Despite the prolonged negotiation of Toronto Raptors vice-chairman and president Masai Ujiri’s contract, the real drama behind the scenes has reportedly come to light.
The Toronto Star exclusively reported on Monday that Edward Rogers, former chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., had “actively fought plans” to re-sign Ujiri, feeling as though he was not worth the amount offered to him.
Rogers Communications Inc. owns 37.5 per cent of the Raptors organization.
On the latest episode of CBC Sports video series Bring It In, host Morgan Campbell is joined by panellists Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin to discuss what Ujiri has meant to the Raptors, as well as taking a closer look into the deep-rooted issues that led to Rogers’ stance on Ujiri.
WATCH | Bring It In panel discusses Edward Rodgers saga involving Ujiri:
Regarding the situation, Rogers had reportedly referred to Ujiri as being arrogant and not wanting to share his vision for the Raptors franchise. Campbell made note of Rogers’ admiration for Donald Trump and how he’s similar to that of the former U.S. President.
Zirin noted that although he should be aware of what his words mean, Rogers knew what he was doing when making that statement and also exhibited his own arrogance.
“When you have people born on third base and think they hit a triple, they tend to be arrogant themselves and say and do things that are not in the best interest of the franchise.
“If you’re willing to give Masai Ujiri the stiff-arm after all we’ve seen over the last couple of years, you really don’t belong in any position of authority of an NBA franchise.”
McPeak went on to highlight Ujiri’s foundational work that has helped elevate the franchise and league as a whole.
“I think the most obvious one, the elephant in the room if you will, is the 2019 championship run,” McPeak said, highlighting everything he’s done on and off the court, for and with the team.
“You think of all his philanthropy that he does off the court through Giants of Africa … people within MLSE and the Raptors organization are a lot of the people who help him on the Giants of Africa trips that he takes.”