Tag: Rod Thorn

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Stefanski hasn’t interviewed with Raptors… but he’s job-hunting

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See, this is why the media is always so skeptical of what teams tell them.

When Rod Thorn joined the Sixers, it was supposed to be happy-happy joy-joy in terms of his addition alongside Ed Stefanski. There wasn’t supposed to be any conflict, or issues. Stefanski was supposed to retain almost all of his power and work alongside Thorn, though Thorn’s title was higher. And there’s been no indication of a falling out or even friction between the two. But that doesn’t change the fact that Stefanski is looking for a lateral career move, which never speaks well for stability. Why leave a job you’re with to do the exact same thing elsewhere?

Stefanski was talked about in the discussions of a possible GM being brought in under Bryan Colangelo in Toronto. Colangelo would retain almost all of his power, but shed some of the workload to a GM. It’s basically an assistant GM position, considering Colangelo is a hands-on guy. So why would Stefanski, who has worked as “the guy” before, be interested in such a job? CSNPhilly reports:

Despite reports that he was a finalist for the position, Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski hasn’t yet interviewed for the Toronto Raptors’ vacant general manager position, according to a source.

Stefanski, who has been granted permission to speak with other teams, is expected to interview with the Raptors sometime in the next few weeks, however. Of course, since the NBA lockout is expected to drag on throughout the summer, there’s no rush to fill vacant management positions.

via Despite report, Stefanski hasn’t met with Raptors.

So Stefanski hasn’t interviewed with the Raptors yet, but is going to, and has been granted permission to speak with other teams. CSNPhilly notes that Jason Levien, one of the investors in the new ownership group, is expected to usurp Rod Thorn’s position as President, moving Thorn down. Things must be pretty clear that Stefanski is not expected to return to Philly for him to be actively seeking out new situations, even under other managers in this market.

As expected, Sixers deny rumors they are shopping Iguodala

Cleveland Cavaliers v Philadelphia 76ers
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This was expected. Like the baseball Hall of Fame snubbing Marvin Miller or Brett Favre looking old, there are some things you just know are going to happen in sports.

So when the rumors surfaced that the Sixers are shopping Andre Iguodala around, you knew the denial was not far behind. It wasn’t, and Phillyburbs.com has it from Rod Thorn (via Slam), the guy pulling the strings in Philly now.

In an email response Sunday, Thorn said the Sixers are “trying to ascertain the value of all of our players. Big difference.”

Philly still might move him if they can find someone willing to take on his massive contract, but that will be a challenge. Either way, don’t expect the rumors or denials to stop.

The Blazers, the Sixers, the Pistons, rebuilding and you


It sits there on your desk, staring at you. Just a big red button. It doesn’t implore you, it doesn’t call out to you, it’s just a button. But you can’t help but glance at it with the first few losses. Then more and more, you stare. Your mind is racing with what to do. Should you?Shouldn’t you? You can’t. You can’t just throw away everything you’ve built, everything you’ve worked towards, just because…it’s not working. Can you? Can you really press it?

The Rebuilding Button.

Any team can be driven towards it at any time by the cruel hands of fate. Everyone has to use it at some point. Boston will have to within a few years, when those gnarled, courageous bodies pass that delicate apex between experienced veterans and aged liabilities. LA may have to, though they do better than most in immediately reloading, relatively speaking. But this year’s candidates are an odd mix.

“The Blazers?!” you ask. How can I possibly put them here? 6-5, big wins over good teams. They’re a contender, not a rebuilding project. And you’re right. It’s entirely possible that they won’t have to push the big red button. That Rich Cho will be able to continue building on the success of Kevin Pritchard and finally deliver on all the promise this Blazers team has held for four years. But then there’s the injuries. Portland’s tired of talking about them. Trust us, we’re tired too. But the reality is you can’t just not look at them. Oden’s knees, his legs, his hips, which may never be 100% again. Przybilla, with two surgeries in a year. Elliot Williams, a rookie, caught the bug. But all of this pales for the Blazers’ hopes compared to Roy. No cartilage. Unable to make it through games. Roy is talking like a 35-year-old worn-out veteran, not the young All-Star of a team headed to contention. Again, maybe he’ll be fine. But if he’s not, Portland may not have an option. Is it worth sifting through year after year of purgatory hoping the Basketball Gods will reverse your fortune and make the unhealthy healthy? We’re a long way from that. But that button is on Rich Cho’s desk. And with each report that comes in, he’s got to glance at it.

The Sixers should be winning. They just should be. Not destroying everyone, but not getting pummeled like they are. If you told me Elton Brand was going to average 17 and 8 ten games in, I’d tell you the Sixers were at least 5-5. No question. But they’re 2-8. And they continue to sit on Andre Iguodala, who has his nice comfy contract and recognition from his work with Team USA. He’d like to win, now, please. And yet they keep hoping this will work out, as Doug Collins storms out of practice and Jrue Holiday is not the savior. This team’s already been blown-up a few times. But they’re still looking for something they can depend on. And Ed Stefanski now has Rod Thorn over his shoulder, and Thorn will not show the same hesitation to press the button that Stefanski has. The Sixers have young assets with trade value. It may be time to use them.

