What Colangelo Hire Means for the Philadelphia 76ers


Monday afternoon the Philadelphia 76ers held a press conference to introduce the hiring of Jerry Colangelo as Chairman of basketball operations. Colangelo will work alongside with Sixers’ ownership, and general manager Sam Hinkie as the team takes on its next step of “The Process.”

Colangelo brings with him over 40 years of NBA Front Office experience, and is undoubtably one of the most respected faces in the basketball community. An inductee into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2004, Colangelo is one of the few men who can say he’s been both an owner of an pro sports franchise, and a general manager. He became the youngest NBA GM in history when he took over the Phoenix Suns personnel operations in 1968, and bought the team with a financial investing group in 1987.

So what does bringing in Mr. Colangelo mean for the 76ers franchise?

Well for one, Colangelo will act as a bridge between management and ownership. As I just mentioned he has experience on both sides so the perspective he can offer may alleviate some of the issues in terms of communication within the 76ers brass. It’s clear there has been some rocky relations going on with the recent handling of Jahlil Okafor early issues, and Joel Embiid’s foot. It seemed as if everyone just wasn’t on the same page lately.

Colangelo will still reside in Phoenix because of the other myriad of obligations he must tend to, but he will still be around often, and in constant talks with the Sixers’ hierarchy.

Many folks were concerned that this hiring could affect Sam Hinkie’s control, however Sixers’ Co-Owner Josh Harris was adamant that Hinkie will still have control of day-to-day operations. Even Colangelo himself admitted “Sam will make the final call. But it will be a collaborative effort.”

Because Colangelo has an extensive history with the USA Mens National team, (75-1 under his guidance) he brings with him several important relationships with some of the league’s best. As a result, Colangelo could be a key piece when it comes to attracting free agents in years to come.

"“Jerry Colangelo is one of the most respected people in basketball and we are excited to add his five decades of knowledge, relationships and experience to help drive our organization forward.” -Sixers co-Managing Owner Josh Harris."

One of the arguments against the tanking process has always been concern that “Big name” free agents would not want to come to the Sixers. Things like Sam Hinkie’s tendency to dish out team-friendly contracts, their commitment to losing, and the trade of Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams may have scared players away from Philadelphia. Colangelo can be sort of a mediator in these kinds of situations, and offer the players both familiarity, and a trustworthy figure. He’ll show em our boy Hinkie isn’t bad guy!

Another positive Colangelo brings with him is extensive credibility. His experience, and success will be something the Sixers’ young guys will notice, and perhaps encourage them to ditch the “Losing culture” attitude. I think he can really be a huge figure in the eyes of the Sixers top picks like Okafor, and Embiid, and keep them out of trouble. Colangelo is known as a no-nonsense individual so expect to see him running a tight ship.

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The fans are big winners in this hiring as well. Colangelo will undoubtably want to speed up the tanking process, and get the Sixers winning at least some games as soon as possible. To the delight of many Sixers’ fans, I anticipate Colangelo will not tolerate having several un-drafted, D-league talents surrounding the plethora of draft picks incoming, which means bringing in some legitimate support.


Overall I love the move by Philadelphia, and I think Colangelo’s presence will improve things on, and off the court for the 76ers. The knock on the Sixers Front Office has continuously been Hinkie’s bold strategy without proof of past success. Well now he has a right-hand-man with heralded validity, and no one can say Philly doesn’t know what they’re doing.