Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Colangelo’

Mmmmm....losing.

Mmmmm….losing.

Got some sporty friends coming over for a special occasion? Want to impress them with your ability to cook up failure, disappointment, and mediocrity? We’ve got you covered.

Chef Colangelo’s tried-and-true recipe should do nicely. First, the ingredients:

(Serves a city of 2.6 million)

  • 2 cups of marketing
  • 8 lbs of optimism
  • 1 tsp or less of talent (optional)
  • 1 point guard controversy
  • 1-2 talented but over-hyped rookies
  • 3 cups of NBA journeymen
  • 1 rock (for pounding)
  • 2 apologies for poor officiating
  • 1 secret ingredient (be sure to overpay grossly for this one)
  • A pinch of Primo pasta sauce
Directions:
1. Before cooking, tell your guests how awesome the meal will be.

In the pre-season, word was that the Raptors would be back in the playoffs in April. Last year’s defensive boost, thanks to Coach Casey, was sure to continue. We were a lock for the 8th spot, at least. And with Valanciunas the Lethal Lithuanian on board, this was bound to be a great year.

2. Start slowly. Very slowly.

One of the worst starts in franchise history had people screaming for a total rebuild before Christmas. Word spread around the league that this was a surprisingly bad team. One of my favourite quotes from the early season came from Ben Golliver at The Blazer’s Edge, writing after the 4-18 Raptors had visited (and lost by 18 points to) his hometown Blazers:

The horror stories bubble quickly around the NBA and the word has been out about the Raptors for a few weeks now. It’s never the same until you see it up close though. This wasn’t 2012 Charlotte Bobcats bad or 2011 Washington Wizards bad, but it was worse in a way, because the Raptors seem like genuinely nice and good people who are trying to win, or at least not actively trying to lose.

It’s a beautiful quote because it’s so completely Toronto. We’re the lovable losers. The dinner guests you invite over because you feel bad for them, and they bring you an awful bottle of homemade wine that tastes like tepid grape juice and gives you the runs.

3. After simmering for a while, change ingredients.

In one of the season’s most bittersweet moments, the beloved Jose Calderon was moved, along with Ed Davis, in a three-team deal that brought Rudy Gay to Toronto. Gay appeared to have an immediate impact, pouring in the points and hitting big shots. For the first time since Mookie Wilson, Torontonians had a sports star whose name could be chanted and sound like booing:

But the honeymoon didn’t last long, as folks started to realize that for every big shot he hit, Rudy was hoisting up about a thousand others that would clang off iron. His shooting percentage was shockingly low, and before you could say “buyer’s remorse”, fans were wishing we could go back to the days of a reliable, pass-first, shoddy-defending point guard.

4. Serve sheepishly, but with assurances that dessert will be amazing.

When the chefs at MLSE realized that they’d served Toronto yet another helping of lousy basketball, they were ready with 17 excuses reasons why fans should be ready for some serious contending next year. Seriously. For serious this time. They even made a website and video about it:

But in all honesty, we know what next year will be like. If the chef is the same, the meal will still have the same odd smell, the same mealy texture, the same bitter aftertaste.

The Raptors finish 2012-2013 moving into un-charted territory, even for a club with their sad history: for the first time, the team has seen five straight seasons with no playoffs. The drought has been on for so long that we’ve started to forget what water even looks like.

But don’t worry. Chef Colangelo’s cooking up something great for next year.

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RAPOGANDA, n. (rap-ah-gan-dah) Media created with the purpose of fuelling optimism with regard to the future of the Toronto Raptors basketball club. Often involves the framing of mediocre players as all-stars, the assertion that the Raptors will make the playoffs very soon, and the unfounded claim that most NBA players are just dying to play in Toronto. Usually results in inflated expectations, which in turn leads to panic, fan disillusionment, and an infinite cycle of rebuilding. 

Things I like about the video above:

  1. It looks like it was filmed in an FBI interrogation room. I almost expect Agent Smith to appear over Leo’s shoulder and say, “I assume you’ll be renewing your season tickets, won’t you, Misssster Rautinsssss….”
  2. I had no idea that Terrence Ross “intrigues the hell” out of Jack Armstrong. I’m also not sure what he means, but Ross might want to play it safe and restraining-order-the-hell out of Armstrong.
  3. There’s the token mention of Bargnani as a key member of the team at 1:54. Probably added into the script once they realized nobody would trade for him.
  4. There’s just the tiniest hint of desperation when they talk about this team being “attractive to free agents”. It’s as if they’re trying to wish it into reality by saying it over and over again. Or maybe they’re just scared because Bryan Colangelo is standing just outside the frame with a shotgun.

If Colangelo is serious about saving his job, he’ll do two things: pull off a big deadline trade, and buy a suit like this one. (Photo: dustinscafe.blogspot.com)

At last year’s trade deadline, there wasn’t much happening in Raptorville. Sure, they traded Barbosa, but I’m pretty sure nobody noticed. Barbosa included.

This year’s a different story. The Raptors’ season has been a bit like watching “Titanic” in reverse; a god-awful beginning full of death and hopelessness, followed by some hot action and serious excitement.

