Jerry Colangelo was brought in to calm the waters of the Sam Hinkie era — not because they actually needed calming, but the perception of what the Sixers were doing had angered other owners and an old-school segment of the NBA fan base. That was making a lot of noise. (The number of those media/fan voices who slammed Hinkie then and love “the process” now that it is paying off is staggering. Hypocrisy is dead.)
The league office didn’t like this noise and pressured/guided owner Joshua Harris to the veteran Colangelo. He quickly brushed aside Hinkie (he would never characterize it that way, but it’s the reality) and soon his son Bryan was the GM of the Sixers. With mixed results.
Bryan Colangelo is now gone in the wake a Twitter burner account scandal, and while Jerry had nothing to do with that is work is done and he will be walking away from the Sixers, too. From the fantastic Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post:
“I haven’t made any public comments about what transpired (with Bryan),” Jerry Colangelo said. “I don’t think it would be appropriate. It’s a very difficult summer for him, and his family.”
In discussing the situation, Colangelo termed his own tenure in Philadelphia — with which he served as a special adviser — as over, before clarifying that it is “over at the end of the year.”
A league source confirmed that account. While Colangelo is under contract through the end of this calendar year, and the 76ers will be honoring that contract, it won’t be renewed. It is an awkward ending to what was one of the stranger stories in recent NBA memory.
It was time to move on. The question is what’s next.
The Sixers are currently without a GM — they went after Houston’s Daryl Morey but were rebuffed. Other big names are out there, such as former Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin, but for now Coach Brett Brown has the final say and is the face of the front office team. That is not a scenario they want to continue long term.
Either way, the plan in Philly is to continue to go big game hunting, via trade or free agency, to get one more star to add to their quality core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the rest. It will not change dramatically with a new GM. Or team president.