Add Hedo Turkoglu to the list of players taking shots at their previous organizations. An article by Fox Sports Arizona has an interview with the former Toronto Raptor and he has some choice words about his previous employer. “People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there anymore. It’s not just the players who see this.” Turkoglu’s comments were spurned forward after Bryan Colangelo made discouraging remarks about Chris Bosh‘s willingness to play for the team late in the season when they were in a heated playoff push for the eighth seed in the East with the Chicago Bulls.
On Colangelo: “If he was feeling this way, why not have the guts to say it during the season? Why not say it to Chris? Now that Chris has left, it’s not nice to say those things. Chris has been a franchise player and he did a lot of good things for the Raptors,” Turkoglu said. “I don’t think Chris is the type of player to quit on his teammates.” Many believed that Turkoglu was as equally unmotivated as Bosh was, during the playoff push, while serving his entire stint in Toronto. Can you blame him though? Whether Turkoglu or Bosh “quit” on the Raptors is a mute point as it is in the past, but the organization and Bryan Colangelo have done little if nothing to keep their two former players in the spotlight to scapegoat them for the Raptors’ failings. Yet, as a whole, the Raptors organization has done little to instill a since of purpose or camaraderie in its players. It is not the fault of the players for the ongoing gaffes of the Raptors. Turkoglu was just another player to feel the effects of Colangelo’s mismanagement. Bosh certainly felt the same way. Toronto is going nowhere.
This offseason, the Raptors have lost their marquee player, attempted to work a three team deal in which Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats backed out of at the last minute, and tried to acquire Matt Barnes without the money necessary to do so. They had already spent the money they offered Barnes on the offer sheet that they signed Linas Kleiza; clearly, bookkeeping at its best. In a hasty attempt to replace Bosh’s vacated position after his departure, the Raptors signed Amir Johnson to a five-year deal worth $34 million. Yes, this is the same Amir Johnson that averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season and 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds over his career. It is not hard to misinterpret this as anything more than a hasty stopgap hinging on unproven straight-out-of-high school talent. Jose Calderon, after the failed trade with Charlotte, has found himself out of favor. He would certainly like to know his future with the organization. If he is not dealt this summer and continues to split time with Jarrett Jack next season again, can you expect him to play with any reasonable amount of heart? He will become yet another scapegoat. There are a couple of bright points for the team though. Both Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan performed satisfactorily, to say that they performed well would be a stretch for any player other than an undrafted one, in Summer League this year. However, none of what Toronto has done this summer, or for the past couple of seasons, bodes well for their future.
“I don’t have to talk any more about it for me because it’s past now,” Turkoglu said. “I don’t care anymore what people say about me because I’ve got other things to worry about.” So do fans of the NBA. Bryan Colangelo has done everything in his power to make the Raptors irrelevant. The voices calling for Colangelo’s resignation are growing, as they should be. He has done little if anything but make the Raptors a ‘W’ for opposing teams. Do not think that Leandro Barbosa will make any difference. Colangelo needs to leave the FIBA game planning to his father, Jerry. The NBA is not FIBA. If matters do not improve in Toronto the Raptors could quickly find themselves as relevant as last year’s New Jersey Nets.