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Colangelo’s comments about Chris Bosh surprising

Bryan Colangelo lashed out against his former All-Star power forward, Chris Bosh, yesterday.

Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo went on the air yesterday, now three weeks after his former All-Star power forward decided to leave Toronto in favor of the Miami Heat, and basically declared that Chris Bosh quit on his team during the stretch run of the regular season.

After seemingly being a lock for a playoff spot midway through last season, the Raptors collapsed amidst a more difficult second half and missed the postseason by just one game. Bosh missed all of the twelve total games he missed throughout the season during the second half.

Talking on radio station FAN 590 in Toronto, Colangelo said Bosh wasn’t the same player toward the end of the year. He also complained that Bosh took an excessive amount of time returning from injury, an apparent reference to the seven games Bosh missed in February with a sprained ankle. 

Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games. I’m not even questioning Chris’ injury. I’m telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn’t there and he chose not to play.

Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn’t quite into it down the stretch, he wasn’t the same guy. I think everybody saw it, but no one wanted to acknowledge it.

Colangelo went on to suggest that Bosh is not a franchise player.

We tried in vain to put pieces around Chris. Different pieces, different styles. It didn’t work out. No matter what type of player we brought in, it didn’t seem to have the right mix with him as that centerpiece.

That’s a bit disingenuous, considering it was Colangelo who acquired all those pieces that didn’t fit. The Raptors have added such underwhelming players that the best Bosh sidekick the Raptors could muster was Jose Calderon. The team had significant cap space in 2006 and 2009, and came away with just T.J. Ford and Hedo Turkoglu.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert effectively did the same thing in early July, accusing LeBron James of quitting during the playoffs. Gilbert told the Associated Press that it was accountability time for James.

He has gotten a free pass. People have covered up for [James] for way too long. He quit. Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar.

This type of behavior is, to the say the least, childish and wreaking of jealously for having lost their superstars – superstars that, despite their comments, they were each trying desperately to re-sign.

The childish part is, even if it were true, there is absolutely nothing to be gained for either organization by releasing this information in such a public forum. Colangelo and Gilbert are talking about players that are no longer a part of their teams. The comments therefore serve no purpose, other than to potentially draw more national ire to and destroy the legacy of these players. So are the comments driven purely out of bitterness? For spite?

I can absolutely empathize with the pain over losing your best player. There were more than just a few fleeting moments in which I felt the Heat was losing its own superstar in Dwyane Wade. I was pissed (though it should be noted I was blaming Pat, not Dwyane). As fans, we certainly have the right to express our bitterness. But management personnel have the responsibility to maintain the dignity and class of the teams for which they manage and the league for which they play.

The Heat’s own Pat Riley has done better by that standard.

In a Sports Illustrated article that ran on May 17, 2010, Shaquille O’Neal had this to say about his former stay in Miami:

I never got any rest in Miami. I still don’t know how we won that championship [in 2006]. F—— partied every night in Miami.

From a 52-30 finish that season, the Heat fell to 44-38 the following season, and then to a league-worst 15-67 in 2007/08, when O’Neal essentially forced a mid-season trade to the Phoenix Suns, blaming the Heat’s medical staff for his inability to get back to the court.

O’Neal hosted several parties during his Heat tenure, with conditioning throughout the roster deteriorating after the championship season. Antoine Walker and James Posey were both suspended by the team in 2006/07 over conditioning issues.

Since leaving the Heat, O’Neal has questioned Pat Riley, who coached the Heat to that 2006 championship, and has had tenuous moments with Dwyane Wade, who earned MVP honors for his performance in the Finals.

Pat Riley’s public response to any one of these departed former players? None.

I am not one to believe that Pat Riley’s professionalism had anything to do with his ultimate free agent coup. I am not one to believe a lack of management professionalism will significantly affect the recruiting efforts of future players. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe a select few players will be turned off by the prospect of playing for a management team that has shown it will publicly vilify players who don’t continuously live up to whatever standards they impose.

Either way, at least to this bias observer, it doesn’t seem the classy thing to do. While I certainly understand when fans present such opinions, I believe management teams need to live up to a higher standard in the public eye. In that respect, I am glad to have Mr. Riley on my side.

  1. Heat-Struck
    July 29th, 2010 at 18:15 | #1

    Jjust when you thought you were out they pull you back in… Keep them coming Albert!

  2. Heat-Struck
    July 29th, 2010 at 18:25 | #2

    Long live Pat Riley! Never has there been a classier GM.

  3. Remote Heat fan
    July 29th, 2010 at 18:32 | #3

    This is why I feel that Cleveland is doomed for a bit. Given the choice to play for a team that treats it’s employees with respect or a team where management is going to rip apart its employees for the same money, which one do you think the player will choose? Matt Barnes went to play with the Lakers for less money than Cleveland offered. Colangelo is now doing the same to Toronto.

    I also find it ironic that all of these owners/gm’s who are now bashing the exited players were the first ones in line with an open checkbook and arms to keep their seat selling, merchandise selling employee.

  4. berkeley223
    July 29th, 2010 at 19:15 | #4

    if these GMs really believed this was true about their players (they are no-good quitters) why did they fall all over themselves to try to resign them?????

  5. braveheart775
    July 29th, 2010 at 22:30 | #5

    1- Though I like our GM Pat Riley, he had couple of costly errors along the way especially drafting players and some extensions to players (cook…).
    2- Burning bridges seems to be the latest fashion of classless and immature management.
    3- Albert, keep writing!! I enjoy reading your posts.

    Braveheart775

  6. AJ
    July 29th, 2010 at 23:44 | #6

    That’s one of the best points ive heard. @berkeley223

  7. Fly N Dance
    July 30th, 2010 at 01:22 | #7

    if teams like toronto and cleveland would continue such classless sourgraping, NBA free agents with superstar status would refrain joining their team -knowing that should they transfer, GMs would likely do the same they did to LeBron and CB.

  8. Tomi
    July 31st, 2010 at 00:16 | #8

    We’ll what do you expect from bitter GMs being dumped by their stars? They don’t understand that in Free Agency, players can leave.

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