The Liberty Ballers crew has some history with former Sixers General Manager, Ed Stefanski. Mike, Derek and myself have all been on conference calls with him. We've all made fun of his go-to "Basketball Sense" phrase at some point. And in my younger days, on Sixersoul.com, I referred to him as "The Greatest GM on Planet Earth".
Although Stefanski is currently with the Toronto Raptors, the Sixers roster is mainly shaped by moves he orchestrated. He signed Andre Iguodala to his current contract. He signed Brand. He signed Lou. He traded Korver, drafted Thad, Jrue and Turner.
When Mike and I saw him sitting by his lonesome in the Thomas and Mack, we decided it was a great opportunity to pick his brain on his tenure with the Sixers. We chatted with him for about 10 minutes, and although he didn't provide us with any earth-shattering quotes, it was a super-enjoyable conversation. He was candid and honest with all his answers, and extremely pleasant with two people who've publicly bashed him in the past. Many thanks to Stefanski for his general niceness.
Make the jump for the quotes I pulled from the audio.
On relationship with Rod Thorn
Rod and I are very close friends ... he's one of my mentors in this business.
Moves he regrets w/ Sixers
Everybody makes moves and they're not happy with them. You just try to move on. There's moves that you make that you wish you hadn't made them. Agressive moves are moves you gotta go for. If you sit still and ... stagnant – why would you even hire me?
On whether the Sixers on the right track
There's no question. They're young, and they got a hellava coach.
On Evan Turner pick
There really wasn't a lot of consideration. The unanimous choice was Evan Turner with the second pick. We were pretty much set on Evan.
On league-wide interest in Iguodala
I didn't sign him to a max contract, but everybody beat me up on his number. Anybody in the NBA would take him in a second.
On Evan Turner's position
I always thought Evan was a point forward or point guard – a three-man, who could play the point. With Lou gone, I think Doug will use him as the backup point guard – he'll start him, but when they sub for Jrue, I think Evan will be the guy.
On coexistence or Jrue-Turner-Iguodala
If Iguodala can stay at 39 percent from three – yes they can play together.
In order to become a great player, he's going to have to become a better shooter, but I really believe he's going to have a breakout year this year.
Turner as 6th man
I don't think Evan would like coming off the bench. The mentality probably isn't there, so I think Doug's doing the right thing by starting him. I think Doug's comfortable with him starting.
Best move in Philly
I went in there to change the style, use the athletes, and get Thad on the floor – it helped Thad and it helped us. I thought getting Jodie Meeks for a second round pick was terrific. People didn't like it, but Andre Iguodala is worth every penny. Elton was the best free agent. It didn't happen – injury-wise – but I have no regrets because I went for it. If the Sixers wanted someone laid back – that's not my style. Oh, and Holiday at 17 was really good.