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  Tue, May 25, 2004


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An ineptitude test for GMs
Using his unmatched reporting skills, Mike Ulmer has obtained a top-secret Raptors document
By MIKE ULMER -- Toronto Sun

The Toronto Sun has learned the Raptors are still several years away from choosing a new general manager because candidates keep flunking the club's aptitude test.

The test distills all the knowledge and practices employed by Raptors officials into five multiple-choice questions. Neither Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president/CEO Richard Peddie or chairman Larry Tanenbaum can figure out why the supposed creme de la creme of NBA managers keep bombing out.

We obtained the examination by infiltrating the cleaning staff at the Air Canada Centre and fishing the crumpled-up tests from wastebaskets. The correct answers are included.

- 1. You have two players, Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams. Davis is a big baby who complains about playing centre. He embarks on a work-to-rule campaign. JYD continues to work tirelessly on the court and in the community. Do you ...

A. Trade the unhappy player, thus acceding to his demands.

B. Trade the happy player, just for the hell of it.

C. trade them both?

Answer: C. By trading them both, you send a message that community work and on-court hustle are all well and good, but don't think for a second that won't keep the boss from unloading the dirty laundry out with the clean. This kind of no-nonsense approach wins the respect of players. They need that.

- 2. The phrase general managers must be free to hire their own coaches is ...

A. True some of the time

B. True all the of the time

C. Just one of those things you tell the press?

Answer: C. Look, Bub, when you sign your own paychecks, you can choose your own coach. We have already made some top-secret calls to candidates. Read the papers.

- 3. In an effort to galvanize the slackers we send on to the floor 82 times a year, we hire a fiery coach named Kevin O'Neill. When he learns his point guard has broken his hand, he smashes a hotel lamp. Do you ...

A. Tell him "don't sweat the lamp, Kev, we appreciate your frustration."

B. Ask him to stop hurting innocent light fixtures.

C. Tell the press, "Well, we sure hired a firecracker this time."

Answer: HA! None of the above. You leak the story to discredit a coach who is telling people you don't know what the hell you're doing. In this organization, criticism always, always, goes north-south. By the way, if you can't find a suitable replacement for the lamp at Ikea, dock his pay.

- 4. It's your job to decide who represents the club at the NBA draft. Last year, Vince Carter looked like he had been forced to swallow a goldfish at gunpoint when the club's lottery choice fell to fourth from third. We drafted Chris Bosh who was pushed around like the straw in a Singapore Sling. Who do you send this time?

A. The coach.

B. Carter.

C. Bosh.

Answer: C. Hey, bright boy, we haven't told you who the coach is yet. Carter couldn't win a toss if you gave him 10 tries with a two-headed coin. Use Bosh. By replacing the player who represented the club last year, we're really saying we are unhappy with how things went. What could be more excruciating than representing the team that felt disappointed in having to draft you last year. That's called keeping a player hungry, chum.

- 5. After two seasons under coach Lenny Wilkens, the team looks a little stale. Actually, if you stood in the right place after practice, you could smell formaldehyde. Do you ...

A. Fire Wilkens and consider the final two years of his contract an investment in renewal to ward off organizational rot;

B. Stay the course with a Hall of Fame coach?

Answer: B. Lenny Wilkens was making $5 million a year. If you even considered A, get up, crumple up this test and throw it in the wastebasket.









Do you like the new-look Raptors heading into the 2013-14 NBA season?
  Yes, new GM made great moves
  No, they will still be a terrible team
  Unsure what to make of it


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