Have you lost faith in Tim Leiweke so soon into his reign as President of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment [MLSE]? I certainly have. He has made a very controversial decision in cutting Alvin Williams loose from the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have lost a great ambassador and their longest standing member of the team. I try not to let my personal opinions be too prevalent in my writing, but this time emotion has gotten the better of me. I think this was the worst move Leiweke could have made both for the Raptors and his popularity with MLSE. The outcry and anger for sending Alvin Williams to the unemployment line is certainly going to give MLSE more than a few customer-relationship headaches.
I found out about the Williams firing during mid-day sports coverage, where it quickly proved to a more popular topic than the NBA or NHL finals. I listened to about 10 minutes of coverage and discussion regarding the Alvin Williams firing, where the NBA finals only got about 5 minutes and the NHL playoffs less than that. I would have loved to be a fly on Tim Leiweke’s office wall when the backlash from loyal Raptors’ and Alvin Williams’ fans started pouring in.
Here are some questions to which I’d like answers. Did Tim Leiweke consult with anyone before this decision was made? How much input did Masai Ujiri have in this decision, and why did he not make it instead of Leiweke? Why was this decision deemed necessary? The Raptors do not have a face of the franchise, although Alvin, who loved the Raptors, came close. He gave his blood, sweat and tears for this team all his career and many years after his career ending knee problems. Williams maintains close relationships with Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and even newcomer Rudy Gay as reported by Josh Lewenberg of TSN. Can anyone who is a fan of the Raptors be happy with this decision? It was touched on frequently last year that Alvin is close to Kyle Lowry, and had been acting as a mentor. How does Kyle feel about this decision?
What do you think, Rapture Nation?
Greg Hall is a staff writer 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.