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Fired: Alvin Williams

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  • Fired: Alvin Williams

    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?

  • #2
    Yeah, it's a business. Alvin is one of my all-time fav raptors players, but I feel very strongly that players aren't always the right guys to have in other areas off the court. Wish him the best, but as they say, you can't make an omelette without cracking a few skulls.

    Also, the guy was a scout, and Doug Smith thinks people are going to notice? I consider myself an above average raptors fans, and I didn't even know if he was still with the org or what his position was. In fact I can't name any of the raptors current scouts. NO ONE IS GOING TO NOTICE. Until the raps start to lose.
    "They're going to have to rename the whole conference after us: Toronto Raptors 2014-2015 Northern Conference Champions" ~ ezzbee Dec. 2014

    "I guess I got a little carried away there" ~ ezzbee Apr. 2015

    "We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon


    • #3
      As I read this I thought "This sounds like Doug Smith. I bet this is Doug Smith. Ugh this is definitely Doug." And sure enough.

      Listen, I love Alvin Williams. One of my all time favorite raptors. But seriously? Heaven forbid the new big boys up top clean house and remove everything that had to do with years of mediocrity.

      Doug Smith needs to get over himself, what a baby.


      • #4
        Yeah, I love Alvin Williams...only Raps jersey I own....

        But still, even I was wondering why the heck he even had a "job" with the team. BC clearly hired him as a PR move, and then pushed him to the side a year later. Not a great way to treat a former player even....if you ask me. Fuck I hate BC.


        • #5
          ceez wrote: View Post
          As I read this I thought "This sounds like Doug Smith. I bet this is Doug Smith. Ugh this is definitely Doug." And sure enough.

          Listen, I love Alvin Williams. One of my all time favorite raptors. But seriously? Heaven forbid the new big boys up top clean house and remove everything that had to do with years of mediocrity.

          Doug Smith needs to get over himself, what a baby.
          Doug Smith has been on a literary stick poking session on Tim L. He is not impressed Colangelo was removed from his role as GM (my favorite article was when he claimed (paraphrasing) 'sources around the NBA are questioning Tim L's decisiveness' (or something along those lines) and the 'source' was an opinion article from one of his peers at The Star.....)

          Nice to see him not being a sycophant to the regime for once, but thats probably only because he lost his status now that the old regime is gone and he's fighting back to show how 'good' they actually were.

          I'm a huge Alvin Williams fan, but this move seems rather insignificant to me. Alvin Williams accomplished what exactly as a member of this organization off the court? Total respect for the guy, hope they give him a real nice pocket watch and a good referral on his resume.


          • #6
            Jose deserved to have this written about him instead of Williams. My opinion. I actually stopped reading it half way through. No time! lol


            • #7
              I dont question this move. Clearly, with the Raps current roster, he hasnt done his job exceptionally. maybe he's done it enough to earn his paycheck, but IMO, as a scout, you have to bring in A grade talent.

              I think sentimentality is one of the factors that buried this franchise. people are way too ooey gooey when it comes to players and management, me being one of the guilty.

              forget the past, forget what people have done for this franchise but rather look to what this franchise needs now and be callus about it.


              • #8
                Ditto on the Smith & AW sentiments. I do however find that MU not making the announcement/news release a bit strange. Speaks to the autonomy factor of all bb matters. That said, all we have is Smith's piece claiming Leiweke made the call with no reference to an official statement/news release so we shall see. Another strange aspect is that AW was the only name on a firing when clearly there are a few more names to drop. Why not do it all together than drip it. Seems there may have been some special circumstance to this.


                • #9
                  ROFL. Good grief. You'd think they just fired RC Buford by email. Gimme a break, Doug. What a ridiculous blog post.

                  I like that people are noting that Smith has actually been critical of the new power players as opposed to his enduring role as lead sycophant for BC & Co. I wonder how much of it is that after years being a servile, self-seeker trying to gain importance by flattering and defending the old regime at every turn, he is now embarrassed that the new MLSE came in and called out Colangelo and the poor job he did. Doug always dismissed readers who questioned BC as know-nothings but Leiweke can't be so easily dismissed.

                  Also, bad Matt52. You made me click on Doug's blog.... I wonder what his readership numbers are like? The guy has spent years insulting his readers. Are there any left?


                  • #10
                    Matt52 wrote: View Post
                    As an aside: Does this have any impact on Kyle Lowry?
                    This to me is the most interesting question to come out of Alvin Williams being let go. With Alvin having been a mentor to Lowry, and Lowry's relationships with Casey alreading having some miles on it, I wonder if this is any indication of the franchise's view of Lowry. Although, most likely this is me simply looking for signs as to what direction the Raptors are going. I keep anticipating a shoe to drop that will give some vision for the near (and distant) future.


