It must be, “check in with old Sixers” week here at Liberty Ballers, because here’s a sentence I did not think I would be writing in 2017—former 76ers GM Ed Stefanski is in the running for the same position with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to multiple reports from around the league.
Let’s check in with some of the big hitters. Here’s the spin from Woj:
Stefanski has history with Bucks coach Jason Kidd and team consultant Rod Thorn, whom he worked closely with in New Jersey. Stefanski was Thorn’s top assistant in the Nets’ run to consecutive NBA Finals appearances and led the Sixers to three playoff appearances in four years as GM, including the drafting of Jrue Holiday (No. 17 overall in 2009) and Nikola Vucevic (No. 16 overall in 2011).
This is a very charitable version of what took place under Stefanski’s watch. Marc Stein fills in around the edges:
With Rod Thorn heading Milwaukee's GM search, Grizzlies executive Ed Stefanski is expected to get strong consideration for the position.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 31, 2017
Ed Stefanski, of course, worked alongside both Rod Thorn and Bucks coach Jason Kidd with the Nets ... while Kidd was still an active player.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 31, 2017
Let’s head to the transaction log of Stefanski’s Sixers tenure, surely it can’t be that b—
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the most illustrious era of Sixers basketball. But surely people on social media couldn’t be as low on th—
praying for you bucks nation https://t.co/xMEksEz0y6— max (@MaxRappaport) May 31, 2017
Cue my Sixer fan friends @Michael_Levin and @JHillNahMean to start mocking me mercilessly. https://t.co/6oZN3k86wx— FrankMadden (@fmaddenNBA) May 31, 2017
Good to see that Milwaukee has a comprehensive recycling program. https://t.co/2DLvs4cpiv— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) May 31, 2017
Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
It’s hard to fathom why Milwaukee—a team with a budding superstar and one of the most fun young rosters in the league—would want to bring in a guy like Stefanski. He’s a free agent whisperer capable of bringing in sub-stars coming off career-altering injuries, and a visionary able to prioritize few things that aren’t six feet in front of his face.
Before he inevitably burns the franchise down because Sixers fans can’t have anything nice, at least we can say Bryan Colangelo has a mixed track record, with some notable positives to point out during his career. He has acquitted himself fine so far, and this is a reminder things could have gone a lot worse; if I had to try to talk myself into a Stefanski-level candidate when Hinkie got pushed out, I think I’d have ended up in a straitjacket, yelling “PICK SWAP” at no one in particular.