The Pistons? Oh, the Pistons. Ben Gordon wants the ball more. Makes sense. He’s paid like someone who should get the ball more. But Rip Hamilton isn’t the problem. But Rip’s not the l0ng-term guy. So what do you do? How do you make sense of this? The answer is simple. You have Greg Monroe, you have Austin Daye. You have Jonas Jerebko when he gets back. It’s time to push the button. The Pistons waited too long, they could have been halfway down the road had Dumars pressed the button a year ago. Instead, they continue to hold on to Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, paying them money to wish they were somewhere else while they don’t help the Pistons go in the direction they need to. But finally, it may be time. Dumars has to be able to find a good deal out there, or get involved in some three-way deal. He can net the assets he knows he needs. That button has been there for six years. He pushed it with Billups, but only half-way. It’s time to slam the thing.

Three teams, three cores, three losing organizations. And the red button continues to sit on the desk.

Nets CEO, Rod Thorn play blame game for Nets 12-win season

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Thumbnail image for nets-logo.gifWhen you lose 70 games in a season, everyone should get some blame. Players, coaches, front office, owner, equipment manager, everyone except the guy running the good imported beer concession. Never blame the guy selling beer.

In the last few days, Nets CEO Brett Yormark — a guy retained in the Mikhail Prokhorov power structure despite getting in a yelling match with a fan last season — and former Nets GM Rod Thorn got in a blame game.

The New York Post’s Peter Vecsey got Thorn to admit on the record that he was no big fan of Yormark, but that was not why he left. (Yes, Vecsey used actual quotes not just anonymous sources, that was the biggest news in the story.)

“I don’t deny my dislike for the guy,” Thorn admitted last Friday when asked by phone about their contentious relationship. “But he’s not the reason I left…

“I’d decided to retire long before the sale. Personal things happened over the last two years that made me realize it was time to go.”

Thorn is now the general manager for the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Sunday, Yormark threw Thorn under the bus in the Bergen Record.

“For the last couple of months I’ve been clearly focused on working with [general manager Billy King] and Avery on getting this franchise back to a best-in-class status,” Yormark said Sunday evening. “Obviously there’s a lot of work to be done after Rod’s 12-70 season, both on and off the court.”

Of course, Yormark tried to fix that by brining John Calipari back to the NBA… that would have been a mistake. Big mistake. Calipari can recruit and has a nice college offensive system, but we have seen the NBA show before and you can’t recruit in the NBA (unless you are Pat Riley).

Yormark gets some blame. Thorn maybe gets more blame — he did a bad job building the Net roster by doing things like holding on to Vince Carter too long. The Nets bad roster last season was largely on him.

But the real problem is that when the front office key players can’t get along you are doomed. They don’t have to be best buds and have weekend family barbecues together, but they have to work well together. If not, well, you get the Nets.

Sixers hire Rod Thorn as team president, Ed Stefanski moves to GM

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for sixers-logo.jpgEd Stefanski has had mixed success during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, as he’s simultaneously amassed some interesting young talent while completely nuking the team’s financial flexibility. He turned mid-first rounders into Marreese Speights and Jrue Holiday, re-signed Louis Williams to a reasonable deal, and kept Andre Iguodala in Philly.

The only problem is that in the process, he gave Iguodala way too much money, had the massive Elton Brand signing blow up in his face, liquidated Samuel Dalembert’s expiring contract for Andres Nocioni’s additional salaried year and the right to employ (and be disappointed by) Spencer Hawes, went through a coaches, and whatever macro combination of moves and factors leads to a 27-win debacle of a season.

If the Sixers wanted a reason to fire Ed Stefanski, they could have easily found one. Instead, they’ll retain him while rearranging their front office a bit, keyed by a new hiring. According to the Associated Press, Philadelphia has hired Rod Thorn to serve as Team President, which will shift Stefanski, the incumbent Prez, to GM. The two were quite successful as a pairing with the New Jersey Nets, and they’ll look to recapture some of the magic with the 76ers.

Oddly enough, the move coincides with former Sixers exec Billy King finding a new home in New Jersey.

Thorn stepped down (or was ushered out, depending on your point of view) from his post with the Nets, but apparently couldn’t stay away from the game for long. The man is a true NBA lifer, and Philly will be the latest team to benefit from his wealth of knowledge.

The Sixers have enough pieces to manufacture a bright future, but that growth won’t be organic. Andre Iguodala’s gaudy contract will burden the franchise for the next four seasons (not to mention Elton Brand’s deal), and though the team definitely has young talent at its disposal — Holiday, Williams, Speights, Hawes, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner, primarily — there are no elite prospects in the bunch, nor is there an easy and convenient way to piece everything together. Stefanski tried to complete the puzzle on his own, but now Philadelphia will bank on a Stefanski-Thorn collaboration to produce a fully actualized Sixers roster.