It’s been good times for the Sixers and their fans recently. And by good times, I mean really, really, really bad times. When the Sixers brought in Bryan Colangelo to work with Sam Hinkie, who was having none of it because he isn’t that stupid and he knew the ownership group, with the help of Jerry Colangelo, were just putting the wheels in motion to replace him, he resigned.
Nobody blamed him. Nobody should blame him. But perhaps the funniest, non-ironic part of this whole situation came when the elder Colangelo said he stepped aside for the ownership to make their own conclusions once his son, Bryan, became a leading candidate to come into the fold.
Yeah, OK. Nobody’s going to believe him. Even in the off-chance that it’s true, there’s no benefit of the doubt here. But, the elder Colangelo doubled down on saying he removed himself from the selection process during a sports business panel discussion in Chicago.
First of all, I was called by Philadelphia ownership, [which] kind of fell out of the sky, would I be willing to be of some help and give advice and counsel,” Sixers special adviser Jerry Colangelo said at a sports business panel at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. “I was prepared to do that, but soon it became apparent that there was a requirement to bring in some new people, maybe restructure. Once Bryan’s name popped up as one of the leading candidates, it was important for me to step out of the process so that ownership could come to their own conclusions.
“They did settle on Bryan as the best candidate. I’m very happy for him, I’m happy for the organization. I think he’s a very qualified guy. Eighteen years experience as a GM. He’s a two-time Executive of the Year. He’s a guy of character, integrity and he’ll give them everything that he has. I’d bet on him, let’s put it that way.
“Ownership obviously wanted to have a change in terms of that game plan, or at least a detour of some sort because three years of pain was pretty hard. You can’t have an open-ended lose, lose, lose until you hit the jackpot with a player or two. Not only do you have to be lucky, the right players have to come along at the right time in order for that really to play out.
“Once the decision was made to bring someone into the organization, the intent was for Sam to stay and share responsibilities, but he chose not to. That was his call. He was not pushed out. Everyone — myself and ownership — wanted him to stay.”
For the sake of Sixers fans, and basketball fans in general, I hope this move works out for everyone. But there’s absolutely zero chance I believe Hinkie wasn’t going to be forced to change his plan once Colangelo was brought in. He wouldn’t just quit unless he had a very good reason for doing so. It’s the Colangelo show now.