When life gives the Sixers lemons, they make lemonade … for the entire room.
That’s pretty much been the Sixers’ motto throughout an interesting summer.
The team entered the offseason with grand plans to go “star hunting” and add one (maybe more) of the NBA’s star players. When that didn’t work out, the Sixers went to option No. 2, which centered on improving the roster through proper fits and depth.
That included re-signing their own veteran leaders (JJ Redick and Amir Johnson), acquiring solid reserves (Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala) and supplementing with promising rookies (Zhaire Smith, Landry Shamet and Jonah Bolden).
Now the Sixers are attempting to continue that same practice of spreading the wealth within their front office.
After the Bryan Colangelo scandal left the franchise without a prominent face in the front office, the Sixers went searching for big-name targets on the open market. They were reportedly spurned by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and potentially others.
What does that mean for the rest of the organization’s executives? Business as usual.
The Sixers announced on Monday that Ned Cohen (assistant general manager), Marc Eversley (senior vice president of player personnel), Elton Brand (vice president of basketball operations) and Alex Rucker (senior vice president of analytics and strategy) all received promotions as the team continues its front-office-by-committee approach (see story).
“What I've learned is that GM job has got many facets, and that it's a learned skill,” Sixers managing partner Josh Harris told ESPN. “It's certainly got a public-facing nature to it, but management and very strong relationships are important — and very few people who are not sitting GMs have all of those components. We have strengths in all those areas around our front office right now.”
That echoes a belief head coach and interim general manager Brett Brown shared earlier this summer after Colangelo’s departure. The Sixers truly believe their collective in the front office can do just as good a job as a big-time exec.
“I think one of the tremendous legacies that Bryan should be recognized for is he really, and I mean really, did a great job of putting key people in key positions,” Brown said on June 7 when Colangelo’s resignation was announced. “When I look at our front office the firepower that we really have with Alex Rucker and Ned Cohen and (vice president of athlete care Dr.) Danny Medina leading our medical department and Marc Eversley and Elton Brand and it’s like you can go on. We have the firepower that we need to move this thing forward and not miss a beat.”
Harris made it clear that the Sixers will continue searching for a good match to guide the team into the future. However, if nothing serious materializes, they are perfectly fine pushing on with the familiar faces already roaming the building.
“… We're going to be patient and try to find the right person,” Harris said. “The next year is going to be incredibly important for us, and we have a real desire to find the right person now — but if not, we are incredibly comfortable with the existing staff and we'll move forward from there."
Lemonade for everyone.