Let's make one thing clear – it doesn't matter what the Sixers say. It doesn't matter what Rod Thorn says. It doesn't matter what Adam Aron says. And it doesn't matter what Doug Collins says. Spike Eskin tackled this very subject a month ago.
Here's the thing though; it just doesn't matter what Doug Collins says. It matters what Doug Collins does.
Proof? Remember when Collins said that Marreese Speights would start last season in the Sixers big man rotation? He never saw the court for the Sixers and was traded shortly after. How about when he said that Evan Turner was a point guard? Surely you remember where that went. As well as several less publicized differences between what Collins said publicly and his true intentions.
Doug Collins says things like 'I think Andre Iguodala should be in the Hall of Fame', while saying the opposite in private. Adam Aron has Forest Gump marathons and tweets things like 'I LOVE SPAGHETTI AND BASKETBALL' from his iPad. And Rod Thorn – well you know what Rod Thorn does.
Despite these known truths, Sixers fans – including myself – have gone bonkers, on numerous occasions, based on something one of these guys has said publicly.
YOU'RE STARTING SPENCER HAWES?! OUTRAGE!
YOU'RE NOT TRADING ANDRE IGUODALA?! OUTRAGE!
YOU'RE GETTING RID OF HIP HOP?! OUTRAGE (said no one, ever).
But the reason Sixers fans were outraged by these statements isn't because of the statements themselves – the reason we were outraged, is because the Sixers have been nothing but 'Sixers' for the past decade. They few fans who remained treated every situation like a wounded husband, whose wife has cheated on him 15 different times, with 18 different dudes (you do the math). Every time the Sixers did or said something remotely stupid, we reacted like the husband whose been cheated on would react to the sight of a harmless text message his wife received from another dude – that actually turned out to be her brother, asking for a cup of sugar.
But things seem to be changing around here. The Sixers are no longer run by Ed Snider, and the new ownership – led by Joshua Harris – now has two full seasons under their belt. And the one big move the new owners made – trading for Andrew Bynum – gave them a relatively clean slate, because nothing else they've done up to this point really matters, because of Bynum
Now, less than a week after the stunning Andrew Bynum trade, the Sixers appear to be interested in Mike Zarren as their General Manager. Like, Bynum, this news comes from left field (Hi, Juan Pierre!). Also like Bynum, this news appears to be a non-Sixers thing to do. Praise of this potential hiring is coming from all corners of the basketball universe.
Whoa, the Sixers are considering Mike Zarren for their GM job? That would actually be a good move! Who woke up the Sixers?— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) August 18, 2012
People of Philly: If the Sixers are including Mike Zarren in the GM search, they are doing a really good job. That is all.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_SI) August 18, 2012
Michael Zarren would be an absolutely fantastic hire for Philly. Better yet, if hired, he might actually have a photo at next— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) August 18, 2012
Now, what these guys say doesn't really matter either. However; it says something when EVERYONE likes the move – it doesn't guarantee it's a good move, but it does say something. It also says something that the Sixers appear to be exploring options that they never have before. Ed Snider would've traded Andre Iguodala for Luis Scola and hired a re-tread General Manager. The new Sixers traded Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum – a previously unfathomable move – and are considering two advanced stats guys as their GMs. Zarren is supposedly Daryl Morey 2.0.
To be clear, no move has been made yet, and the Sixers are reportedly still considering Jeff Bower as GM, which would kinda fit the old Sixers strategy. So, I'm reserving judgement until an actual move has been made. That said, I'm one Penn or Zarren hiring away from my confidence pendulum swinging over from I HATE THIS MEDIOCRE FRANCHISE to HOLY HELL, I'M CONFIDENT IN THE SIXERS FRONT OFFICE.
Confidence in the Sixers front office – that's one thing I never thought I'd have. And it won't be Adam Aron, Doug Collins or Rod Thorn I have confidence in, it'll be the guy behind the curtains, pulling the strings – Joshua Harris.
We may actually have good owners. Who are you, and what have you done with the Sixers?