Nov. 7 , 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; AEG owner Tim Leiweke talks at the start of the press conference held by the Magic Johnson foundation at the Staples Center. 20 years to the date Irvin "Magic" Johnson (not pictured) announced his HIV status and retirement from the NBA. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Poll: Has Tim Leiweke alienated Raptors fans by Firing Alvin Williams?

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?

How do you feel about the firing of Alvin Williams?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

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.






Tags: Alvin Williams Tim Leiweke Toronto Raptors

  • Justin

    He was a token hire. It’s a message. If you’re not contributing to wins, you’re out the door.

    • Greg Hall

      I had to edit this post because I originally responded to your comment as if you were talking about Tim Leiweke. I belatedly realized you meant Alvin Williams. Yes some could argue that Alvin was a token hire, but he was loved by fans and players alike. I for one, am sad to see him go. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Guy

    In Los Angeles, Tim Leiweke was involved in running professional sports teams that won 11 championships in 17 years & you’ve lost faith in him because he terminated a secondary employee? I don’t understand that at all. Rather than being upset Leiweke didn’t renew a guy you think was close to being the face of the franchise, I urge you to consider how bad a sign it is that a scout working out of Philadelphia, which is what Williams was doing, could be thought of as the face of the franchise.

    Sure, Williams had a nice couple years as a player, liked Toronto & was a good guy. But his dismissal will do nothing to negatively impact the franchise.

  • Hoopgirl1st

    I think I’m more disgusted than furious. Alvin gave everything to the Raptors, in fact he gave too much resulting in injuries that ended his playing career. He inspired all the players around him with his tenacity and skill.

    After he came back on the business end, he was one of the few ex-Raptors who would deign to show up at neighbourhood clinics, other events and was always very gracious.

    If Tim was looking to chop someone, what about some of the other ex “name players” who are lurking around on the payroll. We never hear anything as to what they are doing or have been seen with respect to fan and community events. At least Alvin had a real role: scouting. Whoever signed Alvin’s exit papers has shown little class and couldn’t carry Alvin’s hightops.

    Once again, our family has to say “Fare Well” to Alvin who with Jose Calderon may be our favourite Raptors of all time.