The last 96 hours for the 76ers took more twists and turns than an Emmy-winning soap opera.
Give the Sixers credit: they acted and reacted quickly.
Just four days ago, Sam Hinkie sent in his resignation to ownership, which included a 13-page letter.
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A couple of hours before the Sixers would careen to their 70th defeat following a 109-108 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Sixers named Bryan Colangelo as President of Basketball Operations. Colangelo is a two-time NBA Executive of the Year winner – once with the Phoenix Suns and once with the Toronto Raptors.
Colangelo is the son of Jerry Colangelo, who will relinquish the role of chairman of basketball operations and remain as a special advisor to managing general partner Josh Harris.
Exit Hinkie. Enter Bryan Colangelo. And a whole lot of drama.
The 10-70 Sixers have two road games remaining at Toronto and Chicago before what promises to be an exciting offseason commences.
Before moving forward, it was natural to ask about what’s now in the past.
“We didn’t really lose faith in Sam,” Harris told the assembled media. “We spent many months chatting with Sam about how to move the franchise to the next level and we felt that, I think we all agree, bringing in a talent to make the organization better, to allow us to build stronger relationships in and around the league, to allow us to build a winning culture, to bring in someone to help lead the organization. We thought that those were good things. We couldn’t agree on how to do that, specifically, and who the person was and so Sam decided to leave. We’re sad about it. We wish he were here but we’re moving forward as an organization and excited about our future.”
It was also natural to ask about hiring Bryan Colangelo over other candidates.
“I understand the optics of it, but the reality is Bryan was head and shoulders above every other candidate,” Harris said. “So the optics is something we’re managing right now, but the reality is I went with Bryan because he was the best guy for the job. Jerry, truthfully and to be fair to Bryan and to be fair to himself and to be fair to us, recused himself from the entire process. He wasn’t involved. So I think he was on board for the approach, but he wasn’t involved with it. This was really my decision and now we’re managing the optics, and it just so happens that Bryan was the best guy for the job and we also had his Hall of Fame dad along the organization. I made the decision that it was worth managing those optics to get such a talented guy in our organization.”
Bryan Colangelo spent 15 years with the Suns and then held a similar role with the Raptors from 2006-13. In 18 seasons, his teams advanced to the playoffs 11 times with four division titles.
The challenge will be much more daunting in Philadelphia, but Colangelo is unfazed.
“There’s so much history and tradition that needs to be followed up with some success here,” Colangelo said. “They deserve it, they want it and I’m here to make that happen. But I’m humbled and I’m honored with that opportunity. With respect to where we go from here, this is one of the most exciting jobs, I believe, that’s out there in the league, right now. It’s a situation where, obviously, my predecessor, Sam Hinkie, has done a nice job of establishing the assets and resources to move forward in a positive way. I’m sorry that Sam will not be a part of that. It was intended all along that he would, but the fact that we’re moving forward, onward and upward, we’re all excited about that transition that’s happening now. And with regard to that future, I just want to be very clear that this is not about a departure from a process, departure from a strategy. This is a moving forward with everything that’s already been established, everything that’s in place and we’re going to be measured in the continued building of this organization.”