After seven seasons at the executive helm for the Toronto Raptors, former general manager and team president Bryan Colangelo has stepped down from his executive post.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger had the report on Twitter:
Raptors announce Bryan Colangelo has stepped down as president of team and business operations and will be a consultant.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 26, 2013
In his corresponding report posted after the news was announced, Berger noted that a "chance to reflect on things" that have happened over the past few weeks has shifted the long-time overseer's motivation to move forward with the Raptors.
Here's more of his comments, per a press release from the team following Colangelo's decision (via CBC Sports):
Having had a better chance to reflect on things for the past several weeks, I have concluded that stepping away from my position is the best course of action for the organization and everyone involved...I would like to personally thank Larry Tanenbaum, Dale Lastman, MLSE’s ownership and family and the wonderful people of Toronto for the opportunity to serve them over the last seven years. The support, kindness and adulation that has been displayed to me and my family has been overwhelming, and our friendships and experiences will last a lifetime.
Colangelo has been involved with the Raptors since coming over from the Phoenix Suns in 2006, and was first in charge of the team during the draft (2006) that netted the team Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 overall pick.
The Raptors made the playoffs during Colangelo's first two seasons at the helm (2006-07 and 2007-08), but since then haven't won more than 40 games in the regular season and have had three different head coaches.
Colangelo was already taking a reduced role from his once-prominent capacity based on earlier decisions that the MLSE (Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Raptors) made about his future with the franchise. He was stripped of his GM title before the team hired Masai Uriji from the Denver Nuggets (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports):
Colangelo's finalizing agreement to move over to business side, leaving basketball ops. Ownership preparing major financial offer for Ujiri.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 20, 2013
The Raptors introduced Uriji on June 5, and by then everything appeared to be status quo when it came to Colangelo sticking around in a "non-basketball" role. The team even posted this interview with the 48-year-old after the decision to reduce his role was made in May:
Now it appears that change was not appealing to the two-time NBA Executive of the Year, as he will step away from his position with the Raptors completely while remaining a "consultant," per Berger's tweet.
While there was hope that everything could remain amicable between the Raptors and Colangelo during this clear time of transition for the franchise, it should come as no surprise that some reflection has led Colangelo to pursue other ventures in the NBA.