There are a fewofthese videos from Amir Johnson’s trip to Google’s new Toronto offices, but I like this one the best, and not just because it features my current favorite track off a spectacular rap record, even though I will admit that is a really big part of it. No, I like this one the best because I think it would be great to hang out in a secret closet party with Amir Johnson, and I’m pretty sure he would actually throw one. I mean, if he’s going to spend an hour getting put in to zombie makeup, he must know of somewhere with a bookshelf dance club. Hit me up, bro.
After a 47-win season during his first year in control of the Raptors’ holodeck, Bryan Colangelo has struggled to put together a winning team. In the six seasons since, Toronto has reached .500 only one other time, and even that was just a 41-41 campaign during the 2007-08 season. It’s Bad News Bears over there, and Bryan Colangelo is kind of Walter Matthau.
But that’s OK, because the Raptors brought in some new management, which means Bryan Colangelo is on his way out. Sort of, if by “out” you mean “down the hall.” From the Globe and Mail:
Bryan Colangelo will remain on as team president, but the search for a new general manager has begun, the Toronto Raptors confirmed on Tuesday.
The revamped senior leadership of the National Basketball Association team was outlined by Tim Leiweke, the incoming president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, in a news release.
MSLE is also continuing a search, with input from Colangelo, to identify candidates for the new GM, a process the team hopes to complete in the next 30 days.
“After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization,” said Leiweke. “By splitting the roles and having both men report directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in the future. The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due diligence around the League indicates that we have a fine, young core and a few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season.”
While the new GM will have autonomy over basketball decisions, Colangelo will continue to advise Leiweke on basketball-related matters while also broadening his involvement with the business side of the franchise.
I know what you’re thinking and I’m thinking it too — this is gonna get weird … two GMs. I mean, why would you keep a largely failed GM around to give advice on basketball decisions when you are hiring a new GM who is actually in charge of basketball decisions? It’s bizarre, and the only thing I can think of that is even comparable is the John Paxson/Gar Forman braintrust that makes decisions for the Chicago Bulls.
So why would the Raptors want to keep Bryan Colangelo around when it’s not really necessary? Well, there are actually a lot of reasons.
He is a Colangelo, so he pretty much knows everybody in the league.
He’s got like a million scouts overseas.
Everyone really likes his high-collared dress shirts and they’d like to continue sharing his tailor.
Bryan eats at the best Portugese chicken places in Toronto and can always get a table, and Tim Leiweke looooooooooves Portugese chicken.
Kind of nice to always have someone to blame everything on.
Will serve as a nice sounding board for the new real GM, in that they can ask Colangelo for his opinions on various moves. If he likes the idea, the new guy will immediately know not to do it.
Didn’t want to have to deal with all the “Colangeral Damage” headlines.
Would be weird to fire a guy named “Bryan” with a Y without saying he’s “fyred,” which looks really weird, so why even bother in the first place?
Still pretty fun to hear him answer the phone by saying, “Colang-hello.”
It’s going to take more than one person to sign every poor-shooting swingman in the league at the same time.
As you can see, keeping Bryan Colangelo around to make the Raptors more interesting is simply a matter of convenience. No one wants to give up Portugese chicken or high-collared dress shirts. It makes sense.
Hey, were you wondering about the sleeveless t-shirt Amir Johnson wears over his uniform when he’s warming up before games? No? Well, too bad because you’re going to learn about it in like three seconds.
“I just kind of stick with the same shirt all season long,” Johnson said. “It shows how much work I’ve put in. That’s just my T-shirt. It was ripped, but I just tied it to kind of rebuild it.”
You know how John Wetteland never changed his hat during a season, and then it ended up being a crusty brown head flap by the end of the year? This is the NBA equivalent of that.
And the best part is, since Amir just seems to cut off the parts of his shirt that have something wrong with them, it probably doesn’t smell. I mean, just look at the armholes — there’s nothing there to even absorb pit juices. That’s just smart thinking if you’re going to get the same shirt all sweaty for seven months at a time.
Most impressive, however, is that Amir Johnson has somehow been able to hang on to this rag of a shirt for an entire season. Not only is it impressive that the thing hasn’t disintegrated, it must be a challenge to keep track of such a formless piece of fabric. How many times must someone have tried to throw this out, only to have Amir remind them that that was his favorite shirt? Probably a lot.
I like this. The baseballness of it, what the tattered shirt means to Amir Johnson, the dedication to actually keeping track of it — it’s all good. Let’s just make sure he gets a new one next year because I’m pretty sure this won’t survive a summer in storage.