If there is anything the eight Game 1s of the 2013 NBA Playoffs taught us, besides that home court actually does matter in the NBA, it’s that whichever team has the better players wins. It’s a simple as that. Thus, it make sense for the 76ers to start their rebuilding process by focusing their attention on getting the best players on the court, right?
This, if anything, the troublesome Sixers ownership and management group must start this off-season by making key off-the-court decisions before they can start looking to solve their on-the-court issues. The Sixers brass must find a smart general manager who can run this franchise correctly.
Recent NBA history has proven this method can be very successful.
For example, the San Antonio Spurs have been churning out winners since 1997 behind a sturdy foundation of Gregg Popovich and R.C Buford. Pop has been a staple on the Spurs’ sideline since 1996 and Buford has been with the organization since 1988. That combination was created long before Tim Duncan ever put on a black and silver uni, and the Spurs have won four championships since Popovich took over the coaching helm of San Antonio.
Even further, we all know in Philadunkia how Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Charlie Manuel impacted the style of play of the 2008 World Champions. The top of the Phillies organization wants their players to focus on hitting the ball instead of drawing walks, and their on-base percentage suffered.
On the hardwood, you had to be blind to not see how Doug Collins’ coaching derailed this Sixers team. Behind his leadership, the boys of the Wells Fargo Center rarely attacked the rim, hardly ever got to the free throw line and settled for long-twos on more possessions than not. Obviously, it wasn’t right fit for this city and this crop of young talent… and Collins is gone.
But, before the 76ers can look to add their new head coach, they must first address their GM position. Tony DiLeo spent his first season as the General Manager of the organization this year after spending many years assisting the likes of Billy King, Ed Stefanski and Rod Thorn. But, is DiLeo really the mad scientist to conduct this Sixers experiment for the next five years?
The Sixers have a young borderline All-Star in Jrue Holiday. They have a super role player in Thad Young. They have potential in Arnett Moultrie and one more year left on the contracts of Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. That’s really it.
Somebody has to step up and bring in the guys to fill the missing pieces of the Sixers team — the pieces they are missing that will make them a contender in teh Eastern Conference and hopefully some day for the NBA title. A good GM finds those pieces, not a coach.
While it’s great to toss out names of young assistant coaches and college coaches who could be the eighth 76ers coach in the 10 years since Larry Brown left, that’s not what’s important right now. General Managers set the tone for professional basketball organizations, not coaches.
Since Brown left Philly in 2003, no coach of the Sixers lasted more than three seasons or had a winning record for more than 82 games. It’s the General Manager’s job to bring in a coach who can accomplish both of those feats. Since Brown left, no Sixers coach has led the Sixers to the Eastern Conference finals. It’s the General Manager’s job to do that.
Now, it’s the Sixers’ higher-ups’ job to decide whether Tony DiLeo is to General Manager with the iron fist, smarts, energy and determination to do the above.
I don’t think he is.
Jake Fischer is a Scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeLFischer.
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