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Thursday, January 26, 2006 

Not To Bob!

Just yesterday I wrote that "Babcock’s reputation in the league has become so negative, it’s hard to imagine many free agents lining up to come north of the boarder while he’s still in Toronto. The solution to that problem, however, seems sadly out of the question in the Raptor’s books, to the confusion of pretty much everyone in the basketball world."

I apparently underestimated the Raptor's higher ups. And with that, comes the end of an ugly era in sports. During the press conference, team president Richard Peddie summed it up with the understatement of the year:

"A general manager is evaluated in large part by the results of his decisions. Unfortunately those results have not met our expectations."

Babcocks bigest blunders were the 2004 drafting of Araujo in the first round ahead of Andre Iguodala, and the trading away of Vince Carter, to a division rival no less, for a couple of sacks of nothing, and the right to fund Miami's playoff run. To me, though, the one thing that sealed his fate was the only thing that shouldn't have. It was his often mis-quoted statement from the offseason about the Raptor's chances. The actual quote is as follows:

"There will be growing pains, no doubt about it. Whether we will win or lose more games than last year, I think if you look at us on paper, we probably will not win as many games as last year. We more or less have the same team back with the exception of Donyell Marshall, who was an integral part of our team last year. We're replacing him with rookies."

This was translated in the media as Rob saying that the Raptors were going to do worse this year. If you read the comment, I mean really read it, you will see that this is not at all what he was saying. This statement of his was actually the only thing I can think of that he got 100% right during his time in Toronto. There were going to be growing pains, and from a paper stand point the team did look worse. But his real suggestion was that given time, the rookies will come together and going forward the team will actually be better. He was, as you'll notice, right. After their disasterous start, the Raptors are actually still at .500 (including the past 3 tough losses). For such a young team to pull themselves together to such a degree in a short amount of time is a big complement to the talent that was brought together in Toronto. Babcock only said that on paper it would appear as though they would win less games, but nonetheless it was this comment that got the ball finally rolling to his termination. And he was right.

After all the mistakes he made, to be, in the end, finally fired for the one thing that he got right, and at a time when the team has showed signs of turning itself around, says a lot for what is actually going on behind the scenes and above his head in Toronto. Do I think Babcock should be the GM? No. But this also wasn't the time to fire him. There were many other very obvious times, but fittingly for this train wreck of an organization, when he was finally let go, it wasn't the right time. And I must say, this firing still doesn't bode well for the future of the Raptors organization as a whole.

to be perfectly honest, i think the nail in babcock's coffin was kobe's 81-point game against the raptors. if that didn't happen, i really think that babcock wouldn't have been fired until the summer (but definitely before the draft).

I'm kind of sad thinking about the upcooming draft now. No more excitment in the anticipation of what rob's going to do next. someone has to hire him on as a broadcaster for hte draft, so that he can say at each position who he would draft. put it on pay per view, even, i'd totally pay to watch that!

nice link in the picutre.

i hope they replace him with dr. j

Best regards from NY!
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