Hey Colangelo, You Got Served.
June 13, 2006
Criminal Court of Canada
Province of Ontario District
Bryan Colangelo, General Manager of the Toronto Raptors
The Blue Baller, Genius
Re: Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property (Canadian Copyright Act)
We are litigation counsel for The Blue Baller. This is a legal notice directed to Bryan Colangelo (referred to as “You”) regarding theft of intellectual property owned by our client (“The EuroPlan”). The purpose of this document is to put You on notice that further use of The EuroPlan will constitute a violation of the Canadian Copyright Act, and will expose You and those acting in concert with You to immediate legal action for recovery of substantial monetary damages. Our client explains:
I’ll take it from here, Colangelo. Who needs a goddamn lawyer when I’ve got a case more clear-cut than the R-Kelly sex trial. Only this time, The Blue Baller is getting the face full of urine. Exactly two years ago, I published my vision for the evolution of the Toronto Raptors, a manifesto I called “The EuroPlan”. I believe you are familiar with it. I believe this because for the last four months, you have followed it word-for-glorious-word! Your tactics may be different, but The Baller put the ‘Blue’ in your franchise blueprint.
Exhibit A: Hiring of Maurizio Gherardini
Key to the The EuroPlan was hiring a good man on the ground; someone with strong local contacts, a keen eye for talent, and a feel for the European game. In April 2004, I suggested Sacramento’s Euro-Centric Assistant GM Wayne Cooper. You, Colangelo, took my idea to the extreme by hiring the head of European powerhouse Benetton. At first, this move struck me as highly unusual. While I appreciate Benetton’s commitment to raising awareness of controversial social issues, I did not see how provocative advertisements featuring AIDS patients and Sub-Saharan Africans in brightly coloured sweaters would benefit my cause. Then I looked closer, and…well played Colangelo, well played. Hiring a highly regarded Italian GM who “owns Europe” will only benefit The EuroPlan, and it seems to be paying quick dividends. I can only assume that Gherardini’s Old World Italian ways were behind the team’s unexpected luck in winning the 1st pick in the draft. My guess is Russ Granick woke up in bed on Draft Day with a severed velociraptor head.
Exhibit B: The Andrea Bargnani Circus
The second tenant of The EuroPlan was raising the profile of Toronto and the Raptors as an attractive destination for European players. I initially proposed a PR campaign involving Herbie Kuhn and Chuck Swirsky handing out old JYD jerseys to tall kids in Belgrade, but again, You have placed your own twist on my ingenious plan. See, I know full well that it doesn’t matter one canolli if you select Andrea Bargani or Tony Danza with the top-pick. The fact that You have used this opportunity to glorify a young Italian prodigy has sent notice to the Euroleague that Toronto is THE place for European players. But the froth on the cappuccino was sending your two top men across the pond to build buzz—Wayne Embry, to glad-hand local players, and Sam Mitchell, to learn some measure of cultural sensitivity. And Colangelo: if Sam starts griping about being sent over to Europe to shmooze, tell him he should be grateful I didn’t publish my initial manifesto: The HomoPlan.
Exhibit C: Euros, Euros, Euros!
The final and most obvious piece to The EuroPlan was filling the roster with nicotine-craving Campari drinkers. And what do I see when I read the papers? A future backcourt of Roko Ukic and Jose Calderon, and trade rumours for Spaniard Pau Gasol. Back in 2004 I pined for “a racial mongrel of a roster that looked like it was plucked from the Scarborough Town Centre food court”, well now we’re one signature away from Jorge Garbajosa—I’m convinced this guy once served me a goddamn Cin-i-bon! And Colangelo, if I had any lingering doubts about you horking my plan, they were quickly laid to rest when I heard about these new Raptor jerseys. My moles inform me that the new design will incorporate a smaller font to accommodate longer last names, and have a looser cut to allow your new European players to easily strip them off after they score a fieldGOOAALLL!
You know what Colangelo, I think I’m actually going to give you a pass, this time. While I object to you stealing my plan without any prior consultation, I am frankly impressed with the level of vigor and flair you have shown throughout its implementation. But Colangelo, heed this as a warning: from Toronto, Amsterdam, or beyond the grave, the single unblinking eye of The Blue Baller is watching You.
- The Blue Baller