Alvin Williams hitting big shots at Megacity Pro-Am after getting fired from the Toronto Raptors
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The Raptors have had a few great players in the team’s short history but most of the them left on a bad note (McGrady, Vince, Bosh). One former Raptors player that played and/or worked with those guys and is still loved by the people in Toronto is Alvin Williams. One person not in the Alvin fan club is Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke who fired the former Raptor player, assistant coach and scout last month. It left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of Raptors fans especially Doug Smith who writes about the Raptors for the The Star.
(Alvin Williams) loved the organization and the city, he was a link to some of the best times the team has ever had, he is a great guy who’d show up every now and then and sooth some antsy players, offer a unique perspective and be a valued confidant to many.
Fired. Not by the general manager who never spoke to him, but by a CEO who seems hellbent on getting his fingers in every decision at some level.
Look, we all know that keeping people around this team forever is hard; there has been too much change, too many people discarded.
I’d say that if you’ve got someone the fans love, the players trust, the coaches appreciate and who wants to be part of it, you don’t cast him adrift.
You keep him around somehow, let him keep scouting, let him keep coming around every month or so, let him do his job. It’s not like Alvin was going to demand a seven figure salary and a say in all major personnel decisions. He wanted just to keep working, to be part of the Raptors. There aren’t a lot of that kind of guy around, I cannot see the harm in keeping him, if for no other reason that what he represents.
Everyone knows how hard he played, what he gave to the team — hell, I bet he cut his career two years short by playing through bad knees because he wanted to win and for the franchise to flourish.
As messages go, they just sent a crappy one. And people will notice.
Alvin is still in Toronto and playing in the MegaCity Basketball Pro-Am. Here’s some highlights of the man that hopefully finds a job back in the NBA with a team that can appreciate him.
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