Among the thousands of questions about how to rebuild the Toronto Raptors there is one central question that has to be answered first — should Bryan Colangelo be the one doing the rebuilding?
There have been public comments about an extension being in the works for months, just as there have been rumors saying he will be allowed to leave when his contract is up June 30. The fact that the ownership group can’t agree on an answer tells you plenty about what is really holding things back in Toronto.
When we talk about Raptors ownership, we are talking about Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (which also owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs and other sports ventures).
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is run by a board and last week the chair of that board (Larry Tanenbaum) threw his support behind Colangelo. So why no extension yet? Dave Feschuk at the Toronto Star explains.
It’s because there remains at least one anti-Colangelo voice among the power brokers. That voice, multiple club sources confirm, belongs to Glen Silvestri, a representative of the organization’s majority owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Since the board has seven seats, three of which belong to Teachers’, and since another one of its members, CEO Richard Peddie, is essentially duty-bound to the majority owner, Colangelo isn’t likely to ink a new contract unless Silvestri comes around.
So we’re clear, this is an accountant managing the investments of a teachers’ union that is deciding who is making good and bad basketball decisions in Toronto.
A seven-person board is too many cooks in the kitchen. Rather than deciding on a plan and moving ahead with it, one way or the other, there is infighting among the ownership group. A group with its own set of personalities and agendas.
That just never works out well in the long for a franchise and its fans.