The Philadelphia 76ers, those smirking pioneers of a remarkably misguided, anti-fun, actuarial, game theory-ass approach to NBA basketball, are now starting to realize that you can’t exactly build a winning basketball team while ignoring, well, the basketball. Back in December, the NBA more or less 86'd Sam Hinkie’s plan to brazenly tank this year away (and next year, and the one after that) by installing Jerry Colangelo in a position of power within the Philadelphia front office. The team traded for Ish Smith, and they’ve upgraded their on-court product from toxic waste dump to normal waste dump.
Now, it looks like the team wants to take more steps towards legitimacy, and hire more “basketball minds” to the front office. Colangelo spoke to the media yesterday, and he emphasized the need to give a shit about basketball, while basically calling Sam Hinkie a little baby (emphasis ours):
“I think that any time you have an opportunity to enhance your organization and you bring people in to accomplish that, you need to consider it big time. You really do,” said Jerry Colangelo, the team’s chairman of basketball operations. “I think in our case we have a very bright young man in Sam Hinkie, who holds the title of president and GM. In his space he’s really strong.”
“One could build a case for saying you’d like to have more people added who have experience in other aspects of those job. That’s the kind of conversation’s that going on.”
Colangelo said that they wouldn’t be firing Hinkie and bringing a new GM. Obviously, there’s not a solution out there this or maybe even next year where the Sixers have a legitimate shot at a playoff spot. They stink and are bad. But, as King Kristaps recently showed, good players will actively avoid any scenario where they get stuck on a Philly team like the one currently losing about every game. You’d never want your client wasting away on a team that’s playing your buddies from the YMCA 25 minutes a night so they can lose and accrue more ping pong balls.
The Sixers don’t have to be good, they just have to not be a joke. Adding more hoops people to the equation is a good start, but what this really lays bare is that Hinkie’s process ain’t the driving factor behind how the Sixers operate anymore.
What a very bright young man.
Photo via Getty