Decisions. There are lots to be made. Important decisions. Decisions that will determine the fate of the franchise for quite a while. But who will make those decisions? This time last year, the Sixers were essentially run by committee: president Rod Thorn, general manager Tony DiLeo, and head coach Doug Collins all had a say in personnel matters, though Collins’ voice was loudest. (About that, Kwame Brown should thank whomever he prays to that Collins doesn’t whisper when he wants to overpay for broken toys.) That group made the talent evaluations and picked the players and then had ownership sign off, though the trio clearly made some mistakes unrelated to Andrew Bynum. As majority owner, Joshua Harris admitted in his press conference the day after the season ended, “things did not work out” for a team that “made some decisions that we can all learn from.” Yes, we all learned that they made poor decisions and they need to make better decisions. Which brings us back to the point: Who will make those decisions? The Sixers seem hyper-focused on finding a head coach. They’ll need one of those eventually, but making that the top priority seems premature – like hiring a director before you have a quality script or any idea of what kind of movie you’re making. What they need, more than a coach, is a front office executive. Call him the president or the general manager or whatever you like, but the Sixers need someone in charge of the basketball brains before they hire someone to serve as the on-court player puppeteer. The current process feels backward, and the front office structure appears to be in disarray. Thorn is transitioning to an adviser role. Collins is out, though he’ll collect $4.5 million next year to be a consultant (more of a title than an actual job). Which leaves DiLeo. The general manager has a staff to assist him, but of the top-tier basketball executives from a year ago, DiLeo is really the only one left – and you have to wonder how much longer he’ll be around. Consider what Harris said a few weeks ago about finding a head coach: “We are going to run a process and ultimately we will get a lot of input from a lot of people, but at the end of the day, the GM and I will be the ultimate decision-makers.” Then Harris added this: “Rod is at this point an adviser,” Harris said. “Rod went to every game and he [knows] more about basketball than I will ever know, and he is a good person to have around. He has been completely constructive and welcomed, but at the end of the day, Tony DiLeo is the GM of the team right now.” "Right now." What a tepid endorsement. There should have been some ominous music playing in the background while Harris spoke.
Sixers need a president before they hire a coach
CSN Philly | May 9