It turns out Philadelphia 76ers fans aren’t the only ones upset by their team’s recent residence at the bottom of the standings. NBA owners reportedly are steamed, as well.
The Sixers’ hiring this week of respected basketball figure Jerry Colangelo was the result of pressure from disgruntled owners, according a report from ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.
“Since the summer of 2014,” Windhorst wrote Tuesday, “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.”
Philadelphia has been a trainwreck on the court — the Sixers haven’t had a 20-win campaign since 2012-13 and are 1-21 so far this season — but according to Windhorst’s sources, it’s the economic impact of that ineptitude that is most concerning to shot-callers around the league.
“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,” Windhorst wrote. “For many teams, games featuring the starless and woeful 76ers as the visiting team have been the lowest-attended of the season, sources said.”
Colangelo, who helped turn the Phoenix Suns into a perennial playoff team during his nearly 40-year tenure with the team, also serves as the director of USA Basketball.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris (L) introduces Jerry Colangelo.