The Philadelphia 76ers hiring Jerry Colangelo means that either they’ve had enough with all the losing, and there’s been a lot of it in over two years of their process, or the pressure from other NBA owners to change things has gotten to them.
Colangelo has been the director of USA Basketball since 2005, and along with Mike Krzyzewski has helped lead Team USA back to dominance in world basketball with two Olympic Gold Medals and two world championships gold medals. His new role with the 76ers is that of an advisor, just like Jerry West is for the Golden State Warriors, but it’s quite clear that it’s more than that, even if the Sixers are suggesting they’re extending Brett Brown’s contract and Sam Hinkie still has the final word.
The interesting thing about this hiring isn’t what Colangelo brings to the table, although he might try and use his ties with USA basketball to bring over stars to Philadelphia, a team that’s pretty much been against trading for established players or signing them through free agency since the Andrew Bynum debacle, which led to everything being scrapped and the decision to go with Hinkie and his plan of losing as much as possible while trying to develop the young players they get in the draft, while stockpiling on mostly second round picks.
It seems NBA owners have grown tired of the Sixers. Not just their losing, but how their losing is hurting the league’s brand and mostly income. The NBA is about revenue sharing to a point, and a market as large as Philadelphia should bring in more money to the table. The Sixers don’t excite fanbases on their road games and don’t bring in the amount of fans they should be when playing at home. They’re 1-21 this season, 38-148 over the past two-plus seasons.
Last season the Sixers help block a plan to change the lottery system, which is basically to stop tanking. But their whole plan is built on tanking and drafting high lottery picks, and hoping something good comes out of them. The fact that they drafted Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor one after the other suggests that more than anything, they need someone who knows what he’s doing at the helm instead of just basing his entire plan on dumb luck.