I've been a Raptors broadcaster for the past 15 years and have dealt with three full-time GM's - Glen Grunwald, Rob Babcock, Bryan Colangelo along with Jack McCloskey and Wayne Embry, who served briefly on an interim basis.
Things change, people change yet the job and pressure gets tougher and tougher on these guys. Believe me, they're well-paid for dealing with the headaches and they know that's what they signed up for but I always feel a sense of compassion for their families and respect for the job they tried to do. Bottom line, you have to win and sometimes that's not even enough.
As I reflect on my 30-plus years in basketball, I look at the men that are in executive positions and the men that coach and, time and time again, it still comes down to having a good owner, good president, good support staff, terrific players and ultimately, people that truly have an understanding of 'what it takes'. No two jobs are equal and you, as the executive and/or coach, still 'reap what you sow' in spite of how good or bad the circumstances and people are around you. You still define how it all shakes out.
When you lose your job (and as I said, I've seen it happen here three times with Raptors GM's), it's a public failure and embarrassing for these men. I'm sure Bryan Colangelo will have those 'solitary moments' just like Glen and Rob had where you 'beat yourself up' over your mistakes. You live and learn and get better. Look at Glen Grunwald in New York - he got that turned around.
Some time in the next year or two, Colangelo will get another crack at it and my view is that he'll be a little smarter, wiser, more patient and better from this experience. We all fail - most of us, not in the public spotlight - yet it's all about growing and learning every day from our miscues.
Something tells me that Colangelo will get another chance and, like Grunwald, will be a little more polished for the next challenge from the positives and negatives of the Toronto experience. Remember '10 per cent in life is what happens to you, 90 per cent is how you deal with it'. My gut says he'll get up off the mat.
Failure is not fatal.