Not everyone is a fan of the process.
No matter how you look at it, there are always going to be people that are upset at how the Sixers “tanked” their way through several seasons in an effort to acquire top-flight draft picks.
Count NBA commissioner Adam Silver in that group. There were reports — which Silver denied — that other owners pressured him to interfere with the Sixers’ massive rebuild and he responded by putting the wheels in motion for the team to hire Jerry Colangelo in a front-office role.
Whether that is true or not, Silver has made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t a supporter of the franchise’s previous tactics.
“Am I fan of that strategy? Put it this way: No,” Silver told fivethirtyeight.com in December 2015. “But does that mean that it’s not acceptable under the league rules? It doesn’t.”
Fast forward two years, the Sixers are littered with lottery picks, sporting a 12-8 record and commonly referred to as one of the league’s most promising teams.
So is Silver now trusting the process?
“I’m not going with that expression,” Silver said with a laugh to Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby during the Sixers’ 118-113 win over the Wizards (see game recap).
“I have to say, they have a great organization in place. I think Bryan Colangelo’s doing a fantastic job, two-time executive of the year. He’s doing all of things necessary to build a team. He put in place a great analytics staff. He keeps stealing people from the league office but that’s separate issue I’ll talk to him about. (Chief executive officer) Scott O’Neil on the business side, Chris Heck (president of business operations), so I’m really pleased with what they’re doing, (managing partners) Josh Harris, David Blitzer.”
While Silver didn’t go as far as saying the methods Sam Hinkie put in place throughout the process’ years of torture actually worked, he did admit the NBA honchos are thrilled by the outcome.
“It’s everything you could ask for from a league office standpoint,” Silver said. “Obviously, it’s taken a while here and there’s been a lot of patience from the folks in the market. But we’re seeing the results now and it’s a really exciting, young team.”