Culture of Success
Bryan Colangelo, is a man that can spot talent.. As long as he’s the one drafting it that is. For all the criticism over his one folly of a number 1 draft pick, Colangelo has been highly successful in scouting absolutely fantastic players. Then trading them immediately afterwards. Clearly, he is a man that believes in delayed satisfaction much to the detriment of his fanbase.
He drafted Steve Nash than traded him, Luol Deng, David Lee, Marcin Gortat.. This list goes on and on. Like an insecure frosh girl at an Ivy League school, Colangelo appears never proud of his intellectual prowess when it comes to drafting talent, after talent. Giving them away. For some reason (that reason being financial on the Suns), he is the go to guy for other teams to obtain great players easily. Santa Colangelo always delivers, just make sure you have the future second picks and cash considerations. For other teams, almost every Colangelo trade ends up being Christmas in July.
The difference between his time building his label as a top GM on the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors, is well, Canada. On the Raptors there were no second chances to fix his previous mistakes. Unfortunately, most of the league’s players don’t consider Toronto a top destination to reside in. As a result, Colangelo was forced to build his brand of success a different way across the border. Using European players who enjoyed the rewards of the cosmopolitan city and didn’t have any familiar attachments back in the states.
The Early Years
In the beginning, Bryan Colangelo was hailed as the savior of a franchise devastated in the wake of superstar Vince Carter’s departure. Colangelo, was in a do no-wrong position with his glamorous Phoenix Suns tenure and the absolute dismal performance of former Raptor GM Rob Babcock. Raptor fans clamored for anything that resembled successful team building. In Colangelo, Raptor faithfuls believed they had discovered their long sought-after answer. Their prayers had been answered! In fact, many felt the league itself had assigned Colangelo to the franchise to change the plight of the Canadian NBA chapter.
One of Colangelo’s first big moves, as part of the franchise, was trading the very first highly criticized move of his predecessor. The 8th pick of the 2004 NBA draft, Rafel Araújo. There were rumors Araújo had experimented with steroids, based on testing positive for the steroid nandroline. Araújo, received a lot of flack simply for being picked in front of Andre Iguodala. The rumors of steroid use had damaged Araújo image, and Colangelo did not thank twice before hitting the almighty trade switch. He obtained Kris Humphries and Robert Whaley from the Utah Jazz, a solid return.
Colangelo, then proceeded to eliminate the heinous taste of the Vince Carter trade by ridding the team of Eric Williams. Williams, had originally been obtained from the New Jersey Nets in Rob Babcock’s notorious trade of Vince Carter. For Matt Bonner, Eric Williams, and a 2nd round draft pick, Bryan Colangelo would bring abroad the first European of his Rapture tenure Rasho Nesterovic.. The first of hundreds to come.
Stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll look at how one innocent ‘Executive of the Year’ award would foreshadow the next several years of the Toronto Raptors!
Bryan Colangelo: Still Better Than Rob Babcock
Written by Nir Regev
The Rise and Fall of Bryan Colangelo: Part 1