The question is hanging there, and Masai Ujiri is waiting. He has just been asked why he won’t reveal his basketball philosophy, and in his silence the sound of jackhammers and earth-moving rumbles through the windowpanes of his corner office. He is on the top floor, downtown, and outside you can see North America’s fifth-biggest city — fourth if you discount Mexico City — continuing to take shape.
When he finally answers, he says “I always feel like … that’s for within.” Will it become obvious? “Yes.” Why not just say it? “For me to come out and say this is how I want to do this, no, I have to evaluate what we have here first,” Ujiri says. To keep your options open? “To keep my options open. I think it gives everyone a fair shot, which is what everyone deserves.” He speaks with great calm.
The NBA isn’t always fair, but it is a meritocracy. The Raptors will open their 2013-14 season as a bubble playoff team at best, far from the league’s real heat. Ujiri was hired to run the