As many folks that read the blog are aware I call in to the Hoops show on a regular basis. I had just saw the comments of Chris Bosh on the firing of Sam Mitchell. He was asked a pretty typical media question given the events that have happened. The question was asked if Chris Bosh felt the team was responsible for Sam Mitchell being fired. I expected to hear the typical answer that was given by Bryan Colangelo. That answer is that we were all responsible for what has happened. But that is not what Bosh said. He said a flat out no. This was a choice made by management and the team was not responsible for it. I am not a fan of that. That is not the answer that I expect from the leader of this team. He would go on to defend that the team was only 8-9 and that there was a lot of the season to go. But I just really was disturbed by the comments and the way he said it.
Up to this point in the Dino Nation Blog I have taken the position that I was confident that Chris Bosh would re-sign with the Raptors and I was secure in that belief. I even went as far as to lay into Jalen Rose of ESPN for his comments about Bosh being a lock to join Lebron James in New York with the Knicks. Jalen said he knew and it was a sure thing. The question for me was how on earth would he know. I mean does he know Bosh? Sure and they may even still talk but I really have no idea. But given the character and loyalty that Bosh has shown I dismissed what Jalen said as a way to get ratings for ESPN. I am now not sure if I was wrong or right. Sam and Chris at least seemed to have a great coach and player relationship. I can not understand why Bosh would not feel some element of responsibility for him being fired. I am willing to give Chris the benefit of the doubt. It was obviously a shock to him to see Sam get fired. But who was Bosh angry with in those comments? Is he angry with Sam, was he angry that Bryan fired him? Or just frustrated by the question and the fact his team was in this position at this point.
I think everyone understands what a great season Chris has been having. I am not saying as an individual he should feel responsible for Sam being fired. I think you could build a case that Bosh and his development are a key factor in Sam Mitchell remaining the coach of the Raptors for as long as he did. It all just seems strange and out of character for Chris and I just don't know if it was a case of a bad day or something more. I have always said Chris Bosh is a smart young man and is one of the more media savvy players in the NBA and pro sports in general. I can't imagine he makes a statement with microphones in front of him that is not well thought out. I did not want to become one of the masses living in fear till 2010 but a few more comments like this out of CB4 and I may be on the worry express all the way to 2010. I always write this blog in a way that I try to tap into my honest feelings and emotions at the time I am writing it. That emotion and feeling right now is DEEP CONCERN.
Raptors Can't Get Up For This One, Check For A Pulse
This is far from the time for the Raptors to be hitting the national stage on ESPN but that is what is in front of the Raptors. Jay Triano and his Raptors will debut against Utah on ESPN. It will be interesting to see how this team responds to all of this. The return of Jermaine O'Neal should have provided a spark to this team but instead they laid a huge egg that cost Sam Mitchell his job it would turn out. So now they have had a coach fired will that motivate them? I mean if you take Bosh's answer at face value you would say no. Being on ESPN though may provide some motivation. I will say this with everything that has gone on and the situation of this game vs. Utah if they are not up for this game they never will be. Bryan Colangelo will need to act fast and make a move. If the Raptors are not a much more inspired team. You fire a coach for a lot of reasons. But one of those reasons is to shock the culture of your basketball team to the core. Every player has a new person to answer to and impress. If you are a Joey Graham you can not say well Sam doesn't like me and that is why I don't play. Every player as a new person that knows them all but will have his own view of them. That view will dictate to them things like playing time and roles.
Pressure Now Shifts To B.C
I think at the end of the day the spotlight by making this move has fallen to Bryan Colangelo. We are going to find out if Colangelo was right to say this was the most talented roster in his time hear with the Raptors. I never understood that comment myself. It added a lot of pressure on everyone. It was clearly a roster with holes in it as well. Maybe the most talented starting 5 he has every had? I could have bought that argument. But it was clear to me that by adding J.O the bench was being made on the cheap. They also had to pay Calderon a ton of cash to resign him. So Bryan is not dumb he knows his bench had a lot of high risk cheap options on it.
I think as far as things sit now the honeymoon for Bryan Colangelo is over with Raptor Fans. Colangelo in his first few seasons had an almost God like or saviour type feel for this fan base. But now people are not as afraid to express that doubt and question Colangelo. Some are even wondering about things like if T.J Ford should have been moved. I as many know was a huge supporter of T.J and I am happy to see people understand that T.J was a key part of this team. That is not to say you do not make the move that Colangelo made. My feeling was and still is that if this team decided to trade Ford they needed to replace what T.J brought to this club. Bringing in Jermaine O'Neal was a good move for the long term of this franchise and could be a good move for short term despite the start this team has had. But Roko Ukic was never going to be ready and Will Solomon was not a guy that has shown any signs of being an NBA level back-up point guard. Jose Calderon as I had said was not the perfect point guard. The Raptors would have face issues if they had kept T.J and moved Calderon in a sign and trade. T.J is a flawed point guard as well. But in the end when you took away one you needed to provide a legit back up to play behind the other. In Indiana they still went out and brought in Jarrett Jack to play behind T.J with them. Ford and the risk of injury was high and that was obviously part of the choice to move him. But in not bringing in a legit option behind Jose his health became key for Raptors. If Ford goes down with Pacers and Jack comes in I think the Pacers could still win games. The Raptors without Claderon were doomed.
There are lots of other things people can point to if you care to pick a part Colangelo. Hassan Adams was brought in and is a total stiff to this point. Many wonder about Andrea Bargnani has the first pick that Colangelo made. I will stick up for Bryan on this point. Andrea was always meant to be player that was drafted for his long term out look. He is starting to show the signs of what Bryan had in mind in drafting him. But it is not like Colangelo has not made mistakes. Fred Jones comes to mind as a guy that did not work out for Bryan. The problem is even if Bryan feels he has made mistakes with this roster can he ultimately make the adjustments he wants to going forward? We are going to find out. The point is now everyone will look at Colangelo and evaluate him as any other G.M now. Colangelo has made wise moves for the future of this franchise. But he needs to make it to 2010 and most importantly not lose Chris Bosh in the process. I mean lose him in the sense of having the faith in Bryan to build a winner around him. I think Colangelo understands that losing Chris Bosh in this city with the history it has could be a terrible blow to this franchise and the fan base.
Good Luck To Our Contest Finalists
I just want to encourage you all to vote and support our contest finalist for the chance to see the Return of T.J Ford with me at the A.C.C. Check out the entries of Brett, Jonathan and Maurice. After you have give the one you think is the best your vote. The winner is the one that best expressed their love of the Raptors and the Dino Nation Blog. I have been working on a few extra surprises for the winner as well. We will see how that works out. But for you voters I have extended you chance to vote till Saturday Morning. Given all of the events with Sam Mitchell being fired it delayed me getting to do some of the things related to the contest. I wanted to give people a fair chance to vote and the contestants a fair chance to earn your support. Your vote will be the poll winner. I also get a vote and a third guest judge I have selected that works on a Raptor forums that I take part in. So show some support and vote for one of these guys they worked hard and I am sure all would like to go to the game. I know I am excited to be going with one of them.