In the summer of 2005, Jerry Colangelo assumed control of USA Basketball. "I know when he accepted the position, it was on the contingent that he had total control," Syracuse head coach and Team USA assistant Jim Boeheim told Liberty Ballers.
Colangelo had two goals upon being named director of the national team operations: Restore Team USA to it's previous level of world dominance and spearhead the construction of a state-of-the-art, modern practice facility and home complex for the organization.
As of September 2014, Colangelo's plan for a $346 million "USA Place" in Tempe, Ariz. was on schedule to begin construction this December. The facility was supposed to be a gorgeous desert oasis, complete with a 330-room Omni Hotel, 30,000 foot conference center, 500 luxury apartments, a basketball Hall of Fame, 200,000 square feet in retail and office space and underground parking — all designed and developed by Arizona State graduates. Boeheim said Colangelo was most excited for the facility's 4,500-seat-capacity event center that could have been reconfigured to house six basketball courts.
The project was initially being funded by a single, unnamed investor. However, the complex's funding ultimately fell through earlier this year, less than 12 months before the Philadelphia 76ers' immaculate, new practice facility is scheduled to open in August 2016. By December 2016, or January 2017, the Sixers are planning to relocate their business and front-office operations to the Camden waterfront as well. Perhaps there will be room for office space for Team USA as well.
If Colangelo indeed acquires an ownership stake in the Sixers — and who knows exactly how much of an ownership stake following Forbes' report this afternoon — as part of his role with the team, he would also likely own a portion of the facility.
At 120,000 square feet, the Sixers' new facility will be the largest and, the team claims, most advanced training center in the league. As Boeheim and another with knowledge of the USA Place plans confirmed, the 76ers' facility would be highly congruent to the basketball-portion of USA Place Colangelo had dreamed of.
A member of the Sixers front office told Liberty Ballers there has been no formal agreement about housing Team USA operations at the Camden facility, but he certainly did not deny the possibility.
Colangelo's sterling reputation around the league stems from his surplus of relationships with other league executives and masses of agents and player representatives. Colangelo himself referenced how he'll play a large factor in the Sixers' future free agent negotiations during his introductory press conference on Monday.
His greatest influence on NBA free agency would certainly be bringing Team USA functions to South Jersey. Like Mike Krzyzewski's unparalleled recruiting tool at Duke, welcoming 40 of the NBA's top players to the team's practice facility each summer would be an unmatched free agency weapon for the Sixers in comparison to the other 29 teams in the league.