Today in Raptorland - 12/4/08 (Sam Just Got Fired Edition)
Old 12-04-2008, 09:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Today in Raptorland - 12/4/08 (Sam Just Got Fired Edition)



That's a Rap for Mitchell

Quote:
"We weren't getting the maximum from our roster, it was time to change," Colangelo said in canning Mitchell with almost three years to run on his contract, including a guaranteed $4-million US this year and next. "This wasn't all about Sam's failings as a coach. We are not a team without flaws. I'm wearing (8-9) like Sam's wearing it.
Triano proud to carry the flag for Canada

Quote:
"It was a surprise to everybody," point guard Jose Calderon said. "This is the bad thing about the NBA. I just want to thank Sam for what has happened to me on the court and outside. This was my fourth year with him and he gave me the opportunity to be his point guard. I just wish him best of luck with his next team, because for sure he will get another (job).

"We would have been with Sam 100% today and tomorrow and now we'll be behind Jay 100%, too. I don't know if it will take us long to be a better basketball team, but we're trying every night."
Forbes ranks Raptors 11th

Quote:
The Raptors placed 11th at $400 million, a 7% increase.


Of course it's all about Sam, and there'll be more

Quote:
Okay, had your fun? Some of the e-mails were cool, joking, mocking, cutting up and that’s all cool. The idiots and mindless creeps who made it personal? I hope you go read From Deep every day and make the life of M. Grange ™ miserable. Actually, I hope not because I quite like Mike. I hope some of you rot in the depths of some very hot and uncomfortable place, though.
Colangelo and Mitchell were an odd couple

Quote:
"As of last week, I believe, we were 29th in the league in fast-break points. That was concerning to all of us," said Colangelo last night. "There was talk about running, but it's something that I'm not sure we ever really thought about or practised or discussed to the extent it appeared on the floor with any kind of habit."
Triano replaces Mitchell as Raptors coach

Quote:
"If there is pressure," Triano said, "it's the pressure I put on myself."

Oh, there's pressure, for sure.
Coaching in Toronto a matter of insecurity

Quote:
You can dispute the notion all you want, but the hard fact is that every single GM wants to name his own coach or manager sooner or later. Now Colangelo gets his chance.


Raptors fire Mitchell

Quote:
"There are no more excuses with regard to Sam Mitchell being the head coach," Colangelo said from Denver on a conference call last night.
Sam Mitchell's unplayable hand

Quote:
The only one who didn't know that, it seems, was Mitchell, fired yesterday by the Raptors after a 132-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday that Colangelo described as being "an absolute kick in the gut.
Triano makes history

Quote:
"I wish it didn't happen under the circumstances it did," Triano said from Denver last night. "I don't know if you can ever prepared for this. … I've always been a student of game and loved the game. Is this the ideal time? Probably not because of the situation. But at the same time, I'm confident and excited about our first practice."


It's all on Colangelo now

Quote:
The internal alarms began to ring all the way back in the fourth game of the season, when Detroit strolled into Toronto without a starting point guard, emotionally wounded by the Chauncey Billups trade, and stepped on the home team's neck.
Raptors fire Mitchell, promote assistant Triano

Quote:
"You come to a point where you realize some of the things you want to see out there are not taking place," Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors president and general manager, said during a conference call.
Sunshine Girl - 12/4/08

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Old 12-04-2008, 09:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Can someone paste Doug's blog in here? It's blocked for me at work and i like how it started
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sick, Wicked and Nasty! View Post
Can someone paste Doug's blog in here? It's blocked for me at work and i like how it started
Your wish is my command.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Smith
Okay, had your fun? Some of the e-mails were cool, joking, mocking, cutting up and that’s all cool. The idiots and mindless creeps who made it personal? I hope you go read From Deep every day and make the life of M. Grange ™ miserable. Actually, I hope not because I quite like Mike. I hope some of you rot in the depths of some very hot and uncomfortable place, though.

But most of you I like and appreciate. This is sort of a bar or a house party where there’s all kinds of different conversations going on between diverse and interesting groups of people and we get to eavesdrop. Sorta cool, no?

But I digress. As usual.

-

Let’s get it out right away: No, I didn’t think it would happen and, no, I didn’t think it should happen. It’s too early in the season, there were extenuating circumstances and the roster? Well, the roster has flaws.