And now, on the heels of the Rudy Gay trade, a modest but legit win streak, and the crowning of Terrence Ross as the new NBA Dunk Champion, word is that a big trade before this week’s deadline might set this team up for some real success next year. And in case Mr. Colangelo gets cold feet and can’t figure out what moves to make, here is my list of suggestions:

Trade Suggestion #1: Andrea Bargnani for the Pillsbury Doughboy

Strong work ethic, lots of experience, and a snappy dresser. What more could we want? (Photo:ramblings.fram.blogspot.com)

Both these guys are in need of a change of scenery. Bargnani has long since worn out his welcome in Toronto, while the Doughboy has been at it since 1965, and could use a new gig. Beyond that, they have lots of similarities:

  • Pasty white? Check.
  • Arms that lack muscle definition? Check
  • Experience as celebrity food endorsement guy? Check.
  • Notoriously soft? Check mate.

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Trade Suggestion #2: Aaron Gray for Rob Ford

Mayor Ford would be willing to sacrifice his body for the team. (Photo: imgur.com)

If you’re going to have a big lumbering oaf on your team, it might as well be somebody who’ll give you a few good soundbites in post-game interviews. Ford would be a force to reckon with up front. He’s determined, he’s got confidence, and as you can see above, he’s far more graceful than Aaron Gray.

And I think Gray would work out pretty well as mayor, too. He’s likeable, he’s got a great smile, and he just wants a chance to be a meaningful part of a team.

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Trade Suggestion #3: Linas Kleiza for An Old Boot (or best offer).

Adding an old boot to the roster would really free up some bench space for the Raptors. (Photo: 16xx8.com)

Anyone? Please?
You can even keep the laces.
Anyone?

Over the holidays, the ghost of failures past visited Demar DeRozan to teach him the true meaning of Christmas. (Photo: bleacherreport.com)

Record:  10-20 (6-4 over the past 10)

Low point: December 10th vs. Portland: 5th straight loss. 11th straight road loss.  Bargnani and Lowry get hurt. Amir Johnson gets ejected. Portland sets an NBA record by going 0-for-20 from three-point land, but still wins by 18. 

High point: Bargnani and Lowry getting injured, allowing the rest of the guys to play like a team and win 5 games in a row for the first time since 1844.

Stuff I’ve Noticed:

  • Valanciunas has got hustle. He’s more energetic in warm-ups than most players are in the actual game.
  • Calderon’s bald spot is now visible from the upper bowl.
  • Once he’s no longer needed as Jonas’ translator, Linas Kleiza has got to go.
Memorable Quote:
“There’s been some slippage, clearly.”
-GM Bryan Colangelo exhibits interesting word choice while analyzing Toronto’s defensive focus.

Photo: fivechan.org

‘Tis the night before Christmas, and all through T.O.,
Not a commentator is stirring, not even Matt and Leo.
The Raptors have won five consecutive games,
With a lineup of youngsters, subs, and no-names.

The players are nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of playoffs dance in their heads.
But management can’t sleep. They’re not even yawny;
They’re trying to figure out what to do with Bargnani.

In the blogosphere there has arisen such a clatter,
And Colangelo knows it’s a delicate matter;
Do we trade Jose? But he’s playing so well,
He and the young guys are starting to gel…

And what about Lowry? Do we really need him back?
Is he our next Mighty Mouse? Or just our next Jarrett Jack?
And then there’s John Lucas, the infamous shot-taker,
Who hoists ’em up now and asks questions later.

One thing’s for sure: as the new year approaches,
Raptorland looks to its management and coaches
To make good decisions. To rid us of fear.
To give us a reason to stand up and cheer.

The players are certainly doing their part;
It’s hard to find fault with their effort or heart.
Jonas puts heart into each shot he takes,
No matter the cost, or how many fingers he breaks.

Lanky Ed Davis is making great strides,
And Ross makes us cheer when he takes to the skies.
Amir’s got our logo on the back of his cranium,
And Linas…well, he’s our second-best Lithuanian.

So as MLSE takes a brief Christmas break,
And tries to decide which moves it should make,
Perhaps what we need isn’t just a new player…
…what did Toronto do when displeased with its mayor?

Merry Christmas, Raptor fans!

BC’s lack of success in Toronto has made him the butt of many an internet joke. (Photo: firebc.com)

Frustration with our GM has been growing for a while now, but following this interview, things seem to have hit that mythical tipping point. The people are mad.

Could this be the Raptors’ version of the social-media-fuelled “Arab Spring” that supposedly changed the shape of things in the middle-east?

Probably not. But it’s generated a pretty sweet website, firebc.com, which is dedicated to getting Colangelo canned. You can browse hilarious BC photos, email those with the power to fire him, or hitch your wagon to the #FireBC hashtag.

And so, with a new collective greed bargaining agreement in place, NBA basketball is back.

In this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, Chris Mannix analyses the Raptor’s outlook for this year’s mini-season. Funny, but as I was reading it, I couldn’t help feeling as if Mannix was talking about an old car: “…a hole in the middle…little money to spend on an upgrade…Colangelo will look to add cheap, short-term pieces…” Is Colangelo running a basketball team, or trying to get his 1988 Oldsmobile to make it through one more winter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, but who cares? Basketball is back, and the infinite possibilities of a new season are back with it.

The Raptors have a young team, great fans, a #1 pick (well…he’s playing in Lithuania right now, but whatever), and most significantly, a new coach.

Holy Craptors! I can’t wait for it to start.