Tim Leiweke denies report he’s on way out of organization that owns Raptors

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Tim Leiweke is the reason the All-Star Game is coming to Toronto in 2016. He is a big idea executive with great ties to the NBA league office (from his days getting Staples Center built in Los Angeles) and right now he is overseeing a revival of Raptors basketball (as the president of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment which owns the team as well as the NHL’s Maple Leafs).

Tuesday morning rumors surfaced that Leiweke is about to leave MLSE, as reported by the according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. The rumor is he wants to come back to Los Angeles and run the Clippers for new owner Steve Ballmer, or to jump to an NFL team.

Quickly the denials came, although the fantastic Bruce Arthur provides some perspective (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

Let me just say as someone in Los Angeles who loves the city of Toronto — I get the winter thing. Not sure I would last through one without bolting. You are all tougher than me.

And I wouldn’t be shocked if this happened. Eventually. If his family wants to return to L.A. and there’s a path, he may take it. But it sounds like he plans to ride out this season at least, and if he stuck around through the 2016 All-Star Game it wouldn’t be a shock.