*I bolded the stuff I thought you'd find interesting if you just want to skim through
Hey everyone. I was recently employed part-time for MLSE and as such I received an invite to Town Hall 2012. For those who don't know Town Hall is an event to celebrate new and current employees of MLSE.
At this event MLSE talked about they're new vision or "The New Era" as they put it. In the past MLSE was accused of only having profit on mind and not caring what happened on the court. This "New Era" under new ownership is now focused on the direction of winning on the ice, court, and field.
Anyways enough boring you and onto the stuff you want to hear. At the event GMs of all 3 Toronto teams (Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, and the Raptors) were there to speak to us as well as Dwayne Casey being a special guest speaker. I'm just going to point out some of the interesting stuff they said regarding the Raptors, some you already know and some you may not.
- Raptors envisioning playoff spot this season, not guaranteed or promised, but with the young talent they feel a playoff spot is not out of the equation
- Jonas will be the center of the future. Will not be putting up monster numbers right away, will have a similar role to that of his role on Lithuanian national team in first year (energy, run the floor, athletic around the rim)
- Lowry will be pushing Jose for the starting spot (meaning they will compete for the starting spot during training camp)
- Fields is a great character guy that fans will love and embrace. His personality is one of a kind.
- Raptors and other teams around the league feel highly about Terrance Ross, and he has received a few trade offers for Ross in which he was the main piece teams wanted.
- Bryan Colangelo is referred to as "Tall Bryan" by Brian Burke and other suits in MLSE
- Raptors goal is the playoffs, have their eyes set on it
- Talked about improvement on defence in which the Raptors were top 5 in many categories and had the #1 most improved defence in the league (30th to 7th overall)
- Teams foundation and focus remains defence and toughness, but knows offence must improve to get wins. Looking to push the tempo on offence fueled by defence
- Lowry brings toughness on both ends of the court that the Raptors need and feels it is a great improvement ("Lowry is a pitbull at PG")
- At the teams first meeting (for the season) Andrea Bargnani was the first person to step up and speak on what he and the team need to do to improve on (Casey says he nearly fell out of his chair)
- Each player on the team receives a card that has 5 roles (e.g. scorer, stopper, finisher, hustle, passer, etc) that each player must do every night on the court
- The team always wears their Raptors gear on the road when entering hotels and stuff like that to show pride for the organization and the team
- Brian Burke knew that the time for last calls in Halifax (where Raptors will be for training camp this year) is at 4am
- Burke is the funniest of the 3 GMs that spoke, he was the most interesting and really spoke the truth about players and other topics
- Leafs looking to be a hard hitting tough team
- Toronto FC not afraid to spend big dollars to go after key players. Feels it is only a few pieces away from competing (for a playoff spot I assume)
All in all it really seems like the organization is going in the direction of being dedicated to fans and providing winning products. I hope this helps since news around is kinda slow this time around.