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Gonzo: Hinkie-Sixers Front Office Disconnect Happened Long before Jerry Colangelo

People were either depressed or elated on Wednesday night when it became public that Sam Hinkie resigned from his post in the Sixers organization. What also became public was chairman of basketball operations, Jerry Colangelo, recruiting his son, Bryan, to become a co-GM with Hinkie, something with which Hinkie was never on board.

It’s kind of obvious now that Colangelo’s presence and his discernible opposition to how Hinkie has run things in the almost three years he was general manager persuaded the front office to make Hinkie feel like he was being forced out. Let’s be honest – that’s exactly how it looked like. So, do I blame him for resigning? No. Am I still pissed about it? Yes.

But, there’s more to it. It’s not as if Hinkie was an angel. I don’t think he would even tell you that. There was almost a Chip Kelly like quality to how Hinkie handled people within the Sixers organization.’s John Gonzalez expands on the disconnect between the ownership group and Hinkie’s group in what became a tug of war that Hinkie just let go of the rope.

These are bizarre times for the Sixers. Or, rather, the bizarre times for the Sixers continue.

The way Hinkie resigned. The fact that he showed up the next morning. The fact that ownership showed up on Thursday of all days — and walked right through a media phalanx without saying a word. Strange. All of it. Or perhaps not so strange for the Sixers when you think about it and ask about it.

According to sources, this situation has been building for a while. People within the organization say there was a disconnect between ownership/other members of the front office and Hinkie and his small, close group of confidants. Those sources told that ownership approached Hinkie before the season — well before hiring Colangelo and before Okafor’s troubles — and implored him to hire someone who would handle the media and build relationships around the league with agents, players and general managers. The internal narrative is that Hinkie wasn’t immediately responsive to that request.

“It’s kind of like if you ask your kids to clean up their room,” one source said. “You’re not really asking.”

Communication — internally between Hinkie, management and his co-workers and externally between Hinkie, agents, players, and other general managers — seemed to be a major component in the disconnect between how Hinkie thought he should do his job and how management wanted him to do it. When Brett Brown was asked how he found out about Hinkie leaving, he said he got a call from the team’s PR director informing him of the news. Brown called Hinkie to talk to him and ask if it was true. Like almost everyone else — ownership, front office personnel, players, media, fans — Brown found out second-hand and had to ask for confirmation.

Read more from Gonzo here.

I was always on board with Hinkie. Despite the anger I did feel with how bad the Sixers were, the continuous trades, Joel Embiid’s setbacks, etc., there was still always light at the end of the tunnel. And now, there’s just a huge question mark.


  1. Chuck Bailer

    There is light at the end of the tunnel Nick cause he’s GONE!!! You and the rest of the hinkie ites better wake up and realize he was a TERRIBLE GM! He will go down as the worst gm in the history of philly sports! All of you better wake up and realize that!

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