Jerry Colangelo, who has been with the Suns in various capacities since 1968 is in his last year with the organization. Don't feel bad for him though. If you recall, he cashed in $400M selling the organization to Robert Saver (couldn't resist the shot at foamy finger) in 2004.
Sports Illustrated spoke to him recently and the result is an interesting read. [full story]
• On son Bryan Colangelo's departure as Suns GM last season to become Toronto Raptors president:
"When the sale took place it was an almost inevitable possibility that Bryan might not be part of the future of the Phoenix Suns, because new ownership has the right to maintain or change management. Bryan and I discussed that before the sale, and he encouraged me to do what's right for the family and don't worry about him, he was going to be OK. He was right.Which brings me to the question -- why the hell give Antoni the added responsibility of GM? The dude doesn't have time to get his team to do basic stuff like boxing out or defending..why entrust him with more than he can chew.
Also, I've always felt that there needs to be a higher power to keep tabs on Antoni's tendency to play smurf-ball. There needs to be a guy who can temper Antoni's urge to stockpile swingmen, which is exactly what he's done with the Suns now -- James Jones, Jumaine Jones, Jalen Rose, Piatkowski and Diaw.
• On how he pushed through the rules changes:"I'll take the full blame or responsibility for that one. David Stern and I were meeting in New York and I shared with him my concern for the game at that time. I felt the game had lost its appeal and allure, and if it was starting to affect me then that was a serious issue. I had some very specific ideas about how to quicken the game, and David said, 'Put together a committee and do what needs be done.' Normally this kind of thing would take place within the competition and rules committee, and the coaches would discuss these things to ad infinitum. So it was my strong opinion that this was not going to be done by democratic opinion.
This guy is considered one of the front runners for Stern's office once he leaves. Will the NBA get no respite from these dictators?
Maybe its good that he made rule changes to make the game more exciting but this same guy is in charge of USA basketball and must be aware of the completely different rules in FIBA. If I recall correctly, the defense in FIBA is much more physical and allows hand checking. So basically, in making the rule changes JC-2004 screwed 'JC-2006', who is struggling to get Team USA to contend.
• On the rule permitting zone defenses:
We cleaned up play in the middle, speeded up play by changing the 10-second halfcourt rule to eight seconds -- we almost went to seven seconds, by the way -- and bringing more emphasis on shooting the ball and smarts.
• On his next move after relinquishing control of the Suns:
I've kept my eye and ear open to what's going on in basketball and baseball in other cities and franchises.
At this stage I'm just listening.