The Philadelphia 76ers made a shift in their rebuilding plan on Monday by hiring Jerry Colangelo as a special advisor to the front office. Colangelo immediately gives the Sixers some respect league wide as he has been working in a high level capacity with the NBA and USA Basketball for well over forty years.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, this was exactly what other NBA owners wanted the Sixers to do. Other NBA owners pushed NBA commissioner Adam Silver to step in and guide the franchise, so he helped to set up the partnership between the Sixers and Colangelo.
Since the summer of 2014, NBA owners have been lobbying the league's front office to step in with regard to the direction of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN.com on Monday night. It was that effort that helped lead to the hiring of Jerry Colangelo to a senior position earlier Monday, the sources said.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver was instrumental in forming the partnership between Colangelo and 76ers owner Joshua Harris, according to the sources.
Owners routinely complained about the economic drag the 76ers were inflicting on the league as the revenues of one of the largest-market teams -- a franchise expected to contribute more robustly to league revenue-sharing -- sagged. For many teams, games featuring the starless and woeful 76ers as the visiting team have been the lowest-attended of the season, sources said.
This makes some sense, as the Sixers have been one of the league's worst teams for the last three seasons. Other owners were just fed up with Philadelphia being comically bad and since it actually affected their own team's profits, they pushed Silver to address the issue.
It remains to be seen what Colangelo will actually do to help the rebuilding Sixers. General manager Sam Hinkie is still in charge of personal decisions but according to Windhorst, Colangelo will "have major influence on significant decisions going forward." Whatever happens, it seems like Hinkie's commitment to solely building through the draft will be augmented by Colangelo from now on.