Updated: December 19, 2012 7:45 PM | By Jeff Hale, MSN Sports

Raptors wise to be patient with their decision on Colangelo

Toronto is better to let him finish his contract while ownership sorts out a plan


Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo speaks to the media at the Raptors annual year end press conference in Toronto on April 27, 2012. (© CANADIAN PRESS - Nathan Denette)

Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo speaks to the media at the Raptors annual year end press conference in Toronto on April 27, 2012. The Raptors received plenty of attention last week, when there was much baying for the firing of Colangelo because of the lack of results in the team's performance this season.

This is how it’s going for the Toronto Raptors. They put together two impressive victories over the weekend but most Toronto sports fans probably didn’t notice, diverted by the major trade the Blue Jays were pursuing, acquiring pitcher R.A. Dickey, the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the National League.

Even if the Raptors, 7-19 this season, finish with a flourish heading into the holidays — they play three eminently winnable games this week, beginning in Cleveland and then at home against Detroit and Orlando — their chances of regaining some prominence on the Toronto sports scene are as likely as a Raptors’ win on the road, where they are 2-14.

Still, the Raptors received plenty of attention last week, when there was much baying for the firing of Bryan Colangelo, the team’s president and general manager. The howling is understood. The Raptors have gone four seasons without a playoff appearance and then there is the disaster unfolding presently. That has dulled the earlier polish on Colangelo’s c.v., in 2007 and 2008, when the Raptors made back-to-back playoff appearances. Toronto finished first in the Atlantic Division in 2007 and Colangelo was named the NBA’s executive of the year.

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Colangelo, whose contract ends with this season, at least has the courage of his conviction. Near the end of the Raptors’ horrible five-game western road swing earlier this month, when they dropped all five games, including three in which they failed to score 100 points, Colangelo said the players lacked focus and an attention to detail. In other words, the talent is there, the onus to sort it out is on the players and the coaching staff.

Colangelo has reason to exercise damage control. He has been unable to attract big-time free agents, most recently being spurned by Steve Nash, whom Colangelo acquired in 2004 when he was running the Phoenix Suns. Neither has Colangelo been able to keep the marquee talent he had at his disposal, losing Chris Bosh to Miami in 2010.

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