Babcock had Iggy and Jameer ahead of Hoffa
Babcock looks back
Reflects on his time with Raptors
By MIKE KOREEN, TORONTO SUN
Fri, June 9, 2006
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Rob Babcock and Bryan Colangelo go way back -- back to long before Babcock was fired as the Raptors general manager in January only to be replaced by Colangelo a month later.
"Bryan's a good friend of mine, I've known him since he was a kid," Babcock, now working as a consultant for the Minnesota Timberwolves, said at the NBA's pre-draft camp at Walt Disney World Resort.
"He was a camper at the (basketball) camps I worked at and my wife used to babysit him in Phoenix when he was little."
How times have changed.
Little Bryan, 13 years younger than Babcock, is the president/GM with the Raptors, giving him power his predecessor never possessed.
But Babcock doesn't begrudge Colangelo. When the Raptors won the draft lottery last month, Babcock didn't think about what he would done with the top pick.
"(Colangelo) is a good man and a proven winner," Babcock said.
"I wish him the best of luck. The past is the past and you move on."
For as long as he remains in basketball, Babcock will be reminded about his two ugly moves -- the drafting of Rafael Araujo, who was traded to the Utah Jazz yesterday, and the trade of Vince Carter.
When it comes to Carter, Babcock insists he would not have done anything differently, maintaining the trade to the New Jersey Nets for Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, Alonzo Mourning and two draft-picks was the best possible deal.
Araujo, however, seems like a different story.
"I had two guys ranked ahead of him -- (Andre) Iguodala and Jameer Nelson," said Babcock, who still thinks Araujo can become an effective NBA player. "But we went by position. I'm not a guy who goes by position, but I did on that occasion. The situation, the roster, what the needs were there (dictated the pick)."
Three weeks after he was fired, Babcock made a list of the things he felt he did right and the things he did wrong. But there was one item which didn't fit on that list, which stands out in reflection.
"You can't always control this, but you don't want to take a GM's job 21/2 weeks before the draft," said Babcock, who also had to hire a coach -- Sam Mitchell -- within a month of his hiring. "You either want to have two full months to prepare or get it after the draft. It was just a whirlwind, very difficult. That's not the best way to prepare for something."
Babcock hopes his days of running an NBA team are not behind him.
"We certainly made some mistakes, but overall I felt the plan was working well and we were making progress," he said. "I'd like to get another shot, but if I don't, it's not the end of the world."