The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum ….. As If Not Being Placed In A Straight Jacket Wasn’t Enough ………… The Business of Sports ………… The Raptors Are Said To Be Making Oodles of Money
Recently in responding to a fellow blogger’s website An Epic Mess – http://epicmess.wordpress.com/ . A co-respondent tried to suggest that Toronto Raptors of the NBA was a soundly ran NBA business franchise. Now far be it for me to suggest that this individual was wrong his assumptions. He stated that because the franchise had made in excess of $25 million for the fiscal year 2008 , I believe. He intimated that this made the team is one of the better ran franchises teams in the league.
Now far be it for me to suggest that the individual was misguided in his facts, or the statement that he was trying to represent. But based on the Raptors’ own declining figures in terms of its dwindling attendance and the mere fact that in 2009 the the organization was a recipient of several million dollars that was part of the NBA hierarchies’ bailout of amongst 16 franchises ( recipients shared $250 million spread amongst 16 franchises ) around the league decreed by NBA Commissioner David Stern. I somehow feel that this individual was trying to paint a pastel mosaic picture that just wasn’t there concerning the Raptors’ organization. As part of his argument he stated that because the team came under the umbrella ownership of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Inc.- this made the franchise a noteworthy business entity. The group also owns the NHL’s , Toronto Maple Leafs , Toronto FC of MLS, and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. And they also own and run the Air Canada Center in Toronto, home to both the Maple Leafs and Raptors. The estimated book value of the concern is said to be in the region of $1.65 billion . That would make it amongst the most valuable sports conglomerates in the world. Though not necessarily the best ran sporting conglomerate but it’s all in the eye of the beholder , as they say.
What this individual however, failed to take into account was that even though the Raptors were part of this vast entertainment and media conglomerate, it was still in part not making the projected profits that its board and investors had come to expect. Profits of a small entity that is part of a larger conglomerate can always be made to look all the more impressive, even if the overall picture of the organization is said to be a good one. And that case can be made here for the Toronto Raptors. But when you look beyond that and you ascertain that the franchise was the beneficiary of the NBA’s largess to the tune of $20 million as part of a one time financial bailout, in terms of a loan from several major financial institutions. It does provide something of a misleading picture of what goes on within the inner workings in the day to day environment of a number of franchises around the league. Somehow, this is something that this individual may have failed to understand or he may well have chose to overlook that very fact. The irony here is that the franchise still struggles to make its presence felt in the league, despite ambitious efforts led by its ownership through its President & General Manager, Bryan Colangelo. And through the makeup of the board and that of its parent group , Colangelo alongside Senior Vice President & Head of Basketball Operations, Maurizio Gherardini and head coach Jay Triano have assembled a roster that they believe will be competitive enough to pose a serious challenge and compete not just within the Atlantic Division but also within the entire Eastern Conference ,as well as the rest of the NBA.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
By Marc J. Spears , Yahoo Sports Writer
For 35 years, Creative Artists Agency has represented many of Hollywood’s top power brokers. Steven Spielberg. Tom Cruise. George Clooney. Will Smith. Tom Hanks. Brad Pitt. Julia Roberts. Nicole Kidman. Bruce Springsteen. The list goes on and on.
Less than five years ago, CAA decided to expand its reach into the sports world. Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts signed on. The agency landed global soccer star David Beckham, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, giving it access to some of sports’ most marketable personalities. CAA’s basketball portfolio also has steadily grown after noted NBA agent Leon Rose joined in 2007 and Henry Thomas followed. The agency now counts Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and Tony Parker among its clients – not to mention LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
James, Wade and Bosh, of course, are the names on the tongues of every NBA executive these days. All three will be free agents this summer, the headliners of what promises to be the deepest and most heralded free-agent class in league history. That all three are represented by the same agency only adds to the drama and intrigue. It stands to reason that CAA – an agency which wasn’t doing much sports business as recently as five years ago – will now have some influence on how the NBA’s power structure shifts for the future.
“When you have those type of players,” New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn said, “that’s power in itself.”
