Jerry Colangelo has been making the media rounds a bit this summer. If you recall, just a few days ago Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post reported that Jerry would be leaving the Sixers franchise at the end of 2018, when Jerry’s contract runs out. Bontemps had a few direct quotes from Jerry, and today, this particular one sticks out: “I haven’t made any public comments about what transpired. I don’t think it would be appropriate.”
That quote is in direct conflict with actions taken by Jerry yesterday evening. Last night, Jerry joined SiriusXM NBA Radio, and had some things to say about the Sixers pre-snake-infestation, Jerry’s own role in the hiring process of Bryan, and Bryan’s resignation from the team:
Lots to unpack here. First, pot: meet kettle.
They were in a terrible losing mode, if you will. It was embarrassing to a lot of people. The league, ownership, the people of Philadelphia, the media, etc.
How dare you speak for the people of Philadelphia, Jerry. When are people going to get this through their head: many of the fans during the Process era thoroughly enjoyed themselves. And the fact that many of these smart fans were always able to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and that it was obvious that it was the only way for the Sixers to truly compete for a title, negated any type of embarrassment. Was the losing tough? Absolutely. Were there fans that didn’t like what was going on? For sure. But whether those fans would like to admit it or not, the Process laid the foundation for a team that could be truly beloved and exist in a capacity not even remotely describable as “embarrassing.”
What is embarrassing is having your city’s team in the national spotlight because an executive’s family member anonymously trashed current and former players and released sensitive team information, and that it was uncovered by Bill Simmons’ website. (I enjoy the Ringer, but knowing Simmons’, a diehard Celtics fan, benefitted from a major Sixers debacle makes my skin crawl.)
The Colangelos surface major insecurities when it comes to any topic that is at most 3 degrees of separation from Sam Hinkie. This summer has been catastrophic for them, and Jerry can’t even try to clean up the mess without taking shots at Sam.
My role was to make recommendations which was exactly what I did. I felt they needed some basketball people. They had a list of candidates, I was willing to interview any or all of them, except one. And that person was Bryan, as you both know was the one who ended up getting the job. So this misinformation about I hired my son to be the GM is 100% inaccurate. Ownership made that decision and when they did, my role was diminished because it had to be. To rule out any of the so-called expert opinions about nepotism or anything like that, it was anything but the truth.
I refuse to take any of that at face value. Here’s my issue: if Jerry was so adamant about not interviewing Bryan, and Bryan didn’t want the job in the first place (it was speculated around the time of the hire that Bryan wanted the Brooklyn Nets job over the Sixers, and Barbara Bottini tweeted from a burner that Bryan never wanted the job), why was he hired? Forget Bryan not wanting the gig for a second. Jerry was willing to interview every candidate except Bryan, and the Sixers hired him anyway? BRYAN’S OWN DAD SAID NO AND THE SIXERS DID IT ANYWAY? I call b.s. I fully believe that Jerry was directly responsible for Bryan’s hire. Because by his own words, his role was diminished after Bryan was hired. So why was Jerry ever brought in? He did basically nothing. Nothing except influence a relationship between the Sixers brass and Bryan Colangelo.
I know in my heart of hearts, what took place, how it took place, who is responsible for what. I can leave with my head held high. It has been a tough year for Bryan under the circumstances, to lose a job over something— or nothing, that he did.
Jerry seems to think there’s been some kind of conspiracy to oust Bryan from his role with the Sixers. If that’s what it took, I’m sure a faction of Sixers fans would have gladly accepted. But there was no conspiracy. It’s pretty simple to understand what happened. But while I disagree with most of the above quote, and while it’s flat out wrong (Bryan had no culpability? Gimme a break), I can’t say I blame Jerry for phrasing things that way. I’m sure their family is going through a tough time, and a father needs to back his son.
Hopefully we are nearing the end of this entire saga. I’m sure some more shade will be thrown here and there, but it would be best for all parties if this all finally fizzles out.