Full-court quest

Bryan Colangelo

Bryan Colangelo

GEORGE GROSS

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

Some basketball experts call him a genius. Others refer to him as a basketball magician. The fact is that Bryan Colangelo, president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors, has re-shaped the local basketball team from also-rans to contenders in less than 18 months. He cleaned up the dressing room from troublesome so-called superstars and replaced them with several young, well disciplined and eager international players who deem it an honour to play for the Toronto Raptors.

It doesn't surprise that Colangelo reached into the international talent pool for two reasons: he knows talent when he sees it and he knows the international basketball scene pretty well. Hence his first draft choice was Italian future superstar Andrea Bargnani. But he didn't hesitate for a moment to sign T.J. Ford, because he believes in a team concept when assembling a team, while looking for players who are capable of complementing Chris Bosh.

Which brings us to his international heritage. His father, a true basketball expert, is Italian. His mother is of German descent. His wife is Italian. He claims he comes from a city that has unbelievable weather for seven months (Phoenix), but he loves Toronto because the city offers so much, even if it's a little cooler than Arizona.

Sun Media: It's Saturday night and you are not competing. Whatcha gonna do?

Colangelo: Barbecue some steaks and turn a basketball game on.

Sun Media: Pick five words to describe yourself?

Colangelo: I'm sure that I have been defined or described by more than five, but I'll leave that to others.

Sun Media: What were you like at school?

Colangelo: Pretty normal overall, but I had some fun as my fraternity social chairman.

Sun Media: What's your most treasured material possession?

Colangelo: World Series ring given to me by my father.

Sun Media: What's your poison?

Colangelo: Nice watches.

Sun Media: What's your most unpleasant characteristic?

Colangelo: Short fuse.

Sun Media: What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever bought?

Colangelo: A convertible, three months before moving to Toronto.

Sun Media: What's the best advice you ever received?

Colangelo: Never let anyone question your work ethic.

Sun Media: And who's the most famous person on your cellphone?

Colangelo: Charles Barkley. (Isn't he the governor of Alabama?) Honestly, it's a tough call to pick only one ... maybe MJ?

Sun Media: What's your favourite unhealthy food?

Colangelo: Calamari fritti (fried calamari).

Sun Media: Where do you wanna holiday?

Colangelo: Italy, of course.

Sun Media: If you weren't a basketball executive, what would you be doing?

Colangelo: Architecture and design, or real estate development.

Sun Media: What trait do you admire most in people?

Colangelo: Loyalty.

Sun Media: What would we always find in your fridge?

Colangelo: Bottled water, garlic and salami.

Sun Media: What was the best year of your life?

Colangelo: Lots to choose from, but this past year was right up there.

Sun Media: You have a few hours to kill. Book or video game?

Colangelo: And when would that be? Probably mindless television. I love documentaries. History Channel and National Geographic are great.

Sun Media: What's your greatest fear?

Colangelo: Failure. It's what motivates me. I have to mention germs, too.

Sun Media: What makes you laugh?

Colangelo: Old Chevy Chase movies. Lately Will Farrell ones, too.

Sun Media: What movie made you teary-eyed?

Colangelo: Not just one. It seems to happen more often as I get older.

Sun Media: Strangest piece of fan mail?

Colangelo: I get all kinds. Best ever though was a video of a guy who wanted a tryout. It was classic TV skit material.

Sun Media: Any superstitions?

Colangelo: Seems all those little things pass through your mind at some points, but I have realized over time that it's all nonsense. Of course, I still knock on wood from time to time.

Sun Media: Ugliest thing in your wardrobe?

Colangelo: All that purple and orange stuff from Phoenix (smiles).

Sun Media: Could you be convinced to karaoke and, if so, what's your song?

Colangelo: Probably not. I've been told singing/dancing is not my thing.

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QUICK HITS

Q: What was the first car you owned?

A: I shared a '79 Chevy Camaro with my older sister.

Q: What repairs could you perform on your car?

A: At one point or another, I have changed the oil, tires, wiper blades, etc. Now I let someone else do it.

Q: If you could be any athlete, who would you be and why?

A: Michael Jordan in his prime. The best ever.

Q: What's you culinary specialty?

A: Steak, corn and roasted potatoes. Scratch pancakes are a close second.

Q: What's your cellphone ringtone?

A: Some basic BlackBerry tone.

Q: What's the best concert you've seen?

A: U2.

Q: Are you easily embarrassed?

A: I try to avoid it at all costs.


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