It has been well over a year since former general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, Sam Hinkie stepped down, but memories of his downfall are still being witnessed to date.
Sam Hinkie deserves an apology from the NBA and the Philadelphia 76ers.
There are many beliefs as to what really caused his dismissal, but it all comes back to the national public perception of the franchise. Since the front office shakeup took place, the aforementioned perception of the team has ironically taken a nosedive into the Delaware River.
Hinkie started the process with the belief that values are all about long-term success; and yeah, he ignored the short-term consequences at times. That’s kind of what he was known for. Bryan Colangelo has made it clear that he does not intend to depart from the previous plan, also known as The Process. Better yet, he was brought in to improve it. Well, people, he hasn’t really done that yet.
He took the keys to the team from Hinkie after Sam willingly stepped down because of the soon-to-be shift in power. Instead of driving the franchise to new heights, so far he has been in cruise control, living off of the assets that were acquired by Hinkie.
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One thing that Colangelo really seemed to knock out of the park was his trade with the Boston Celtics to acquire the first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which then lead to Markelle Fultz. Colangelo used his own pick, which landed third overall, thanks to the adopted swap rights with the Sacramento Kings, acquired by Sam Hinkie.
Also, he used one of either the 2018 Los Angeles Lakers first, or the 2019 Kings first, depending on how the protections fall, during the 2018 draft lottery. Both of those pick, well yeah, they were also acquired by Hinkie. The execution was done by Colangelo, and he can proudly hold that trade as a win above his head. Unfortunately, the guy he drafted reportedly cannot hold his own arm above his head. This, we found out after a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, stating that Fultz’s agent explains that the first overall pick “literally can’t raise his arms to shoot.”
Where have we seen this before? The same red carpet that Bryan Colangelo walked in on has been used to blanket player injuries for some time now. Another headline that has been so near and dear to Sixers fans’ hearts is the Jahlil Okafor dilemma. After four games this year, he has seen playing time in only one game — Saturday night in Toronto against the Raptors. Many think that Okafor would be elsewhere, at this point in time, if Sam Hinkie was able to finish his job.
Hinkie was held under a national microscope, and it’s about time that the same thing happens to Bryan Colangelo. With the talent that he has, and the excitement that’s building in the city, why can’t he harness the excitement and build upon that locally? Instead of this, he has failed on several occasions, brining pessimism in fans’ eyes, caused by the way the team has handled medical reports, as well as player injuries.
The 76ers were very quiet about these occurrences, regarding information that was and was not conveyed to the media, when Sam Hinkie was in charge, but that wasn’t the only reason for his demise — it was because of the lack of positivity surrounding the franchise on a national media standpoint, mainly due to the lack of wins.
Weirdly enough, the national media is becoming very aware of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, praising the team’s young core and direction, while the local attention has spent so much time up in arms about the team’s internal handling of player health.
I’m sure the Sixers, as well as the NBA, would try to cover up any pro-Hinkie requests by saying that Hinkie willingly resigned, but fans, especially the ones in Philadelphia, wouldn’t fall for that. They know what happened.
Things have gotten worse regarding public relations since Colangelo took over. The weaknesses that Colangelo has shown during his time so far in Philadelphia are a microcosm of why a change was made in the first place.
Yes, the future is bright for the 76ers — one night after Embiid exploded for 30 points and nine rebounds against the Detroit Pistons and Simmons notched his first career triple-double in only his fourth game, but it seems as if the Sixers are their own worst enemy when it comes to news. Colangelo has done zero to fix this, nor has he done anything to really own up to it.
He’s an expert filibuster, and he knows how to talk his way around things, but the Philadelphia media and fans have seen through it pretty clearly.
Winning can cure a lot, and I’m sure a lot of this could end up being forgotten if the correct steps are taken, but nothing has been done yet to prove that actions will be made by the current Sixers front office; not even by the man of action, himself.
You can blame Colangelo, but let’s not completely dismiss 76ers ownership from this. They have been a constant through the duration of the process. With that said, stop blaming Sam Hinkie and say you’re sorry to the man.