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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Colangelo finally admits ‘Euro’ vision failed by hiring Casey?

Colangelo certainly paid attention as the 54-year-old Casey has been thrown the keys to the Raptors broken-down car, being affirmed on Tuesday as the new head coach of the NBA franchise. Casey, who signed a three-year contract, will take over from Jay Triano of Niagara Falls, Ont., who was relieved of his coaching duties earlier this month, in the aftermath of a frustrating 22-60 regular season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hiring Dwane Casey is the closest Bryan Colangelo will come to admitting he was wrong.

When hired, Colangelo had a vision for the Toronto Raptors. They’d be the NBA’s ‘Euro’ club. They’d emphasize scoring and skill. They’d collect players from every republic, federation, principality, and semi-autonomous region in Europe.

Most importantly, they’d win.

On the surface, it made sense. Americans were hesitant to come to Canada, even if it meant playing in a world class city such as Toronto.

So Colangelo did his best with what he had. Problem was, it didn't work.

Defense still wins championships. Drafting and re-signing Andrea Bargnani and having Jose Calderon at point guard made the Raptors vulnerable at point guard and center.

Slowly but surely, Colangelo has changed course. Bargnani, the player he drafted first overall, is at a crossroads with the organization. Calderon is more of a platoon player.

The new Raptors are young, athletic, and raw. The new Raptors are Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, and James Johnson. 

This collection of talent needs help in their own end, which is Casey’s speciality. He was the brains behind George Karl’s defensive sets in Seattle, had Minnesota running at 20-20, and helped Rick Carlisle’s Dallas crew win a championship.

For now, Casey is the Raptors’ only off-season change. His hiring represents Colangelo changing course from offense to defense.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Oct , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Karl wants Anthony to lead by ‘example and attitude’

“I still don’t quite comprehend exactly what’s going on and I don’t know if I want to comprehend what’s going on. Sometimes you get too much information. To me, I would just rather have ‘Melo and I on the same page and I think we are. The other thing is ‘Melo and I talked about if you were gonna be here I want to tell you what I was thinking about telling you. I told him that. I told him you gotta make a commitment to be a great player and make a commitment to make the next step to the next level. You still can make another step. The step I think that needs to be made is on the defensive end of the court and as a leader and a professional leader. Not a leader by voice, but by example and attitude.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His smirk and attitude polarizes, but Coach George Karl calls it like he sees it. Usually, he’s right, too.

For instance, Karl didn’t ignore the trade rumors and speculation surrounding star Carmelo Anthony. Instead, he told Anthony to step up. And he had told the media about it.

The grizzled sideline boss informed his franchise face (for now) he must lead by 'example'' and 'attitude', not yelling. Karl believes this will help Anthony evolve.

Love him or hate him, Karl’s approach works. He won over strong personalities like Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp in The Emerald City, helping those Seattle Super Sonics advace to the NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls. The Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets both made the Conference Finals with Karl.

Karl, a former back-up point guard, is also right. Anthony has the potential to be much more than a scorer.

Whether in Denver or elsewhere, Karl wants him to take the next step.

--Oly Sandor.

-Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box.