To the profound disappointment of exactly zero 76ers fans, Jerry Colangelo will be stepping away from the organization at the end of this calendar year, according to a report from Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post:
In discussing the situation, Colangelo termed his own tenure in Philadelphia—with which he served as a special adviser—as over, before clarifying that it is “over at the end of the year.”
A league source confirmed that account. While Colangelo is under contract through the end of this calendar year, and the 76ers will be honoring that contract, it won’t be renewed.
The “situation” referred to there is the absurd Twitter fiasco involving his son, former Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo, who Jerry brought on to replace Sam Hinkie when the NBA pressed the perpetually tanking Sixers into Jerry’s hands back in 2015. Jerry’s presence as an advisor to the organization made the “internal investigation” into Bryan’s secret player-trashing Twitter behavior all the more awkward; that he would stick around for any part of the post-Bryan era seems almost unthinkable; that his contract will not be renewed beyond this year seems like little more than a formality.
The Sixers did some solid things under the Colangelos. Hinkie’s multiyear tanking project produced an exciting core, but it ultimately fell to his successors to point the team more seriously towards actually winning. Toward that end, the free agency acquisition last summer of brain genius J.J. Redick was wildly successful, and gave the Sixers a more coherent offensive shape in the half-court, and the mid-year acquisitions of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova paid significant dividends in the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2012.
But that’s an awfully bleak list of accomplishments for a figure associated with as much upheaval as Jerry Colangelo is in Philadelphia. Jerry will be remembered for pushing out Hinkie. He’ll be remembered for disrupting and short-circuiting Hinkie’s cosmic-brain project, and worse, he’ll be remembered for discarding Hinkie’s cynical, game-theory-esque approach to basketball in favor of [gulp] nepotism. The Colangelos will be remembered for trading up in the draft to select a guy who promptly forgot how to play basketball, and they’ll be remembered for one of the most embarrassing front office scandals in recent NBA history, a disaster that left the team without a general manager during the most important offseason it’s had in nearly a decade.
It’s been a crummy summer for the Sixers. It started with the public humiliation and ultimate canning of their GM, produced exactly squat in free agency except whatever pride can be taken from merely having a meeting with LeBron’s agent, included a “thanks but no thanks” from their former GM’s mentor, featured a pretty cold rejection from their one semi-noteworthy summer acquisition, and now wraps up with news of the imminent departure of the guy who was not so long ago brought in to stabilize the organization. It’s wild to think as recently as May the Colangelos were atop one of the most promising organizations in basketball, and now they’re riding out of town one after the other on a wave of scandal and disappointment.