Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke hired 2013 NBA Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri to make some drastic changes in the Toronto Raptors organization. One of those changes occurred Tuesday morning when the organization fired former point guard and recent team scout Alvin Williams.
“(Leiweke) just basically said that he was going to give Masai the opportunity to start with a clean slate and move forward with the organization,” Williams said of the phone conversation, according to The Sports Network. “Unfortunately my contract wasn’t renewed.”
The fans in Toronto understand that change must be made in order for the franchise to head in the right direction. It is no secret that a majority of successful franchises that go on to win championships, regardless of the sport, has made decisions that typically do not sit well. The firing of Williams will be no different as he was no doubt a fan favorite in Canada.
Williams was a hard-nosed, physical player who played through injuries on a consistent basis to try to lead his team to greatness. The Raptors knew how much Williams meant to the fans and the organization, which is why they gave him a front office job after he was forced into an early retirement due to knee injuries. He began as an assistant coach in 2009 and transitioned to Director of Player Development a year later.
What Williams will miss the most besides the job is the players he formed close relationships with in the Raptors organization. Most of the players he saw drafted, or acquired in a free-agent signing, he has helped become better basketball players.
“Emotionally I’m tied to things,” Williams said, according to TSN.com. “A lot of times that’s what you need to do, you need to start from scratch to go forward. That’s totally understood.”