On Allen Iverson’s 43rd birthday, the Philadelphia 76ers were reeling from what had to be one of the most embarrassing off-the-court situations in franchise history.
With terms like “forensic consultants” and “burner Twitter accounts,” the Sixers dismissed President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo on Thursday. The law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP determined that Colangelo was held responsible in connection to the Twitter accounts, though his wife Barbara Bottini admitted to running the burner accounts.
When the story first broke in The Ringer, reaction quickly spread throughout the Delaware Valley and across the country.
Colangelo immediately called Joel Embiid when the story began to spread, claiming his innocence. Clearly, the investigation proved otherwise.
The Sixers had no choice. They had to dismiss Colangelo.
While Sam Hinkie has a legendary following, he tanked season after season – 75 wins in four seasons to be exact. To take losing to such a degree was awful. To learn what happened under Colangelo’s watch is even worse.
The Sixers are trending up. Finally. They went from 10 wins to 28 and 52 this past season with a first-round playoff victory in five games over the Miami Heat. However, they did fall to the Boston Celtics in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
There is a core group in place with Embiid, Ben Simmons and possibly Markelle Fultz if he can regain the success he had at the University of Washington.
There is also the chance of adding LeBron James or Paul George in free agency or even acquiring Kawhi Leonard.
Furthermore, Brett Brown is the right coach to guide this franchise to its first championship since 1982-83.
The front office now needs stability.
Howie Roseman proved what can happen with the Philadelphia Eagles. He got it done.
Josh Harris is in charge of what ultimately shakes out with regards to the Sixers’ future. He’s the owner. He needs to act as soon as possible despite saying at a hastily arranged press conference that the organization will take its time. The Sixers need a general manager or president now.
The draft is inching closer in two weeks. Free agency is right behind on July 1 and the idea of adding James is so exciting. It’s like the Sixers adding Moses Malone to a team that already had Julius Erving, Andrew Toney, Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones. Moses put them over the top with a parade down Broad Street.
James can do the same with this current group of Sixers.
Try to imagine opening night in the 2018-19 season. Wow. Just wow.
The Sixers have to move as quickly as possible to distance themselves from Bryan Colangelo. And Jerry Colangelo, too, who is still signed as a consultant. When Pat Croce needed to hire a coach before the Sixers made their run to the NBA Finals in 2001, he signed Larry Brown. Croce went for the best and acted fast.
There are quality basketball people out there. It should not be drawn out.
Terms like ‘forensic consultants’ and ‘burner Twitter accounts’ have to be part of the past. The present and future await the organization.
What happened was embarrassing. There’s no other way to put it. The Sixers should instead be celebrating Iverson’s birthday and the future of the franchise.