I like Jay an awful lot, we go back a long, long way. If he can make ‘em quicker in defensive transition, if he can make ‘em guard their men on their own, if he can get ‘em to play with more basketball intelligence and intensity, that’s great. I wonder if he can. I wonder if anyone can. The players are, as the say goes, what they are.

-

All right, let’s do it this way:

Plus: Jay’s probably a more imaginative in-game offensive coach and may be eventually able to install some new sets, which would be good.

Minus: It’s one thing to coach in the Olympics and world championships and it’s quite another to coach an NBA game. And experience, no matter what anyone thinks, counts an awful lot.

-

Finally caught up with Sam after deadline for the paper, which is too bad. He was in the air most of the day and didn’t get a chance to return calls until much too late for my needs.

But when I got him he was, as you’d expect, gracious and took the high road in every respect.

The highlights:

Overall:

“I’m disappointed but like I told Bryan, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. All I want to do is thank everyone for the opportunity.”

On his legacy:

“A lot of players we had here over the years may not have been NBA players but I think I got something out of all of them.”

On his development

“I played 13 years in the NBA and nobody thought I’d make it. I think I proved I could coach and a lot of people didn’t think I could. I think I’m leaving as a better coach.”

He had high words of praise for the city, the fans, the ownership and even the media.

Now, you can go and kick a guy when he’s down and I know many of you relish in it because I’ve got the e-mails to prove it.

To me, you give a guy credit for doing the best he could with the team he had, you look at that Atlantic Division banner and feel proud.

Sam Mitchell wasn’t a perfect coach, no one is. But he was a good coach who did his best every single day. And you cannot fault a man for doing that.

-

Okay, back to the future

Plus: Jay’s got the respect of the players, who he’s worked closely with every day for all the time he or they have been there.

Minus: There is no bigger move than one seat over in the NBA. All of a sudden, the assistant coach isn’t the guy listening to the players whine while they work out, he’s the guy who has to deal with the different personalities as the boss, not as a sounding board.

-

Here’s a familiar name in the mail:

Q: Hey Doug, after the dismissal of P.J. Carlesimo, Eddie Jordan, and now Sam Mitchell, their replacements have been hired on an "interim" basis. What does that term exactly mean?

Sam C, Kingston

A: Well, what it means is they’ve got the job in the short term until a team can expand its search to include more candidates.

-

What’s the future hold?

Well, all of you folks out there who are still pining for Eddie Jordan or Avery Johnson or someone of that ilk to come riding to the rescue sometime this year have to chill.

Bryan made it glaringly apparent yesterday that Jay’s got the gig until the end of the season and then we’ll see what happens.

And that’s when we’ll start talking replacements because to debate the relative merits of the unemployed now is ridiculous. We’ll talk in April or May or June.

-

"So, why now?” Here’s a theory.

Let’s say they got this thing turned around this season, and that’s not a far-fetched theory given that they’ve done it before.

And let’s say they catch lightning in a bottle in April and win a playoff round.

What’s Bryan do then? Fire Sam? No way, can’t do it.

So the timing now is perfect.

It gives the GM 65 games assess Jay as a head coach and if it works, he becomes a legitimate candidate for the job next summer. If it doesn’t work, Bryan can say he gave it a shot by firing Sam when the season was still salvageable and now it’s time to go find another guy.

Perfect timing for a GM, methinks.

-

Someone owes someone:

Q: Doug. I am stunned, because ever since my boyfriend got season's tickets, I have learned most of what I know about the game and its back story from your blog so when he said last night that Mitchell was going to get fired, I said "Doug keeps saying it's not time for that yet". Here's my Q - as a basketball newbie -- can a guy who was an assistant coach ‘til today do any better than an experienced coach? Isn't it more about the roster the Raps have, the combination just isn't working the way they want it to??

Carla M, Toronto

P.S.: My boyfriend gets all braggy when you publish his questions, so if you actually publish this he'll be either really impressed or green with envy or both.

A: I’m hoping he’s more impressed than anything.

Assistant coaches can indeed make good head coaches, even if they don’t have head coaching experience. Every assistant coach worth his stats sheet thinks about what he’d do in any particular situation and, in this case, Jay’s been around the NBA for 13 years figuring out how he’d handle this and that.

-

I’m out for now, gotta get up early to get some player reaction at practice and jet on over to Salt Lake City.

