TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors fired first-year coach Kevin O'Neill on Friday, a day after he questioned the team's commitment to winning.
The Raptors finished 33-49 this season and missed the playoffs for a second straight year. Toronto also fired general manager Glen Grunwald on April 1 after a rift between O'Neill and Grunwald became public.
Team president Richard Peddie said two weeks ago that a new general manager would decide whether O'Neill would return, but the team decided not to wait.
O'Neill said Thursday the franchise is more excited about just being part of the NBA than winning.
"I can just tell you right now, the focus is not on winning here all the way through the organization all the time," he said. "There needs to be drastic measures taken."
The team also fired four of O'Neill's assistant coaches.
Kevin O'Neill is so right, this organization is a total mess. The intern-GM Jack McCloskey on a Friday press conference talking about they he's searching for as a new GM and talked about as he has final say, then a reporter said Team Prez Peddie said he (Peddie) would have the final call on who the new GM as McCloskey smiles and said "Oh I guess I need to call him up"... This team is in a major tail spin and the problem is from right on top of management.
So they got rid of a veteran coach in Lenny Wilkens and now gets rid of Kevin O'Neill after just one year, who's next? Who would want to coach this shambles of a team... Maybe they can hire Whoopi Goldberg (wow an Eddie reference)
Before I forget, go read this year's SLAMMYS - the basketball ones, yeah - by the fine folks over at THE LINKS: http://slamonline.com/links/04182005/index.html The ABOVE link will change as the week goes on. You can find it.