This has not been a banner week for Jerry Colangelo. After the Sixers held a press conference on Monday to announce the hiring of his son as the team's new general manager, majority owner Josh Harris also stated the 76-year-old would be stepping down from his post as chairman of basketball operations. Lovely timing. On Monday, a report from The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski stated that Colangelo's ties to USA Basketball, one of his league wide connections that made him an enticing candidate to the Sixers, had been somewhat neutralized weeks after he had taken a position with the team.
More from Wojnarowski:
Among rival executives, there was concern that Colangelo's powerful pathways and year-round lines of communication to elite American players could be leveraged into a free-agent advantage for the 76ers.
Within weeks of Colangelo's hiring as 76ers chairman of basketball operations in December, the league office informed the NBA Board of Governors of new limitations on Colangelo's ability to communicate directly to players outside of USA Basketball activities and how much formal impact he can have in the final voting process for national team and Olympic rosters, league sources said.
The specific guidelines that apply to Colangelo: While he still is part of the group that selects the Team USA roster and Olympic player pool, he is no longer allowed to vote for the final national team and Olympic rosters as a member of the USA Basketball board of directors, and he must make opposing general managers aware of any contact with their players or their players' agents, league sources told The Vertical.
The fact that the league took action here isn't much of a surprise, as they've clearly allowed the owners to meddle with the Sixers interests prior to hiring Colangelo in the first place. However, the complaints about the Sixers having an unfair advantage is somewhat laughable.
At the beginning of the season, owners around the league were annoyed that the Sixers rebuilding plan was hurting the league because of their inability to sufficiently contribute to revenue sharing. In essence, they wanted the Sixers to become a better organization by adding more reputable players and members of their front office. Finally, Philadelphia gave in to league wide interests by hiring a respectable executive to help restore the franchise's good name, except Colangelo just happened to be too highly regarded and well connected for their liking. Got it.
What a disaster this has become.