SBD/May 13, 2013/Franchises

76ers Reportedly Name Sam Hinkie GM; Brings Rockets' Analytical Approach

Hinkie will become the 76ers' third general manager in less than two years
The 76ers have hired Rockets Exec VP/Basketball Operations Sam Hinkie "to be the franchise's new president and general manager," according to sources cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of YAHOO SPORTS. Hinkie will "replace Tony DiLeo with the 76ers and assume full control of basketball operations." Hinkie "met with 76ers officials" a year ago about the job, before the team promoted DiLeo to GM. Sixers President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn is "retiring this spring and assuming a consultant's role with the organization." Hinkie will "spearhead the organization's search for a new head coach" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/10). In Philadelphia, John Mitchell wrote the abrupt hiring of Hinkie, coupled with the "swift kick the organization gave" to DiLeo, shows that majority Owner Josh Harris is "going full-bore in doing away with one culture and giving birth to another." The 35-year-old Hinkie is a "bright man with a Stanford MBA and diverse background who is steeped in the utilization of statistical data." While with the Rockets, Hinkie and team GM Daryl Morey hired "a slew of MIT MBAs to analyze everything." But his Rockets co-workers also said he is a relentless worker who will "scout talent as much as anyone in the league." Mitchell wrote Thorn and former coach Doug Collins now have "glorified consultant titles," and are "bit players in the Sixers' rehabilitation." Harris has "turned over the future of this franchise and its emerging culture, yet to be determined, exclusively to Hinkie" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/12). ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst wrote Thorn, DiLeo and Collins "will not have a significant voice in future decisions" (ESPN.com, 5/10).

SAM, I AM: In Philadelphia, Mullin & Kaskey-Blomain noted Hinkie will become the 76ers’ third GM since July '11, and his hiring is "clearly representative of a shift in philosophy for the franchise." Hinkie before working with the Rockets provided "statistical analysis and advice" to several NFL teams, and "worked as a private equity and venture capitalist" (PHILLY.com, 5/10). TRUE HOOP's Henry Abbott wrote Hinkie is "a highly regarded behind-the-scenes NBA mind who has put in the work on every front, from mastering the nitty gritty of the CBA to traveling the backwaters of the globe scouting prospects." Hinkie has been a "key figure in building Houston's analyst-thick Moneyball-style front office that has cleverly created advantages for itself." Some teams "shoot from the hip," but "rest assured, under Hinkie, the Sixers will adhere to well-honed long-term strategy." The 76ers are "on the path to becoming the Rockets East, complete with one of the Rockets' key executives" (ESPN.com, 5/10). In Philadelphia, Marcus Hayes writes Harris has "hired what he knows; what has worked for him in the past." Hayes: "Dispassionate acquisition and manipulation of resources, inevitable 'reorganization' of 'assets,' resulted in a lack of humanism that helped lead to the disastrous moves the Sixers made last year" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/13). Also in Philadelphia, Phil Sheridan wrote hiring Hinkie "finally gives the Sixers a direction under their new ownership." Hinkie can "win some instant support" by declaring C Andrew Bynum "an ex-Sixer" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/12).

LIKE A BOSS: In Philadelphia, Sean Woods wrote 76ers CEO Adam Aron has "adopted a role akin to that of a cruise director." Aron has "focused his energy on hospitality and entertainment: engaging the customers on Twitter, commissioning mascot costumes, recruiting the Philadelphia Orchestra and Ayla Brown for the national anthem." He has "invested more time on improving the game night festivities than the game itself." It is "wonderful that Aron is listening to the fans, but this cruise director must realize that if the boat’s engine has failed, no one cares about what comedian is scheduled to perform" (PHILLY.com, 5/10).
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