The Philadelphia 76ers will be moving on from Dr. Daniel Medina, VP of Athlete Care, and Dr. David Martin, Director of Performance Research and Development (h/t Kyle Neubeck, PhillyVoice). In the wake of these developments, the Sixers would like to hire someone new to lead their athlete care program before the start of next season, according to Neubeck. Dr. Medina was brought in by Bryan Colangelo in 2017 and Dr. Martin was hired by Sam Hinkie in 2015.
There are a couple of factors that make this personnel development interesting. The first is that the Sixers medical staff has frequently been criticized for not handling injuries and player health properly over the years — Zhaire’s allergic reaction, the Markelle Fultz Fiasco, Embiid’s double red-shirt start to his NBA career, the list goes on. (I’m still not ready to say these weren’t extremely freakish coincidences — except that not knowing Zhaire’s allergies seems pretty negligent.) The second is that, during exit interviews, Elton Brand stressed the importance of a subject which just about every single Sixers fan was already concerned about: Joel Embiid’s load management and general state of health.
It sounds like the Sixers hope to make a “progressive” selection in replacing Dr. Medina, according to Neubeck’s article over at PhillyVoice (linked above). This, obviously, would be wise. Elton Brand, the front office and the coaching staff need to be forward-thinking and innovative in managing Joel Embiid especially but also every other player on the roster. The Sixers need their stars in tip-top shape and cultivating long, healthy careers (which would have the bonus side effect of producing mentally healthier and emotionally more stable Philadelphians).