Unexpected news is the course of the day on a quiet Finals off day, it would seem. The Raptors and GM Bryan Colangelo announced in a conference call on Wednesday that head coach Jay Triano's option would not be picked up for 2011-2012 but that he would remain with the team as a "special assistant/consultant" to the GM.
Colangelo was just given a gratuitous extension after several years of failed building around Chris Bosh and an equally difficult rebuilding year in the first post-CB4 season. Triano was thought to be a quality person under bad conditions trying to win with a flawed roster. But the defensive struggles of the Raptors reflected more than the lack of quality defensive personnel Colangelo had assembled. Speculation is that this may have been part of the terms of Colangelo's extension, along with a move more toward traditional NBA rosters and away from the Euro approach Colangelo has opted for, building around Andrea Bargnani. Additionally, Triano's record of 87-142 was nothing to write home about. If so, Triano is at once a scapegoat and lucky to be retained, if that makes any sense.
With Triano out, late in the coaching search season, the Raptors will likely try and pick up one of the quality coaches on the market. Rick Adelman makes a lot of sense, as he does everywhere, but Adelman has indicated he wants to pursue more of a managerial role, something impossible with Colangelo in charge.
We'll have more news on the release of Jay Triano as head coach soon.
Here's the release.
Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo announced Wednesday the club will not exercise its option on head coach Jay Triano for the 2011-12 season. Triano will be retained as a consultant to the basketball team as a special assistant to the president and general manager.
The search for a new head coach will commence immediately. There is no definitive timetable for the completion of the search process.
“I have great respect for Jay Triano both as a person and as a basketball mind,” said Colangelo. “Jay deserves tremendous credit for developing our young players this past season and our most recent win-loss record does not appropriately reflect his many positive contributions to this organization.
“This was a difficult decision to make, but after almost three full seasons of observation and evaluation I believe that bringing in a new voice as head coach will accelerate the progress we are looking to make in the coming years.
“I am very pleased that Jay has agreed to stay on and help see through the plan that we have designed and initiated together.”
“I am grateful to the organization for the opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA,” said Triano. “I am proud of the work that I and the coaching staff have done with our young players and feel confident we have laid the foundation for a team that will continue to improve. I look forward in assisting Bryan to deliver a championship team to Toronto.”
Triano was promoted to head coach and signed to a three-year contract May 11, 2009. He finished with an 87-142 record (.380).
Triano served as an assistant to three coaches before being named interim head coach December 3, 2008 following the dismissal of Sam Mitchell.
A native of Niagara Falls, Canada, Triano became the first Canadian born and Canadian trained coach in the NBA when he joined Lenny Wilkens’ staff for the 2002-03 season.