My hopes, expressed last week in this space, that Alvin Williams would not get caught in the Toronto Raptors’ front-office purge, have been dashed. According to Doug Smith of The Star, the popular Williams was tossed overboard by Tim Leiweke, MLSE’s new CEO. I join in Smith’s dismay and astonishment.
Alvin gave everything he could as a player, and was the starting point guard for the best Raps’ teams ever, those featuring Vince Carter, Antonio Davis, Charles Oakley et al. He returned to the Raps in 2009 as an Assistant Coach and was named Director of Player Development in 2010, but then was demoted to Scout. Why he didn’t succeed in the Raps’ front office is not for me to say without further investigation.
However, all that is beside the point. What’s wrong isn’t (necessarily) what was done, but how it was done. Why did the the MLSE CEO see fit to do the deed? There’s no way now to make the optics right. Masai Ujiri is the Raps’ GM; he’s got to be the one to pull the trigger on all hires and fires. It’s baffling how an accomplished executive like Leiweke could undermine his new GM like this.
The new administration at MLSE has just had their mulligan. Let’s hope they don’t need another one.
Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.