Raptors making moves, cut ties with Alvin Williams

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.

Alvin 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.

It sucks.

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.

As messages go, they just sent a crappy one.

And people will notice.


Let me say this first: I have the UTMOST respect for Alvin Williams. I think he is a man of great character and integrity. You don't play through what he played through without great moral conviction.

With that said, the NBA is a business. In reading this article, I guess I am jaded because I can't stand Doug Smith, I cannot help but wonder was this Smith's source? When Smith wanted confirmation of whatever news Woj broke, did he pick up the phone and call Williams?

In looking at the bolds:

first: Based out of Philly? So he was not a part of the day to day? He in fact had been demoted by Colangelo last season. He was moved out of the front office and in to a scouting role.

second: How does Doug know it was not Masai's decision? You don't need to talk to a guy to fire him. Maybe TL and MU knew the stink that would come from the rank and file Colangelo bum sniffing beat reporters like Smith?

third: TL and MU made it pretty clear they would be making significant changes. What I ask is what contribution did Williams make to winning? In case Dough has not heard, the Raptors have missed the playoffs for 5 years and have been a joke for the majority of their 18 year existence in the NBA.

fourth: people will notice if only they do not win sooner than later. Winning cures all.... except for disgruntled beat reporters who still wear their allegiance to the previous management on their sleeve.

Doug Smith is a text book example of the dissent and objections you get when implementing organizational change. He has prospered in a toxic environment and would continue to do so if not for the sweeping changes. In my dreams I can only wish and hope that the reason for Smith dissent is because people like TL and MU don't want yes men and people hanging on their every word around.

As an aside: Does this have any impact on Kyle Lowry?