Masai Ujiri Q & A
Old 07-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Masai Ujiri Q & A

GM Masai Ujiri on Raptors roster: ‘Let this thing sit, let it ride and see what you have’ | Toronto Star

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Q: Youíve been on the job about a month? Has it been anything like you expected?

A: Yeah, about six weeks.

Itís been a whirlwind, you know. But all jobs, when you take the job at this time, itís always going to be like that. You expect it, it was the same thing when I got the Denver job, too.

Thereís a lot going on, thereís turnover, thereís a lot of changes but you have to keep going and stay positive and lead the team.

Q: Has there been one thing thatís been harder than you expected?

A: I think you take it as you come. I donít take anything in basketball hard; for me itís enjoyable, for me itís something I love. I never look at anything and say itís hard, you look at it and you want to solve the problem, whatever it is.

You have to be patient and with that, I really donít take anything hard.

Q: If you had to describe your management style, how would you describe it?

A: Thatís a tough question. I think patience, big picture. I try to look at it from every angle and every way I can but I donít know what way I would describe it.

Q: You donít know yet what you want to do with this roster, thatís the indication weíre getting. Blow it up, let it ride for a year, do you know yet?

A: Itís getting there but we might have to let this thing sit, let it ride and see what you have. I think whichever direction we go, it will come to us. As it comes, we will realize which way to go. When you start doing things desperately now and you start doing things like just to make sure you go a certain way, I think itís too soon.

Iím not saying Iím opposed to doing that, but I think in this situation itís too soon.

I understand big picture, I understand what everyoneís concept is with starting all over.

Q: Who have been the biggest influences in your life in basketball?

A: I had a coach in Nigeria, an American coach, Oliver Johnson, who came to Nigeria in I think the late í60s. He brought Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), Oscar Robertson, all those guys, to Africa for the first time and he was really influential in teaching me how to play basketball. And also looking at the big picture of using basketball as a tool.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Should have asked him about Wiggins.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Should have asked him about Wiggins.
Agreed!
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Patience and the Big Picture booyah
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This clearly indicates that this team is fully tanking hard.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This clearly indicates that this team is fully tanking hard.
He has 5 years and looks at the big picture. He isn't handing out any long deals and for once we have a GM that acquires picks and doesn't just throw away 2nd round picks like they're nothing. Whether it's tanking or whatever it looks like MU has some sort of plan up his sleeve and will do things the right way, not the BC way
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah - I was being sarcastic.

The thing is, had he arrived at some points of last season, he very likely would not have been patient. Colangelo did do a few good things over the last few years, and enough of that can be seen in the big picture right now. There is a little bit to build on, while removing the deadwood. And there is still enough up in the air that he is absolutely right to wait a bit and see how things play out.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah - I was being sarcastic.

The thing is, had he arrived at some points of last season, he very likely would not have been patient. Colangelo did do a few good things over the last few years, and enough of that can be seen in the big picture right now. There is a little bit to build on, while removing the deadwood. And there is still enough up in the air that he is absolutely right to wait a bit and see how things play out.
Well it doesn't exactly say that they're not.

Touche. Yup, waiting and seeing isn't a horrible thing and might be the best route to take. Nothing wrong with keeping options open.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Really the wait and see approach is the right one for a number of reasons:

A. They over-achieve, make the playoffs with a high-seed (say 4) and can add to a developing a core

B. They don't sell players while everyone knows they're a seller. We've done this too many times.

C. Let's see what the identity and culture of this team will be. If players aren't fitting then you adapt. I think that's what you see with the Hansborough signing. A player to fit the mould of culture of the team.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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He's going to wait until 20 games in probably, maybe until the break. Them the fire sale should begin. Honestly, if we're shit, he deals the main guys. If we're decent, he will maybe (hopefully) try to sell high.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by d00little View Post
Should have asked him about Wiggins.
My sources tell me that Ujiri would've found a way to say nothing.

It takes a shaman to read something definitive from Ujiri's words. Tanking, not tanking, deadlines, whatever.

Which is fine. His job is to build the team, not to keep fans in the loop.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Eric Koreen wrought a good article on how this patience thing can backfire.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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pzabby wrought a good article on how this patience thing can backfire.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Wait and see approach is not a good one to take during this particular season, if you believe the hype of this draft class and the concept of building through stars.

With Wiggins saying what he is saying, it makes even more sense to tank. Either you get to draft him or, even better perhaps, draft another All-Star caliber talent and then get Wiggins to play with that guy at the first available FA opportunity.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wrote** not wrought. Weird I did that
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KoolAid View Post
He's going to wait until 20 games in probably, maybe until the break. Them the fire sale should begin. Honestly, if we're shit, he deals the main guys. If we're decent, he will maybe (hopefully) try to sell high.
I think so too. I am guessing we are going to be something like 7-13 after 20 games, Lowry and DD might be moved, maybe Gay too - depends if we can get a good return.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Seeing how these "superstars" perform in college ball is another reason to wait and see if its worth tanking..
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Seeing how these "superstars" perform in college ball is another reason to wait and see if its worth tanking..
Down side is if you wait too long your chances at that top 5 pick will likely be very diminished.
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