He has been called the worst coach in the NBA, and his Raptors have undergone a serious overhaul. But for the moment, Sam Mitchell is still standing. Michael Grange reports.
The playbook for someone in Colangelo's situation was clear: If he wasn't going to fire Mitchell on his first day of business, the pink slip would go under the door at the end of the season. New executives hire new coaches, especially when the coach's reputation is hardly without blemish.
But even as Colangelo rebuilt the team, bringing in nine new players, he kept Mitchell.
"If you look at all the dysfunction and strife this basketball outfit was dealing with, I felt it was my responsibility to form a relationship with Sam," Colangelo says, "and give him an opportunity to be evaluated fairly as opposed to following a conventional way of thinking, which would have been to clean house.
"We worked on that. We talked a lot, talked a lot of basketball, and we felt Sam deserved a fair chance, it's as simple as that."