At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday in Boston, Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca and Sixers managing partner Josh Harris shared a stage.
The two went back and forth with some interesting banter. The Painted Lines’ Jason Blevins recorded an exchange that included Al Horford, Markelle Fultz and team-building philosophy.
Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca and Josh Harris playfully discuss their franchises upward trajectories.— J Blevins (@JBlevinsNBA) March 6, 2020
“We even gave you Al Horford” said Pagliuca
“And Markelle....” replies Harris. #SSAC2020 pic.twitter.com/uLiIJvUbsK
“Personally, I love the Philly fans,” Harris says in the video. “They’re tough, they’re smart. Is it always a good night when I turn on Twitter? No. Definitely not.”
Pagliuca certainly sounds proud of the Celtics’ track record and where his team stands. Boston is third in the Eastern Conference after losing Kyrie Irving and Horford this summer, five games ahead of the fifth-place Sixers.
“It’s very helpful to win a championship … you’re on the way, your club is doing fantastic,” Pagliuca says to Harris. “We even gave you Al Horford.”
“And Markelle,” Harris adds.
The Sixers of course traded with the Celtics to move up from No. 3 to No. 1 in the 2017 NBA draft and select Fultz, who they dealt to the Orlando Magic last February.
Though Elton Brand has been very aggressive since taking over as GM in September of 2018 — he’s already traded for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, traded away Fultz, signed Horford, acquired Josh Richardson and given Harris a near-max contract — Josh Harris emphasized patience.
“People are a little short-term oriented,” he says. “Your job is to do what you think is right. Then there’s always articles and people that want to have immediate success, and that doesn’t really reconcile with what you have to do to win.”
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