Keep watching this space for the goods.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Doc. Good read this morning and props to Sam for being a classy individual even in defeat. I think he did a lot of good things and should be remembered for them.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Doug's such an assbone.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And now what? -- From Deep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grange, today at 8:06 AM EST
A few random thoughts about the obvious.

*I was out tooling around doing a few errands very early this morning when The Fan (Toronto's all-sports radio station, for those outside T-zero) played 'the greatest hits', so to speak of Sam's weekly radio feature. And I was laughing. Because forget what he may or may not have been as a coach, the guy was a character like most markets, and certainly Toronto has never seen and may never again.

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
On his legacy:

A lot of players we had here over the years may not have been NBA players but I think I got something out of all of them.
Couldn't agree more. It doesn't matter what the sam-haters say, players like Bargnani would of rotted on most NBA teams benches. Defense was so foreign to him, alot of coaches would of written him off as a stiff. At his peak he would be a 7 foot three point shooter, closer to Wang Zhu-Zhu than Dirk Nowitzki.

Sam was relentless in pushing guys like Bosh and Bargnani, and they became the players they are because of him. Even players like Kapono expanded his game defensively and offensively. Sure he didn't hit the threes people wanted, but he became a more all round player, and he'll only be better in the future because of it.

Of course most ignorant fans think any Raptor must of improved despite him, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bjjs View Post
Couldn't agree more. It doesn't matter what the sam-haters say, players like Bargnani would of rotted on most NBA teams benches. Defense was so foreign to him, alot of coaches would of written him off as a stiff. At his peak he would be a 7 foot three point shooter, closer to Wang Zhu-Zhu than Dirk Nowitzki.

Sam was relentless in pushing guys like Bosh and Bargnani, and they became the players they are because of him. Even players like Kapono expanded his game defensively and offensively. Sure he didn't hit the threes people wanted, but he became a more all round player, and he'll only be better in the future because of it.

Of course most ignorant fans think any Raptor must of improved despite him, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Do you forget that it was BC who TOLD Sam to play Bargs?

Do you forget that Sam went a period WITHOUT talking to Bargs at all to prove some point?

Do you forget that the Raps needed to send Bargs to bigman camp and to practice most of the summer with JO and Evans?

Wow, Sam made him exactly what he is.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Snooch, I do forget things from time to time, but I also know things. You clearly just don't know. anything.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey, the Raps made The New York Times today!
Quote:
Originally Posted by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS -- December 3, 2008
The Toronto Raptors fired Coach Sam Mitchell on Wednesday and replaced him with the assistant Jay Triano, one day after an embarrassing loss at Denver.

Mitchell led the Raptors to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and was honored as the N.B.A.’s coach of the year for 2006-7. Toronto was off to an 8-9 start, due in part to injuries.

General Manager Bryan Colangelo said Tuesday night’s 132-93 loss to the Nuggets was the final straw. Toronto allowed Denver to shoot 60 percent from the field.

Mitchell is the third N.B.A. coach to be replaced this season. Oklahoma City fired P. J. Carlesimo and Washington dismissed Eddie Jordan last month.

Colangelo said Triano, the first Canadian head coach in N.B.A. history, would probably be in charge for the rest of the season.
That's the whole article.

I think that the rest of the NBA doesn't agree with (or fully understand) why the decision was made. Personally, Sam's comments at the beginning of the season made me think that he didn't believe in his team. He didn't think that they had the talent to compete. And I think that you can't coach a team effectively if that's your opinion.

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Old 12-04-2008, 12:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bjjs View Post
Snooch, I do forget things from time to time, but I also know things. You clearly just don't know. anything.
OK.....

nice response.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Snooch, I'm sorry, but you're version of the truth which is often wrong, just isn't worth responding to.

Let's pretend for a second that we know exactly what has gone on between Mitchell and Bargs, which we don't..

If Mitchell wasn't talking to Bargnani for two weeks, it hardly makes what I said, incorrect, and it hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. It was a moot point. Because the fact of the matter is, two weeks, is a pretty short period of time during three years. Human beings, relationships, it happens.

If BC told Mitchell to play Bargs. Ok, again, it hardly makes what I said, incorrect, and it hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. It's an assumption that BC ordered it. And it's naive to think that is the only reason Bargnani has been on the court. Again a moot point.

The Raps hardly needed to do anything with Bargs, but sending him to a bigman camp again, hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. They aren't mutually exclusive, it would be foolish to think they are, again a moot point.

