We keep receiving more intel on how the Sixers power dynamic has shifted within the last six months, and none of it is very confidence inspiring. Today, we have word straight from Adam Silver, and they don't reflect well on the organization or Jerry Colangelo.
The Inquirer's Keith Pompey had direct quotes from the NBA's top dog in a piece yesterday, which started with the idea that the elder Colangelo never sought a job with the Sixers:
His getting directly involved with the 76ers was in part due to my reaching out to Jerry, Silver said. Not because it was necessarily my idea that the 76ers needed an adviser. But once Josh Harris, the principal governor of the 76ers, said he would like to have a sounding board, someone with league experience, I was the one who connected him with Jerry Colangelo.
I would say I feel a little bit of an obligation to defend Jerry here, because he was not looking for that opportunity.
I find it really odd that the Colangelos, as implied by various reports, appear to be kicking and screaming at every turn at the prospect of taking jobs with the Sixers. Per Silver's own words above, Colangelo was not seeking his post with the team. Add that on to what Adrian Wojnarowski reported in his piece about the management change...
If Jerry Colangelo forever wanted to hire his son, Bryan was beyond reluctant to accept a job there, sources said. From the moment the Sixers hired Jerry, Bryan kept pursuing available NBA opportunities.
Truth be told, Colangelo never wanted the 76ers job. Never. He wanted no part of his father's shadow again or the cries that he needed his father to give him a GM job.
... and you start to wonder how Bryan and Jerry Colangelo continue to fall into upper management jobs without wanting them, or in some cases actively opposing the opportunity.
Nevertheless, the real dirt in Pompey's story comes further down in the article, when Silver made reference to Bryan taking over:
Bryan Colangelo, who of course has ultimately ended up as president of basketball operations for the 76ers, was someone at the time that Josh excluded as a possibility because it was clear that Bryan was looking for a full-time job as the head of basketball for one of our teams, Silver said.
So in essence, the 76ers ended up with Jerry because Bryan was not an option at the time.
The implication here is a lack of desire on ownership's behalf to oust Sam Hinkie at the time of Jerry Colangelo's hiring. Bryan was out of the running for the role his father was later installed in by virtue of the job title he was seeking; because he was trying to take over as a head of basketball operations somewhere, Hinkie's incumbency presented a hurdle he could not clear in the minds of Josh Harris and crew.
To be clear, Sixers owners would have been well within their rights to oust Hinkie at the time of Jerry's hiring. He arrived on the scene with the team sitting at 1-28, suffering massive PR damage on and off the court. Their recent top pick was making headlines for brawls and nightclub incidents, and the one before that was on the shelf for another season with injury woes.
But Silver's suggestion is the Sixers didn't want a new head of basketball ops to begin with. This matches some of what we've heard in the wake of Hinkie's ousting -- at least several owners reportedly still wanted Hinkie in the same position moving forward -- and adds another layer to the discussion.
Instead of taking that step, the Sixers took a half-measure in hiring Jerry Colangelo and allowing him to treat the franchise as his personal toy.
This would be less troubling if it was a first-time occurrence or something I could point to as a sign of new owners simply grasping for an appeal to authority. But they've done this before. Replace "Jerry Colangelo" with "Doug Collins" and you have the same basic premise -- old basketball head convinces ownership he knows all and should dictate what happens next.
If Harris, David Blitzer and ownership collectively were not convinced enough to replace Hinkie after the team's disastrous start on multiple fronts, it's hard to believe the rest of the season could have swayed them. Instead, we're left to believe the transition was spurred by Colangelo's arrival, and Colangelo's arrival only.
Lack of conviction continues to hover around the Sixers decision-making process, and that's not inspiring regardless of who's in charge.