Is there such a thing as being too passionate, intense and proud?
According to multiple sources, Adam Aron has been relieved of his duties as the CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers. The move was first reported Monday afternoon by Howard Eskin of Fox 29/WIP:
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed the firing hours later after speaking to a league source, but the Sixers themselves have yet to make an official statement.
The move isn't entirely surprising: Just last week, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported that former New York Knicks executive Scott O'Neil was close to joining the Sixers in some capacity. O'Neil has more experience than Aron in dealing with basketball operations, so perhaps team owner Josh Harris was/is looking for a CEO who is perceived as more than just a "marketing guy."
When the new ownership group assumed control of the Sixers in October 2011, the installation of Aron as CEO appeared to make a decent amount of sense. Aron has a long track record of turning around what he referred to as "distressed" properties, and the 59-year-old executive figured to have a good relationship with Sixers' fans given the fact that he was born and raised in the Philadelphia area.
Unfortunately, Aron was never embraced by the fanbase, many of whom took him to task on Twitter for being little more than a "carnival barker." Strangely enough, even former professional wrestler The Iron Sheik got in on the action.
Yet for all of his foibles, Aron should be commended on some level for taking the time to interact with fans both at the arena and on social media. His tweets didn't always match the tenor of other Sixers' fans, but when the team had a disappointing performance, Aron wore his emotions on his sleeve just like the rest of us.
Aron, whose Twitter feed was lively during and after most games this season, has been conspicuously low-key over the past month. Other than an appearance at May's Draft Lottery, a speaking engagement at the Impact of Sports conference, and three tweets referencing the recently released Julius Erving documentary, Aron hasn't said or done anything of note.
With Aron's departure, Doug Collins' dismissal and Sam Hinkie going M.I.A. since his arrival, it remains to be seen who the public face of the franchise will be. Harris has been the catalyst behind all of the Sixers' major moves this offseason, but there's absolutely no chance that he'll be as visible as Aron was going forward.
In addition to serving as the team's CEO, Aron was also one of the Sixers' minority owners. At this point, it's unclear whether or not he will retain his stake in the team.
Shortly after he was hired, Aron admitted that being at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers was "a kid's fantasy come true." Unfortunately for him, that fantasy didn't end quite the way that he imagined.
[6/24/2013 - 8:50 PM] - Update by Brandon Lee:
Apparently Adam is not out after all.
Sixers have NOT fired Adam Aron. Sixers spokesperson Michael Preston has confirmed to the Daily News that CEO Adam Aron has not been fired.— Bob Cooney (@BobCooney76) June 25, 2013