In a surprising, yet possibly encouraging move, the Philadelphia 76ers have hired Rod Thorn as the teams new President. The decision to hire Thorn relieves Ed Stefanski of the dual GM/President role, and allows him to focus solely on being the teams General Manager. Thorn and Stefanski worked in the same capacities together with the New Jersey Nets, and helped build a team that went to two consecutive NBA Finals.
Thorn has well rounded NBA experience, having played in the league from 1963-1971, serving as an assistant coach with Seattle (’72), GM of the Chicago Bulls (’78-’85), as well as Nets President (’00-’10). He was also the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations from 1986-2000.
While with the Bulls, Thorn is largely credited for the drafting of Michael Jordan in 1984. He also drafted former Olympic track star Carl Lewis in the same draft, although Lewis never played for Chicago. In 2002, Thorn was named NBA Executive of the Year while helping to resurrect a struggling Nets franchise.
What does this do for the Sixers? Simply put, it gives them a proven winner at the top of the organization, and allows Ed Stefanski to focus on one role, hopefully to maximize his capabilities. With Thorn running the show, a new Head Coach in Doug Collins, and some exciting young talent, it looks like things may be changing at the Wells Fargo Center.