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Sam Hinkie and the Anti-Intellectual Nature of the NBA's Old Guard


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers disposed of Sam Hinkie almost three months ago and it's not over, it wasn't over, it still isn't over. Jordan Brenner of ESPN The Magazine was profiling Hinkie for a feature on how he scouts players when suddenly the story changed and it became about a dude who got caught up in too many narratives and ended up pissing off the wrong people because of those false narratives. Like everything that's been written since then, it's disheartening and frustrating.

Says Rockets GM Daryl Morey, Hinkie's former boss in Houston: "The common refrain I've heard is that [Hinkie] is taking the easy way out and taking advantage of the rules. The league chooses to give the most valuable asset in the game -- a high draft pick -- to the worst team. So if people want to be upset about how well Philly has set themselves up, they should get upset with the league office and the collective owners who wouldn't pass even the modest reforms that were put forward."

Now consider this: The Lakers won 17 games this season, and their prized rookie, D'Angelo Russell, secretly filmed a conversation in which he asked teammate Nick Young about being with women other than his then-fiancée, Iggy Azalea. Yet no one blamed that incident on the organization's culture the way Okafor's troubles were linked to The Process.

Consider too: The Kings haven't finished with a .500 record since 2005-06 and just hired their sixth coach in five years. In neither case did the NBA force a regime change.

By stepping in and facilitating the Jerry Colangelo move in Philadelphia, then, Silver sent a message: Gross incompetence is acceptable; strategic gaming of a flawed system is not.

Read the entire article here.

We had the writer, Jordan Brenner, on this week's Rights To Ricky Sanchez podcast to talk about Sam and the article -- he gives us a few very cool nugs that didn't make it into the final piece -- but mostly to call him out for not referencing the podcast by name. Our pettiness knows no bounds.

Jordan talked about the idea of other GMs and executives projecting onto Hinkie that he thought he was smarter or better than everybody else. It's horseshit. My least favorite thing on the planet is the idea that "basketball guys" don't need to understand statistics or think critically about anything. Nerds are nerds, and they deserve to be insulted for being nerds. It's an embarrassing display of abject stupidity and willful ignorance.

Our segment with Jordan starts around 36:30, but listen up earlier for some NBA Free Agency takes, me gloating self-righteously about Hollis Thompson defeating Isaiah Canaan once and for all, and the Jim O'Brien hiring. If Bryan Colangelo breaks our trust and does something bad, we'll have an emergency Ricky up as soon as possible.

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