Posted on: August 11, 2010 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 11:52 pm
NEW YORK -- Rod Thorn watched Team USA practice Tuesday from his perch in the stands at John Jay College, seated next to former 76ers GM -- and current Nets GM -- Billy King. Coincidence? Apparently not.
Thorn, the longtime Nets president whose contract was not renewed this summer, didn't take long to get back in the game. The respected executive confirmed to CBSSports.com Wednesday he has been hired as president of the 76ers and will retain Ed Stefanski as his general manager.
Stefanski occupies King's former seat in the Sixers' hierarchy, and now he occupies the same seat at Thorn's right hand that he previously had with the Nets. Confused? Don't be. Thorn and Stefanski working side-by-side, as they did for several years in New Jersey, makes perfect sense.
But for how long? As Matt Moore points out , Thorn may be coming to Philly to provide cover for Stefanski, whose reign in the City of Brotherly Love has been far from lovely or brotherly.
Yahoo! Sports first reported Thorn's hiring in Philly, which gives the Sixers -- and Stefanski -- a strong and like-minded voice in a front office that frequently is burdened with the overbearing ownership of Ed Snider and Peter Luukko. After Stefanski unloaded the burdensome contract of center Samuel Dalembert and drafted Evan Turner with the No. 2 pick, the Sixers are poised to finally climb from the shadows of their most recent run of success centered around 1996 No. 1 pick Allen Iverson. And Thorn is the perfect executive to guide them there, having resurrected the Nets with consecutive NBA Finals appearances after years of comical malaise -- something often associated with the Sixers' recent attempts at rebuilding.
Posted on: April 27, 2010 6:58 pm
On the first day the Sixers could reach out to Larry Brown to discuss his interest in returning to the organization he led to the 2001 NBA Finals, all was quiet on the Next Town front. The Sixers, according to sources, were busy little worker bees on Tuesday -- making a list of coaching candidates, checking it twice, doing background checks and the like.
But make no mistake. The Sixers' world as we know it is in the hands of Brown, who continues to artfully dodge the notion that he is angling to return to the city where his wife and children live.
After the Bobcats were swept by the defending conference champion Magic, Brown reiterated Monday night, "I'm not coaching anywhere but Charlotte," and,"I'm not coaching anywhere but for Michael Jordan." These statements were part sincere and part lawyerly. Coaching is one thing. Being in charge of the whole shebang is quite another.
So while the Sixers' basketball staff, led by team president Ed Stefanski, is finalizing its list of coaching candidates to reach out to by the end of the week, sources familiar with the situation say no one's quite sure who will actually be hiring the coach. That's because it's understood that Stefanski is conducting the preliminary search with the understanding that he won't be around if Brown, 70, decides to return to his adopted home as the head of basketball operations.
"It all depends on Larry Brown," a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Sixers chairman Ed Snider fought the good fight Tuesday, blasting a report by Yahoo! Sports that detailed Brown's interest, right down to the coach (Atlanta's Mike Woodson) and GM (Wizards front office man Milt Newton) he wanted to bring with him. But Snider never specified which part of the report he was disagreeing with, saying only that the team hadn't reached out to Brown -- which, technically was true.
Of course, in Brown's case, the idea of contact -- who initiates it, and when -- is largely irrelevant. He has become the Bill Parcells of the NBA -- always denying the obvious. Everybody knows where to find Brown when it's time to do business.
In the meantime, the Sixers have formulated a wide-ranging list of former NBA head coaches, current assistants and current college coaches. Once it's pared down, the team is expected to begin contacting candidates for interviews toward the end of the week. The list includes Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, Sam Mitchell, Mike Fratello and Doug Collins among the former head coaches -- though there's little indication Van Gundy wants to return to the sideline. (Plus, why would any of the above interview for a job that could be decided by somebody else, namely Brown?)
Among the current assistants on the Sixers' list are Tom Thibodeau (Celtics), Dwane Casey (Dallas), Mike Budenholzer (Spurs), Monty Williams (Spurs), and Elston Turner (Rockets). The college coaches that have been discussed internally include all the usual suspects: Tom Izzo (Michigan State), John Calipari (Kentucky), Jay Wright (Villanova) and Rick Barnes (Texas).
But it really only comes down to one name if you're the Sixers. What can Brown do for you?
Posted on: April 29, 2009 2:08 pm
Sixers GM Ed Stefanski told radio station WIP in Philadelphia Wednesday that Dwight Howard should be suspended and likened his elbow to the head of Samuel Dalembert to a punch.
“I have no idea what the league will do, but to me the rule is black and white, it’s clear," Stefanski said. "What I saw was clear. I felt an elbow above the shoulders made contact on someone’s head and it wasn’t part of the play.”
Here's the transcript and audio link from SportsRadioInterviews.com.
Posted on: December 13, 2008 5:40 pm
Moments ago, 76ers president Ed Stefanski announced the firing of coach Maurice Cheeks after a 9-14 start.
Having worked in Philadelphia, I could have predicted that it was going to be a contentious news conference. That's the way the cookie crumbles down there. But my theory -- supported by a person familiar with the Sixers' situation -- that Stefanski wasn't alone in deciding to dump Cheeks, was immediately buffeted by Stefanski himself in his opening remarks to the media.
"We made the decision -- or excuse me, I made the decision -- because I felt we were not progressing the way we wanted to progress," Stefanski said.
The degree to which Stefanski had been disappointed with Cheeks' execution of the running style he wanted isn't 100 percent clear. But as recently as several games ago, Stefanski was said to be solidly behind Cheeks and wanted to give him a chance to turn the season around. What changed? Either Cheeks was reluctant to commit to the up-tempo style given the offseason addition of power forward Elton Brand, or Stefanski was given orders from above to change coaches.
Stefanski revealed that he met with Peter Luukko, president of Comcast-Spectacor, the Sixers' parent company, and company chairman Ed Snider after a 101-93 home loss to Cleveland Wednesday night. He'd been speaking with Luukko on a daily basis about the team's poor performance. Company man Tony DiLeo was appointed to replace Cheeks for the rest of the season.
"I believe in this team," Stefanski said. "We're better than this. And we will continue to work to make our team better."