Raptors making moves, cut ties with Alvin Williams
Well, if Tim Leiweke wanted to make significant changes to get away from the Raptors past, he’s picked the right guy to fire.
In what I think is a terribly short-sighted move that will rankle as many people as anything he does, Leiweke has told Alvin Williams that his services are no longer required.
Yep, the chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment – on the job for less than a month – has jettisoned one of the great guys ever associated with the franchise and a man who wanted nothing more than to spend his entire career with the organization in some way, shape or form.
Alvin had spent last season scouting for the team, based out of Philadelphia, but he was far, far more than just an employee picking up a cheque.
He loved the organization and the city, he was a link to some of the best times the team has ever had, he is a great guy who’d show up every now and then and sooth some antsy players, offer a unique perspective and be a valued confidant to many.
Fired. Not by the general manager who never spoke to him, but by a CEO who seems hellbent on getting his fingers in every decision at some level.
Look, we all know that keeping people around this team forever is hard; there has been too much change, too many people discarded.
I’d say that if you’ve got someone the fans love, the players trust, the coaches appreciate and who wants to be part of it, you don’t cast him adrift.
You keep him around somehow, let him keep scouting, let him keep coming around every month or so, let him do his job.
It’s not like Alvin was going to demand a seven figure salary and a say in all major personnel decisions. He wanted just to keep working, to be part of the Raptors.
There aren’t a lot of that kind of guy around, I cannot see the harm in keeping him, if for no other reason that what he represents.
Everyone knows how hard he played, what he gave to the team – hell, I bet he cut his career two years short by playing through bad knees because he wanted to win and for the franchise to flourish.
As messages go, they just sent a crappy one.
And people will notice.
Good way to end a San Antonio trip, no?
A week in San Antonio can be a long, long time.
Things we like
For Tex-Mex, try the three-taco combo with chicken, beef and pork and the Dos Equis draft, please.
Good people watching and the Irish pub across the river and around the corner from the hotel.
St. Arnold’s summer pilsner
Don’t know that I’ll have it again, but it’s a tasty delight should try.
Things we didn’t like
On five of the seven days, always in the late afternoon, early evening, the skies opened. And I’m not talking sprinkles or showers, I’m talking deluge.
Know how the Leaves People clog Yonge Street? Well, double it, cut a lane off the width of the road and you’ve got it. Sat in the bus after Game 3 dead stopped for about 15 minutes before we all finally got out and walked the final five blocks or so. Beat the bus by 20 minutes.
No, not the Heat, the heat. Was mid-30s every day and as some of you might have realized, I’m not built for mid-30s. Mid-20s, maybe.
So, is this the week?
Remember how everyone waited for some resolution to the Colangelo situation with the HOTH?
Well, we’re in the same holding pattern with respect to the coaching staff and I’m hearing from a couple of spots that this has to be the week they decide on who’ll work with Dwane Casey next year.
I do know that Casey and Masai have met and talked several times over the last few days as they try to figure out just what they’re going to do with the staff and with the summer league coming up quickly.
I don’t know if the changes will be wholesale but I do think a couple of Johnny Davis, Micah Nori, Tom Sterner and Scott Roth will be gone.
No particular reason – it’s not like they did bad jobs, or anything like that – except maybe it’s time for some new voices for Dwane and the players.
And that’s just it, new, not necessarily better, just maybe a couple different personality types are needed.
I’m sure, as I’ve said, they’ll look for an ex-player and I would think teaching ability, enthusiasm and knowledge would be at the top of the attributes list.
Who will these new guys be?
Well, the only names I’ve heard were Popeye Jones, Tyron Lue and Chris Finch but that was so long ago – pre-Masai – that I’m not sure they’re still in the mix.
But I’m sure whatever happens will happen when I’m on an airplane some day this week so we’ll be playing catch up.
I hadn’t had a grilled fish taco in years and gobbled down a handful of them at two dinners on the Texas leg of this never-ending journey and they would go high on the list of good stuff I don’t have often enough.
Now I’m thinking first long day on the Casa Doug Deck will be topped off with a little fish taco buffet. Sound good?
Missed this entirely last week and sorry about that.
The Canadian cadet men’s team – under-16 – finished third on the weekend in the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament and qualified for the 2014 world championships.
And the developmental team that Jay’s got over in China is rolling through a long Four Nations Tournament, rattling off seven straight wins, including three over the United States.
That team is basically the group that will play at the world university games later this summer in Russia and they’ve certainly set a high standard.