"Once you're in, you're in." This axiom applies to a number of different industries. Entertainment, Fashion, Tattoo Artistry, Intercourse, and Vagabonding. But nowhere is it more hideously apparent than in sports. Owners, GMs, and coaches will see a name they recognize and immediately value it over one they don't. Simply for the fact that someone has done something before, they are immediately more qualified than someone who hasn't. That's management-by-resume and how most franchises looking to emerge from mediocrity only plant themselves more firmly in it.
Which brings us to our old friend, Ed Stefanski.
A few weeks ago, Adam Francis at Raptors HQ interviewed me when Easy Ed was a possibility for their GM position. I reiterated most of what we've discussed the past few years: Puppet GM, Basketball Sense, etc. I advised Raptors fans to hang garlic around their necks, carry Mace with them wherever they went, do anything in their power to ensure that Ed Stefanski not take over their upside-heavy franchise. But despite their best efforts, President and GM Bryan Colangelo has hired Stefanski as his EVP of Basketball Operations.
Yes, he will report to Colangelo, in a similar relationship to the one he shared with Rod Thorn before Ed was slapped with a "USELESS" sticker and sent packing. Yes, he does understand the game of basketball when it comes down to what happens on the court. But what happens on the court is only a sliver of what comes with being in the front office and Stefanski has not proven that he can adequately perform any of the other duties.
What Colangelo did was hire a clone of himself, a lackey, and a Yes Man. There strictly for the thumbs up and a paycheck because both Bryan and Eddie share the same riskless philosophies on how to run a franchise. Getting into the black is certainly achievable for this team shortly but the likelihood of these two bringing a championship to the Great White North is about as likely as Eddie Jordan not getting another job in the NBA within the next couple years. It's inevitable. Once you're in, you're in. Terrible decisions, wasteful spending, horizontal development, and middling mediocrity can't shake them from the web as long as they keep handing out those resumes. Because veterans, regardless of any career magicking to get where they are, have more cred than someone with a plan, simply because someone offered them a job sometime in the past. In-house, incestual nepotism. Welcome back to the front office, here's your new hat!
While this article turned into a front office leveling of agism than what kind of a job Ed will do in Toronto (apologies to Dweeb and the rest of our less doe-eyed readership), I am excited for the potential conversation between Colangelo and Stefanski where they talk about how Jason Kapono should get more long-term deals. That'll be cute.