New MLSE boss Tim Leiweke apologized to former Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo in a meeting with the Toronto Star’s editorial board on Friday.
Leiweke, who recently admitted that he didn’t get along with Colangelo, said that he was a good man and that he has been too hard on him.
“I mean no ill will to Bryan, he did a good job here and I’ve been unduly harsh on him,” Leiweke told the board in a video posted on the Toronto Star’s web site. “I apologize to Bryan because I’ve been too hard on him. Bryan was a good man and he did the best he could and he did many good things here and it was time to make a change. That’s all.”
“Bryan’s a good man and anyone thinking that we are slighting him, they should not think that. He’s going to go on and do great things in the NBA again. It got too personal and it shouldn’t.”
Leiweke stripped Colangelo of his duties as general manager a month before the latter chose to leave the Raptors at the end of June.
Leiweke said that his replacement, Masai Ujiri, has some tough decisions to make going forward about the direction of the team.
“Masai has a difficult decision to make here which is: What do we do?” Leiweke explained. “Do we keep on pushing forward? Are we a few pieces away, are we good enough now to make the playoffs? Or do you come along and ultimately go play a lottery game? I think the players, and Masai and (Raptors coach Dwane) Casey will determine that. And it’s going to take a little time here.”
Some Raptors have been pushing for the organization to tank this season and enter the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes, but he said that is almost impossible to accomplish given the NBA’s trade rules.
“What we won’t do, and what we couldn’t do even if we wanted, is go out of our way to be unusually bad.”