves whereby he constantly put people in positions where they would be in over their heads.

Jason Kapono made a name for himself sinking an efficient number of long distance shots while playing alongside two bruising big men and Dwyane Wade. Surely he could do the same here, behind Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani? No, scratch that. He would surely do more. Here he would be given the chance to show his full game. He wouldn't just have to stand on the perimeter and wait to launch threes. He could put the ball on the floor and show his passing skills. Carlos Delfino would be able to come from a Piston team overloaded with talent, and use his newfound freedom in Toronto to blossom. In the end there was more reliance on Bosh than ever, an injury to TJ left the team stuck in the mud, playing at a slow pace with nothing to offer that wasn't entirely predictable. And the playoffs were as disappointing as the previous year, if not more so.

But there was an easy fix. They couldn't count on TJ's spine to hold up, so they'd trade him for a pair of bad knees, and give a big promotion and shiny new contract to Jose Calderon, who surely was too nice of a guy to end up in over his head, especially when you consider that he would be backed up by a rookie that Colangelo had consistently said needed more time in Europe, and another rookie find from Europe that wanted to be the next Marbury so bad that he went straight to meltdown mode. They were all waving. They weren't drowning, right? Jose not only was not drowning, all that waving was him playing defense. At least he was doing that much, whereas Bargnani was more often than not, standing straight up and watching. Colangelo's number one pick was not going to show himself in over his head. He was too cool under pressure for that. Better to just let that season slide, and the next one, andů

Meanwhile there was a whole collection of small forwards asked to make up for the aspects of basketball that Andrea was never going to get hot and bothered over. Shawn Marion was capable of that, but ultimately was smart enough to not really want the job. Everyone else was simply in way over their heads.

And the coaches? How could they not end up being in over their heads? But Colangelo would go from a Sam Mitchell that at least showed some ability to get results, to a guy who would look constantly embarrassed and humiliated (dafuck ya gonna do?), and now a guy that couldn't even manage to lose properly.

One thing is clear - Bryan Colangelo would never appear to be in over his head like his predecessors. He would simply ensure his players and coaches would be in need of snorkels. Progress! Now if only they could all forget about the lead weights on their ankles and not lose their focus while the water rises above their eyes, we would all witness something really special.

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