                    • #11
                      I initially came across this because it was on the twitter feed this morning. I was curious as to what the comments were like in Dough Smith's blog today.

                      Hola Doug,

                      I want to begin by saying, I am sorry that your friend, or at least a guy you like and respect lost his job. Having said that, I want to ask you, why are you so pissed? Guys lose their jobs in the NBA all the time. How is a guy, who isn't around the team on a day to day basis any longer, who is bottom line, just a scout, the heart and soul of the Raptors? New regimes come in and out come the brooms. You say this action is going to be something that other teams notice. Okay, what in your opinion is going to be the repercussion of this? Is it going to be that much harder to sign free agents for the Raptors? Was Boogie so well connected with talent out there that he will say, "don't go to Toronto, they disrespected me" and guys will heed that advice? Even with in the organization what will be the ramifications? Is Kyle Lowry going to come to camp in worse shape, disagree with his head coach any less than last year because they whacked his buddy? This wasn't written by the guy who says he's not a fan, that he has to be dispassionate about the team in order to do his job. This was written by a guy who is a fan of Alvin Williams, and Doug, there's nothing wrong with that, but you've also written some pretty big digs at Tim Leiweke, a guy that was brought in to turn around the fortunes of all the under performing MLSE properties, one of which is clearly the Raptors. Sometimes that involves cutting the chords to the past. I feel for Alvin. If he was good at his job, I have no doubt that he gets hired on by another organization, hopefully quickly. I do however, think that if the Raptors as a organization truly mean that they are serious about breaking away from the past and forging anew, this had to be done.

                      Ciao amigo,

                      marc in panama
                      Good post - and surprise! - one with no response. I'm surprised Dough even let it through. None of my comments in the past were ever published - lol.

                      This one is hilarious and shows the type of 'person' and 'journalist' Doug is:

                      @ marc in panama - you are right on the money. I would be suprised if firing a scout would even register on NBA radars. I don't see how this could possibly be worse than firing George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Del Negro etc. A non-story by a writer who seems to have it out for the new Raptors regime.

                      Blogger's note: Thanks for the kind words. And, trust me, I know more about what people in the NBA think than you do. But please keep reading.

                      Posted by: Mkut | June 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM


                      • #12
                        I'm quickly losing respect for Mr. Smith. This is not to say that I started with a large pile of it to begin with
                        For still frame photograph of me reading the DeRozan thread please refer to my avatar


                        • #13
                          I don't think there's anything wrong with this move. Tim seems like a person who really means business. He did a very good job in LA, and he wants to bring that here. If he's gonna bring in change and improvement, at the cost of a fan favourite's job, I would take that. Business is business. I can't relate with Alvin Williams being Mr. Raptor, as I wasn't in the country yet during his playing days. My Mr. Raptor would be Jose. Also, no disrespect but I think BC only brought Alvin as a PR move. I haven't seen anything significant that he did in terms of player development. I guess he was fired bec Masai's background/specialty is scouting/player development. We'll see in the coming seasons. If there's significant improvement, this shouldn't matter at all.


                          • #14
                            TBH why fire Alvin Williams? it seems like a useless move to me. IT would be like firing Magloire......why? all these guys were doing was stuff within Canada to support the Raptor name and community. Dumb move if you ask me, Raps now look like a team that doesnt take care of their own.


                            • #15
                              The team needed to be changed from top down.. so losing Alvin is not that big a deal (in my opinion).. however stating that, I can kind of understand why Doug would be mad.

                              I don't think he's pissed off because he lost a source.. I believe he's looking at Alvin Williams almost like an ambassador to the Raptors.. a guy who's had a very long history with the club as a player who would do what it took to praise the team and the city to anyone that would be interested in coming over.

                              The Raptors don't really have much to be proud of as an organization.. but if there was one guy that truly loved the team and would tell anyone he knew how great it would be to play for that team it would be him. Losing him could make no difference at all from a won/loss perspective, but it was nice to have a voice in the organization that spoke very highly of the team.. and more specifically from a player point of view not a coaching/executive/marketing point of view.

                              As for why other teams could look at this poorly.. I'm not sure.. but it would be like firing Alonzo Mourning from the Heat. He's the VP of Player development. Mourning was a perennial all-star but he also loves the Heat, and outsiders know it. It would feel weird (as an outsider) if Miami just fired him without keeping him on the club just to say thanks for all his work.