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Tip In: Peddie Cash

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Euclid needed thirteen volumes to complete his thoughts on geometry.

I need just one word to sum up my current feelings on the Raptors.

Frustration.

I could spend 1000 words breaking down Friday’s 108-87 loss to Milwaukee. However, my colleague Adam Francis would probably accuse me of plagiarizing his Tip In from Wednesday’s Bulls game.

Instead, I’m just going to vent about the current state of the franchise.

I’m frustrated with the on-the-court problems.

I have no problem with the Raptors losing this season. I alluded to this in November, when I told everyone to Simma Down. However, I do have a problem with a lack of effort from a losing team.

It’s not only the lack of effort that frustrates me. It’s the seeming inability to knock down an open jumper. It’s the lack of help on the glass. It’s the growing number of easy buckets that Raptors opponents get.

They allowed Milwaukee to shoot a blistering 58.4% from the floor. They were outscored 56-32 in the paint. They never led and the closest they ever got to Milwaukee was at the opening tip.

I’m also frustrated with the off-the-court problems.

This is an upper management team that has consistently shown that they have no idea what they are doing. This incompetence shone through again on Thursday with the firing of general manager Rob Babcock.

I’m sure that there is a small group of short-sighted fans who think that this was a positive move. We here at RaptorsHQ are a little bit smarter than that.

This move was clearly a panic move by the powers-that-be at MLSE in an attempt to combat dwindling attendance figures. While MLSE dipped their toes in the real estate and soccer markets, their two main assets (Raptors and Leafs) continued to flounder.

So what options did MLSE president Richard Peddie feel he had? Fire someone. But not just anyone. Not Sam Mitchell. Not John Ferguson, Jr. Not (gasp!) Pat Quinn.

No, Peddie felt that he had to fire the one person who wouldn’t raise a fuss or whose firing would be a public relations issue. That person was Rob Babcock.

It was the wrong person. Peddie should have looked in the mirror and fired himself.

You see, it’s all about accountability. Unfortunately, it’s in short supply.

Peddie hires Kevin O’Neill and he’s fired after a year because he wasn’t working out. It didn’t help his cause that he didn’t keep his feelings about those that run MLSE to himself.

Peddie conducts an “extensive search” and hires Babcock on April 1, 2004, because of his “basketball DNA” and his experience. Babcock is summarily fired 18 months later because he’s not the right man for the job.

Did it ever occur to Peddie that he’s not the right man for the job?

Chapman’s Random Thoughts on Accountability in the Media

Talking about Richard Peddie being held accountable for what he did made me think about media members being held accountable for their comments.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that there’s much accountability in that realm either. TV talking heads can wax poetic about how Player A is the “next Michael Jordan”, but get off scott-free when they become the next Adonis Jordan.

Idiots like Stephen A. Smith can rip Rob Babcock for his selection of Charlie Villanueva, yet don’t apologize when it turns out their asinine comments are way off-base. As an aside, I do find it amusing how Smith grilled Babcock, yet stood idly by as Isiah Thomas ran the Knicks into the ground. Smith should take a tip from ESPN colleague Dick Vitale, who reminds his viewers many times that he was absolutely wrong for grilling the Raps about the CV Smooth selection.

Media members can change their opinions of the same incident in about a month, depending on how it fits their story. Don’t believe me? Here’s an example, provided by ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan:

Dec. 4, 2005:
“Executive of the Year: Rob Babcock, Raptors. So what if he might get fired by the end of the month? We're big fans of Jose Calderon; we're mighty impressed by Charlie Villanueva; and we still can't believe what a fleecing he put on Carroll Dawson in the Mike James-Rafer Alston trade.”

Jan. 27, 2005: (the day after Babcock was fired)
“The jury is still out on Jose Calderon….

“He also used the No. 7 pick in the 2005 draft on a power forward, Charlie Villanueva, when the franchise's entire rebuilding plan was centered around Chris Bosh, who plays the same position…

“Babcock might have been fired weeks ago if he hadn't made the Mike James-Rafer Alston deal, which has worked out in Toronto's favor in the short term but might not in the long term.”

Is the media allowed to change their mind? Absolutely. Just own up to your mistakes when you’re wrong.

CHAPMAN