The Sixers have been the butt of jokes for three seasons now. They have collected assets and traded away stars, and have shown little promise for the future (currently sitting at a laughable 10-68).
All of that is due to the unconventional thinking of Sam Hinkie, now the 76ers' former GM.
The young front office executive had a little success when he was in Houston with the Rockets and the Sixers took a chance on him and his unconventional approach, leaning on an analytics and looking to cash in on the next LeBron James. Wednesday, according to ESPN and several other outlets, he quit his position after writing a 13-page letter to Philly's ownership.
"There has been much criticism of our approach," Hinkie wrote. "There will be more. A competitive league like the NBA necessitates a zig while our competitors comfortably zag. We often chose not to defend ourselves against much of the criticism, largely in an effort to stay true to the ideal of having the longest view in the room.
"Given all the changes to our organization," Hinkie continued, "I no longer have the confidence that I can make good decisions on behalf of investors in the Sixers -- you. So I should step down. And I have."
Sixers majority owner Josh Harris released a statement around 9 p.m. officially making the annoucement.
"This evening, Sam Hinkie notified the organization that he has elected to step down as President of Basketball Operations and General Manager," Harris said in a statement. "While we are disappointed in Sam's decision, we would like to sincerely thank him for his contributions over the past three seasons. There is no question that Sam's work has put us in a very strong position to take advantage of numerous opportunities for an exciting future."
Buzz from news outlets close to the situation suggest that Bryan Coangelo, two-time NBA Executive of the Year and son of Jerry Coangelo (who was brought in to "help" Hinkie manage basketball operations) will be hired to take things over.
A very important draft awaits this offseason with the Sixers expected to have a top pick if not the overall No. 1 selection. They have a stockpile of other picks as well.
Hinkie's legacy is looking like yet another failed experiment by Philadelphia as it chases the white rabbit that is a championship -- like Chip Kelly's three years with the Eagles. But success in the future, however unlikely, from Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and others he drafted could change the way he is remembered in the city.
For now, it will be someone else's job to pick up the pieces.