Snooch, you have to see how frustrating it is dealing with senseless posts.
If you had some valuable inside information on why Sam wasn't the one responsible, or you argued that Bargnani hasn't made improvements under Sam, fine, I would disagree, but I would respect your response. But come at me with something of substance, not the typical cookie-cutter Sam-hating bullshit assumptions and exaggerations.

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Old 12-04-2008, 01:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bjjs View Post
Snooch, I'm sorry, but you're version of the truth which is often wrong, just isn't worth responding to.

Let's pretend for a second that we know exactly what has gone on between Mitchell and Bargs, which we don't..

If Mitchell wasn't talking to Bargnani for two weeks, it hardly makes what I said, incorrect, and it hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. It was a moot point. Because the fact of the matter is, two weeks, is a pretty short period of time during three years. Human beings, relationships, it happens.

If BC told Mitchell to play Bargs. Ok, again, it hardly makes what I said, incorrect, and it hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. It's an assumption that BC ordered it. And it's naive to think that is the only reason Bargnani has been on the court. Again a moot point.

The Raps hardly needed to do anything with Bargs, but sending him to a bigman camp again, hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. They aren't mutually exclusive, it would be foolish to think they are, again a moot point.

Snooch, you have to see how frustrating it is dealing with senseless posts.
If you had some valuable inside information on why Sam wasn't the one responsible, or you argued that Bargnani hasn't made improvements under Sam, fine, I would disagree, but I would respect your response. But come at me with something of substance, not the typical cookie-cutter Sam-hating bullshit assumptions and exaggerations.
I'll give you the not talking part.

Play bargs
Quote:
So, he let his coach make the call for a couple of sluggish weeks to start the season, but finally Colangelo could not let Sam Mitchell bury Bargnani on the bench anymore.

Along the way, most NBA executives deliver these sorts of directives to coaches, but few ever confess to them. Absolutely, Colangelo would say on the telephone this week, he made it clear to Mitchell that the Italian prodigy, the future of the franchise, had to get in the game.

The terms were unconditional: Play Bargnani now.

"I just felt it was important to point out that we were (2-7), struggling to win games and we were doing so with a very frustrated young player put in position to appear as a failure because of the under-utilization of his talents," Colangelo said.
Thats is all I am going to say about this anymore. You can keep your opinions and I'll keep knowing they are wrong.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, again, that doesn't make what I said incorrect.
And opinions aside,
the fact is
Andrea Bargnani's overall game improved dramatically while Sam Mitchell was his coach.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, again, that doesn't make what I said incorrect.
And opinions aside,
the fact is
Andrea Bargnani's overall game improved dramatically while Sam Mitchell was his coach.
Holy shit man, thats really shooting fish in a barrell.


Quote:
If BC told Mitchell to play Bargs. Ok, again, it hardly makes what I said, incorrect, and it hardly makes it impossible that Mitchell had an influence on Bargnani's growth. It's an assumption that BC ordered it. And it's naive to think that is the only reason Bargnani has been on the court. Again a moot point
The question remains has Bargs progressed because or in spite of Sam Mitchell.

Would Bargs have gotten to where he is without being played at BC's "urging" or would he have sat on the bench for the rest of the season?

It wasnt until Bargs was finally given a chance to work through mistakes that he started to develop. Same with Joey, during a 10 game stretch when Garbo was hurt and Sam had no choice but to play him, Joey put up very solid numbers as a 5th option on offense.

So lets look at the players under Sam
Joey-hasnt developed, hasnt been put in a position to succeed
Moon-Regressed
Bargs-wasnt getting played,regressed
Hump-putting in alot of work with the assistants


I am gonna leave this whole thing with you with this, you are really grasping at straws with the Mitchell thing, but thats you opinion and I will try to understand and respect that.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Grasping at straws? Im just stating facts. You're harping on a few events and making assumptions at how much they impacted future decisions to support your version of the truth that you want so hard to be true.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Andrea Bargnani's overall game improved dramatically while Sam Mitchell was his coach.
Compared to who else PB?
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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PB, i wouldn't bother with snooch. he's a dumbass.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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PB, i wouldn't bother with snooch. he's a dumbass.
Piss on you too.


Dumbass or not, I am always right.



Not my fault, I just am.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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not only a dumbass, but completely unoriginal.
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