When the Sixers traded Andre Iguodala last summer, I wrote a long, flowery post about the under-appreciated quasi-star that praised his time here and sent him off to the Grey Havens of Denver with grace and respect.
I won't do that for Tony DiLeo. But maybe somebody should.
Dude's been around the Sixers since 1990. Do you know how many things have happened since 1990? Laptops, Doug Christie, Gogurt. The entire head coaching reigns of Doug Moe, Johnny Davis, Fred Carter, and John Lucas. The entirety of Jrue Holiday's LIFE.
He went from Assistant GM to coach back to Assistant GM then to GM last year. And you always got the feeling that he was just doing what was asked of him. Dude was a Bloodrider for the Sixers for 23 years! His Khals were Rod Thorn and Ed Stefanski and Doug Collins. Was he a puppet? Yeah, probably. But I think you gotta respect a guy with the strangest career trajectory of all time, that just really did whatever he had to for the organization. Who did Tony DiLeo serve? He served the realm.
Do we really know what Tony DiLeo can do as a GM? Probably not, which is weird. I don't feel like we really know him at all. We know who Rod Thorn was (basically Cartman at his computer from the World of Warcraft Episode minus some fat), we know Stefanski, and we certainly know Doug. Can we say anything for sure about the things DiLeo valued in a team or on the court?
The Sixers are introducing Sam Hinkie at a press conference today at 4:15 EST. It's been assumed but not confirmed that DiLeo is out. While Rod Thorn, Doug Collins, and Julius Erving collect paychecks for "consulting", DiLeo is expected to get the boot. I don't think there's any other way to handle it -- they probably offered him the assistant GM job, but in an NBA front office, do you really have to get up to get down? -- but it's certainly a shame.
He's a Company Man in a time when that doesn't exist anymore. He'll get a job somewhere else -- he's worn too many hats in the Sixers organization not to -- but while I douse myself in the backwash of Sam Hinkie and Josh Harris, you gotta feel for a guy who's been here since the Hoover administration.
This one's for you, Tony. We don't know who the hell you are, but we appreciate the time you put in. Go 'head and punch out now.