The In Over Their Heads Club
Old 12-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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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Old 12-11-2012, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well put LX. BC is delusional if he thinks this is a talent issue. It's completely a not enough talent issue. He's going for a San Antonio sum of its parts kind of thing which is admirable but you can't do that with guys who haven't won anything, who've never sniffed the playoffs. You also need a shotmaker. Lowry is close, but not close enough.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well put LX. BC is delusional if he thinks this is a talent issue. It's completely a not enough talent issue. He's going for a San Antonio sum of its parts kind of thing which is admirable but you can't do that with guys who haven't won anything, who've never sniffed the playoffs. You also need a shotmaker. Lowry is close, but not close enough.
Agreed... also, chasing a glue guy in the form of a third year, unproven prospect coming off of a terrible year when all you've been preaching is how the team is too young, well that's just buffoonery
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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BC knows it's a talent issue, but admitting there is a lack of talent would mean it was his fault the Raptors are where they are. He can't admit it's his fault because he's a massive narcissist and it's like admitting he should be fired.

You don't become GM of an NBA team by being an idiot. BC is a very intelligent guy who has made a string of bad decisions and his human frailty is preventing him from taking responsibility for the consequences.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it's just such a big pattern of asking people to play above their abilities, and using the egotism of professional athletes that want the chance to show they are better than they really are, rather than fitting together the right parts that compliment each other while properly fitting their roles. He doesn't ever really give the sum of the parts a chance. He just puts them all out there in the deep end.

It's not just that he can't really point to talent not being an issue. If he wants to point to attention to detail, then maybe he should consider the chances of that happening when instead of looking for guys to play within themselves you look for them to play beyond their means. Teams need to have some sense of what they are going to get from any of their players on any given night, within a reasonable range. But here we've always had no real sense of that from pretty much anybody. They all come here wanting to show something, and BC is happy to give them the opportunity, but then they play on an island with four other guys with the same mindset, and that never allows for improvement as a team or as a collection of individuals. They end up being the anti-Spurs in their approach.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it's just such a big pattern of asking people to play above their abilities, and using the egotism of professional athletes that want the chance to show they are better than they really are, rather than fitting together the right parts that compliment each other while properly fitting their roles. He doesn't ever really give the sum of the parts a chance. He just puts them all out there in the deep end.

It's not just that he can't really point to talent not being an issue. If he wants to point to attention to detail, then maybe he should consider the chances of that happening when instead of looking for guys to play within themselves you look for them to play beyond their means. Teams need to have some sense of what they are going to get from any of their players on any given night, within a reasonable range. But here we've always had no real sense of that from pretty much anybody. They all come here wanting to show something, and BC is happy to give them the opportunity, but then they play on an island with four other guys with the same mindset, and that never allows for improvement as a team or as a collection of individuals. They end up being the anti-Spurs in their approach.
If you go back and watch the Landry Fields signing press conference, you see the kind of comments that indicate this. "We're signing Landry on what he did in his rookie year, not so much the past two years.."
When I heard that I thought he was joking. He wasn't.
It's completely having an image of what you think a guy can do, and what he can do right now being as abrasive as sandpaper to each other. Colon-jello is a master at projecting his unrealistic image onto players.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you go back and watch the Landry Fields signing press conference, you see the kind of comments that indicate this. "We're signing Landry on what he did in his rookie year, not so much the past two years.."
When I heard that I thought he was joking. He wasn't.
It's completely having an image of what you think a guy can do, and what he can do right now being as abrasive as sandpaper to each other. Colon-jello is a master at projecting his unrealistic image onto players.
It takes a very patient man to only see the very best in everyone.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you go back and watch the Landry Fields signing press conference, you see the kind of comments that indicate this. "We're signing Landry on what he did in his rookie year, not so much the past two years.."
When I heard that I thought he was joking. He wasn't.
B/C it's not what he said. His rookie year was 2010-11. So what he said was "not so much last season" since he's only played 2 seasons. But yeah I agree that attitude is a head scratcher for sure.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wherever the blame is placed - and I am not suggesting that Colangelo needs to be exonerated - the biggest issue with the club is an absence of any sort of long-term vision. Whoever's at fault there (ownership could be demanding immediate results, for instance) is ultimately responsible for the predicament the team finds itself in season after season.

No matter which way of team building one supports, the only thing that has to be common for all of these ways is stability. You have to have good players, both individually and fitting well together, but you also have to give them good coaching staff and time to play together and grow together as a team, to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses and become a true team, a collective rather than a collection of individuals, to achieve any sort of lasting success. The absence of this approach over the almost 20-year history of our franchise is glaring and obvious and it is absolutely something that separates us from any NBA success story except, perhaps, Miami's latest "steal the stars" foray.

Whoever ends up running the club should have the balls to go to the owners and explain this to them and demand the long-term commitment to doing things right.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1. The GM can never publicly say it's a talent issue, that wouldn't go down too well with his guys no? It's like your boss saying at the company meeting that his team sucks

2. I don't think there's ANY question that this team is a lot better than 4-18. If anybody though that's how good we are, they should have said it before the season. Most nba analysts had us as 33 or wins, and the fans were even more optimistic. So, unless everybody was wrong, it is not a talent issue, at least compared to the record.

3. landry fields - come on, everybody knows we signed him because of the whole nash thing. Now, what's the GM supposed to say, "well, we don't really want fields and we certainly think he's overpriced. We were just hoping the knicks would match because they don't care about money. We gambled and we lost and now we're stuck with an overpriced player that we didn't really want"? Of course he'll say fields is great and we always wanted him ...
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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as far as the correct approach, I think it is really difficult to do things properly in Toronto. Even the fans, most of them don't support it. Last season, when we could have tanked and there was a top tier prospect waiting at the end of the road, a majority of fans were against tanking. The most ridiculous reason was that tanking creates a culture of losing, despite countless examples of teams who tanked and then went on winning like crazy once they got their prize.

For example, the teams that tanked most blatantly last season were Golden State and NJN. Sacramento, Toronto and Portland did it partially, mostly by stripping talent, but not actively like the other two. Cleveland, Detroit and NO played hard, but they just had no talent to compete.

This season? The two teams who were the most blatant are rocking the standings, the 3 teams that played hard are at the bottom.

And that's not even counting the management, who is probably not looking favourably to tanking, especially with the leafs sucking. If the leafs were doing great, I think it would be a LOT easier to rebuild for the Raptors. But it would require a commitment from both management and fans, and hiring the personnel to do it. BC wasn't hired to rebuild over 3-4 years, he was probably asked to do it on the fly, hence the moves he made in his first year, spending all cap space on veterans and such.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It's a culture thing;

A 'fantastic' analytics, fucked up perspective on value and the preservation thereof type of thing. Or maybe just an ego thing.

The culture under Collangelo isn't condusive to allowing players to form a true team. It's a culture of bullshit.

End it now!!!

Clearly Sam Mitchell and Chris Bosh were the driving force behind the little success we had! End the nonsense and send this failure packing!!

Micheal Ray Richardson for next head coach!! London Lightning 10-0 without Eddie & MVFree and the Sheriff coming off the bench!! He'll talk smack to other coaches on the sideline and pay for Bargnani's plane ticket back to Italy!! And the SHOES!! Get er done Embry!!!


Last edited by bjjs; 12-12-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Is Wayne Embry still around?
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Is Wayne Embry still around?
I was thinking the same thing. Is he?
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I was thinking the same thing. Is he?
Yes. He's at every home game, was interviewed a couple weeks ago.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes. He's at every home game, was interviewed a couple weeks ago.
Good to know.
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