It has been nearly four weeks since the NBA season ended, and over two weeks since the fate of Bryan Colangelo was placed in the hands of Tim Leiweke, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s new superstar CEO. It appears to finally be on the verge of a conclusion. Leiweke confirms a decision is imminent, but denies one has been reached. One source familiar with Leiweke’s thinking says the chief executive is leaning toward replacing Colangelo, and that a decision could be announced as soon as Monday. But reached Sunday afternoon by email, Leiweke said, “I have not gotten to a decision and I need to get board interaction so I think it is still up in air. That said, he may not want to be here if he does not get a long-term commitment. A lot will happen in the next few days.” Sources say the board representatives for Rogers and Bell, led by BCE chief executive officer George Cope and Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed, have ceded the decision to Leiweke, who has NBA ties dating back to his days as the president of the Denver Nuggets until 1995. Rogers and Bell each own 37.5% of MLSE, and have agreed to vote as a bloc; neither is believed to be in favour of retaining Colangelo, but in this case they are not making the final call. Leiweke, the former CEO of sports giant AEG, is in charge. It is not believed that Colangelo would balk at a one-year commitment, though it would serve as a convenient fallback for both parties in the case of separation. Leiweke has been in contact with Phil Jackson, but that is not yet seen as a likely scenario for either party, in part because Jackson is engaged to Los Angeles Lakers executive vice-president Jeannie Buss. Instead, Leiweke says Jackson is merely one of several NBA figures who is providing him with advice.
Raptors’ GM Bryan Colangelo may have already sealed his fate
National Post | May 13