Monday , Apr , 28 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Why Toronto Raptors Won’t Be Firing Sam Mitchell

Ignore the papers. Disregard the chat rooms. And don’t believe the hype. Despite Toronto’s mediocre regular season and playoff, Raptor coach Sam Mitchell isn’t automatically out of a job …

Why Toronto Raptors Won't Be Firing Sam MitchellThe New York Post is reporting that Sam Mitchell could soon leave the Raptors:

While Mark Jackson is expected to talk to the Bulls Wednesday, Sam Mitchell may soon pose the largest threat to Jackson’s lead candidacy for the Knicks‘ job. Tonight, Mitchell’s Raptors are on the verge of being bounced out in the first round by Orlando in five games. Speculation in Canada is GM Bryan Colangelo could have an itchy trigger finger. Colangelo has not hired his own coach in Toronto and could want to bring in Phoenix’s Mike D’Antoni if he loses his Suns‘ job. Although Jackson is the huge favorite among current available Knicks candidates after interviewing with Donnie Walsh on Thursday, Mitchell is someone Walsh would consider.

My Quick AM Take: Ignore the papers. Disregard the chat rooms. And don’t believe the hype. Despite Toronto’s mediocre regular season and playoff, Raptor coach Sam Mitchell isn’t automatically out of a job.

The fiery sideline boss is on shaky ground. He wasn’t GM Bryan Colangelo’s hire. The Raptors have underachieved all year. And a job is available in Charlotte, close to his Atlanta home.

But more evidence suggests he’ll stay in Canada. Firing Mitchell would be costly, leaving the Raptors on the hook for the remaining three years of his multi-million dollar contract.

And Mitchell, for all his shenanigans, is the reigning coach of the year. He is beloved in Toronto and, most importantly, has the respect of franchise star Chris Bosh.

Finally, Mitchell’s firing is based on speculation Colangelo replaces him with current Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni. Of course, these two have a personal and professional relationship from their time with the Suns.There is no guarantee D’Antoni gets fired. And there’s no guarantee he’d come to Toronto.

Reports of Mitchell getting fired are premature. Contrary to what the stories say, leaving Toronto isn’t so simple.

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