Colangelo’s in Control
So, this is what Jerry Colangelo wanted all along.
He never had an interest in running the Philadelphia 76ers - his unwillingness to relocate from Phoenix speaks to that, as does the quick manner with which he shed his organizational title upon his son's instatement with the Sixers.
No, the elder Colangelo never wanted the job for himself, but he saw it as an opportunity. For Bryan, his son, the much maligned former GM of the Suns and the Raptors, and the Sixers new general manager.
When Jerry was initially approached by the organization, he tried to redirect their interest to Bryan.
The Sixers however, were interested in Jerry, hoping that his reputation and decades of elite basketball connections would provide fruitful for their climb back to contention. When it became evident that he wasn't going to sell the Sixers on his son, Jerry Colangelo accepted the role of Chairman of Basketball Operations himself. The first item on his checklist: land his son a powerful position within the organization.
Within four months of Jerry Colangelo's "arrival" in Philadelphia, Sam Hinkie was marginalized to the point of resignation, and Bryan Colangelo was almost immediately inserted in his place. With his work done, Jerry relinquished his recently-appointed CBO position, to remain only as a 'special advisor' to Josh Harris.
So, let's recap quickly:
- Jerry Colangelo campaigned the Sixers to give his son a position when initially approached.
- When they wouldn't give the job to his son, he took it himself.
- Within months, he pushed out Sam Hinkie, inserted his son.
- He stepped down.
Here's the definition of nepotism (noun): the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.
Considering the suspiciously quick nature in which Bryan supplanted Sam Hinkie at the helm of the Sixers rebuild upon the latter's announcement of resignation, one can infer that such a move was discussed ahead of time - like when Jerry Colangelo initially agreed to accept his role with the Sixers. Bryan's addition was pitched by Jerry immediately, as the Sixers had been in discussions with Bryan for months behind the scenes. It was only a matter of time.
As if such back-door dealings weren't infuriating enough for the fan base, the assertion from ownership that Jerry Colangelo was not involved in the hiring process of Bryan Colangelo is borderline insulting. Why wouldn't the Chairman of Basketball Operations be involved in such a major basketball decision? Who else would be involved? Bryan's hiring is too coincidental for even the most naive.
Sixers fans have proven exceedingly loyal and patient throughout the recent turbulent times, continuing to show support, and even attend games despite knowing that a loss was just a step away from guaranteed. That patience however, was predicated on an eventual payoff resulting from a methodical - and widely accepted - process that was initially endorsed by ownership. As a result of the recent front office shakeup, that patience has grown extremely thin.
The future of the franchise is now in the hands of Bryan Colangelo, for better or worse. He is in an excellent position to succeed due to the groundwork of Sam Hinkie, and deserves reserved judgement; the procedure behind his hire shouldn't necessarily be held against him. Ultimately, his work with the Sixers will be measured by winning, and rightfully so. However, the unscrupulous circumstances leading to the managerial switch are a black eye on Sixers ownership, whose competence, and commitment, can be questioned.