Fore-warned is fore-armed

When a situation develops that sees two individuals, intimately connected through their work, with different perceptions about the circumstances they each find themselves in … then, that situation is best described as one without a solid long term prognosis for success, in a major way. 

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This quote was ascribed to the Raptors’ Head Coach, Sam Mitchell, yesterday:

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Raptors coach preaches “principles”
I’m pleased with the team that we have. Bryan has done a great job of giving me a good team. We have a great group of guys that work hard. What we may lack athletically, I think we have a chance to make it up basketball-wise. We have got some pretty good basketball players.

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Which elicited the following response, from yours truly, on the new web site devoted exclusively to coverage of all-things-Raptors, RaptorsRepublic.com:

Free Advice
If you’re a bright and enterprising young sort, this ↑↑↑ is the type of delicious quotation that would make a terrific ’sig’ for your on-line activity this season, related to the goings-on in Raptorville.

What does the content of that specific quote mean?

Well …

If you know how to read between the lines, in this world, and can see what’s really there, beyond the mere letters on a page … then, you KNOW for a fact that Sam Mitchell played 13 years in the NBA – the best basketball League in the world – on the strength of marginal talent, which indicates, if nothing else, that the Man is a Survivor of the Highest Order, Charles Darwin style … and, reveals a level of intelligence & guile which puts to shame the vast majority of those who dare to criticize him, on a regular basis.

Re-read each of those individual sentences a second time.

* I’m pleased with the team that we have.
* Bryan has done a great job of giving me a good team.
* We have a great group of guys that work hard.
* What we may lack athletically, I think we have a chance to make it up basketball-wise.
* We have got some pretty good basketball players.

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Bryan’s done a “great” job?
This organization now has a “good” team.
These players are a “great group of guys”.
These players “work hard”.
These players “may” lack athleticism?
These players have a “chance” to make it up basketball-wise, Sam “thinks”.
These players are “pretty good”.
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Hmmmmmmm …

There’s an old saying which goes like this,

“Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

IF you’re someone like the Raptors’ Head Coach, you don’t MAKE it THIS far, in Life, and in Hoops, without being a highly intelligent man … who knows the Right words to say, and the Right time to say them.

Wily … yessirree, like a Fox.

That’s Sam.

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Then, today, the following column was authored by a different local scribe …

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Be blissfully optimistic but beware
In the leadup to the NBA’s 14th season with a Toronto outpost, Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors president and GM, has repeatedly called his hoopsters “the best team we’ve had.”

That noise in the background as he spoke was the high-pitched screech of Sam Mitchell’s padded courtside lounger being replaced with a stiff-backed hotseat. Colangelo will tell you the outlook is brilliant, that the Raptors shored up their weaknesses in defence and rebounding with their off-season acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal; that along with Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon, an all-star forward and an all-star-calibre point guard, the Raptors will possess one of the best core trios in the East.

But as Mitchell was saying the other day: “I keep telling the guys, `Don’t come to the arena thinking Jose, C.B. and Jermaine are going to carry us. The other guys have got to step up. … We’re going to need that fourth and fifth guy. Who are those guys going to be on a nightly basis? I can’t tell you.”

In other words, Colangelo’s saying he’s put together a winner here. Mitchell’s saying, not in so many words: Hang on a minute, boss … I’ve got three reliable players, one of whom, O’Neal, is coming off four seasons of surgery-plagued misery and still wearing a knee brace. And those three guys are surrounded by an assortment of enigmas who may or may not come to play in tonight’s season opener in Philadelphia and beyond.

There are two ways to look at this team, indeed. We’ll excuse you for squinting to see the optimistic angle.

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Hmmmmmmm …

Inevitably, what happens next, when a ‘glass half-full’ perspective meets head-on with a ‘glass half-empty’ one … is deleterious towards the health & long term stability of the subordinate, in that specific situation, usually, on account of a well-marked, “Failure to Communicate.”

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It says in this corner that …

If things do go awry this season and this team does indeed go backwards … it will be because the GM, Bryan Colangelo, has assembled a group which is, both, short on High End players and on QUALITY DEPTH.

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Free Advice to Sam Mitchell …

Keep your wits about you, Sir, and heed the following words:

Kay: “Michael, why are the drapes open?”

The Godfather, Part II [1974]

which precede the scene shown here ↓ … at the 1:43 mark of this clip …

Now is not the time for you to fall asleep at the switch.

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4 Responses to “Fore-warned is fore-armed”

  1. Johnn19 Says:

    What Colangelo said was that on paper this was the most talented team he has had in Toronto.

    Mitchell is agreeing, with the proviso that the play on the court, not paper.

  2. khandor Says:

    Johnn19,

    I don’t think Sam Mitchell agrees with Bryan Colangelo’s assessment of this team [as constituted] right now.

    IMO, Sam is a better coach than that. 😉

    What he’s said in the media, thus far, are the words of a highly intelligent and prudent man.

  3. Travis Outlaw Says:

    Off topic but Khandor as you look like a movie buff ( like me). Who do you think is the better actor Al Pacino or Robert Deniro and why?

  4. khandor Says:

    Both are outstanding in their own right … similar but different.

    Two of the very best in their generation and of all time, as well. 🙂

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