Thorn’s Nets are among the teams hoping to lure at least one of the three stars this summer. The New York Knicks and Miami Heat – Wade’s current team – also figure to be among the top bidders. In addition, the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and perhaps even the Dallas Mavericks will have (or potentially have) significant salary-cap room to spend on a free-agent pool that could also include Amar’e Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, Rudy Gay, Shaquille O’Neal and David Lee.
James, Wade and Bosh obviously figure to be the biggest movers and shakers, provided any of the three move at all. The trio’s current teams still hold strong hopes of re-signing them. For all of LeBron’s flirtations with New York, the Cleveland Cavaliers have given him a roster that now owns the NBA’s best record. The Heat have been a disappointment, but they also will have enough money to pair Wade with another top-level player should he decide to stay. And though Bosh has been pegged as the one most likely to leave, the Toronto Raptors’ recent success has at least quieted speculation they will look to deal their franchise star before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
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At present the Raptors (27-23) are the fifth seed within the Eastern Conference and sit in second place behind the division leading Boston Celtics (31-16), the third seed within the conference. The LeBron James’ led Cleveland Cavaliers (40-11) having posted the best record in the NBA are naturally the number one seed within the conference.
The aspirations of the Toronto Raptors aren’t different from any other franchise within the NBA and that’s in striving to win an NBA title. Granted, their situation becomes all the more difficult when they have to contend with the likes of Cavaliers, Celtics , as well the Orlando Magic , Miami Heat and a now resurgent Atlanta Hawks within the conference. From there, they face the obstacle that were they to make to the NBA Finals , they would have deal with an almost certain Western Conference foe that’s sure to be far more dominant a team. The problem is that scenario cannot be envisaged by anyone with a knowledge of the game. Quite simply put, the Toronto Raptors just aren’t good enough to be the Eastern Conference’s representative, much less be viewed as a potential NBA champion. Their roster hasn’t any real depth and as a unit they’ve been far too inconsistent to be viewed as a serious NBA title contender. They merely exist to be an above average regular season run of the mill team. Nothing more, nothing less !
In light of that fact and the situation now arising as to the impending future of their lone superstar on this team , forward Chris Bosh and the very fact that he’s about to become an unrestricted free agent at the culmination of this season. It doesn’t exactly augur well for the franchise. It’s thought that the player will eschew the choice of remaining with the Raptors and seek out a better offer via free agency. He’s amongst the most desired of players that are about to land on the free agency market in the offseason. But that could be predicated upon the fact that Raptors could seek to trade him prior to or on the trade deadline of February 18th (3:00 PM EST). Thought that’s a remote possibility, there’s no reason to believe that GM , Bryan Colangelo won’t be willing to listen to offers for the player, if the price is most definitely right. They could still build around the nucleus of young talent that there is on the team led by their young center, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon . They could become the focal point of a team that could challenge for future honors within the NBA. But for the present it remains to be seen what the ‘hierarchy front office’ will do concerning the impending free agency of Chris Bosh. All that we know is that the situation now becomes rife with a great deal of speculation and the unending rumors concerning the player’s future. So much for this being viewed as a cash rich laden franchise that’s said to be ambitious. It’s one thing to look the part , it’s another thing to actually carry out the very things that make it a reality. As for my co-respondent on this very issue . I think he’s somewhat under the mistaken impression that Raptos can co-exist alongside the likes of the Lakers, Cavaliers , Celtics and Spurs in name only ! Merely because they’re part of a wealthy sports’ conglomerate. Like I said in the title of this piece …………”The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum ….. As If Not Being Placed In A Straight Jacket Wasn’t Enough ………… The Business of Sports ………… The Raptors Are Said To Be Making Oodles of Money”. What do you think that they’re actually doing ? To my mind they’re merely spinning their wheels and aimlessly going nowhere !
Click here to view the Toronto Raptors’ current roster.
Busta’ Rhymes gives you ‘Arab Money’ feat’g the usual cabal of stars lending a hand. Amongst them are Akon, Diddy, Ron Browz, Lil’ Wayne and Swizz Beatz.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………….
Taraji P. Henson, noted actress , former Golden Globe and Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie ‘ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. The movie also starred Brad Pitt and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett.