Forgive me for feeling that this isn’t exactly news worthy of a lengthy post, but for all intents and purposes, Bryan Colangelo was fired when he was stripped of his role as General Manager and stripped of his basketball operations duties over a month ago.
Sure, the team kept him on as a President of Business Operations, but Colangelo was a “President” in name only, and most of us were able to see that his new role was a temporary solution before B.C. either found another hands-on basketball job in the NBA or until Tim Leiweke was able to completely separate Colangelo from the Raptors organization.
We don’t yet know what caused Colangelo to step down from his role as President of Team and Business Operations on Wednesday (Did he find that other job? Did Leiweke finally decide that enough was enough?), but we do know that he’s transitioned into the final stage of a sports executive’s separation from a team – the dreaded “consultant” stage.
No one should have overreacted when Colangelo was kept on despite losing his GM job (though too many people did), and no one should be overreacting to Wednesday’s news as if it’s some sort of shocking development. In the end, both are just steps towards Colangelo’s time with the Raptors inevitably and officially coming to an end, just as the final step will be when Colangelo either finds his next job or is relieved of consulting duties that probably won’t even exist.
I’m not at all belittling Colangelo’s efforts to improve the Raptors over the last seven years, but the fact remains that this is Masai Ujiri’s team now, and with Draft night upon us and potential deals to be made, we shouldn’t be distracted from that by off-court moves that no longer affect the team.