Well, if Tim Leiweke wanted to make significant changes to get away from the Raptors past, he’s picked the right guy to fire.
In what I think is a terribly short-sighted move that will rankle as many people as anything he does, Leiweke has told Alvin Williams that his services are no longer required.
Yep, the chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment — on the job for less than a month — has jettisoned one of the great guys ever associated with the franchise and a man who wanted nothing more than to spend his entire career with the organization in some way, shape or form.
Williams had spent last season scouting for the team, based out of Philadelphia, but he was far, far more than just an employee picking up a cheque.
He loved the organization and the city, he was a link to some of the best times the team has ever had, he is a great guy who’d show up every now and then and sooth some antsy players, offer a unique perspective and be a valued confidant to many.
Fired. Not by the general manager who never spoke to him, but by a CEO who seems hellbent on getting his fingers in every decision at some level.
Look, we all know that keeping people around this team forever is hard; there has been too much change, too many people discarded.
I’d say that if you’ve got someone the fans love, the players trust, the coaches appreciate and who wants to be part of it, you don’t cast him adrift.
You keep him around somehow, let him keep scouting, let him keep coming around every month or so, let him do his job.
It’s not like Alvin was going to demand a seven figure salary and a say in all major personnel decisions. He wanted just to keep working, to be part of the Raptors.
There aren’t a lot of that kind of guy around, I cannot see the harm in keeping him, if for no other reason that what he represents.
Everyone knows how hard he played, what he gave to the team — hell, I bet he cut his career two years short by playing through bad knees because he wanted to win and for the franchise to flourish.
I chalk up any pontificating on the supposed horrid optics of this move as being the result of slow news in Raptorland until July 1st. I loved Alvin while he was here, but this is the definition of a "meh" news story for me. Doug Smith is just mad to be losing more of his buddy sources and has to start from scratch with the new guys. Give it a couple more years and every move this organization makes will be golden once more in his eyes.