So far this off season, no team in the NBA … except, of course, the Miami Heat … has improved the its organizational outlook for the 2010-2011 season, and beyond, more than the Philadelphia 76ers.
Personnel Moves made, thus far, this summer:
i. Hired Doug Collins, as their new head coach;
ii. Drafted Evan Turner, as the No. 2 [overall] Selection in the 2010 NBA Draft
iv. Hired savvy veteran NBA executive Rod Thorn, as their new President … which re-unites him with Ed Stefanski [as the team's GM], in a similar set-up to what existed in New Jersey during the early part of the decade, when the Nets made back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals.
Thorn will move into the organization over general manager Ed Stefanski, a close friend who worked with Thorn for six seasons with the New Jersey Nets. The embattled Stefanski will stay on under Thorn, keeping with a similar arrangement they had with the Nets.
After a decade as Nets president, Thorn left the organization last month after deciding against staying on to work for the new Russian ownership group. Nevertheless, he still expressed a desire to work again in the league and now takes over the 76ers.
Thorn took over the Nets when they were considered perhaps the NBA’s worst franchise, and elevated them to the NBA Finals in his second season (2002) on the job. His trade for Jason Kidd transformed the Nets into Eastern Conference contenders and pushed them to consecutive NBA Finals appearances. New Jersey reached the playoffs six straight seasons until previous ownership forced them to dump salaries.
Constructing a successful franchise in pro sports is not an easy proposition, and requires top notch, top down, Leadership … from the the owner, right-on-through the President, GM, Head Coach, and the Cornerstone Players … which effects the day-to-day operation of the organization.
After finishing last the 2009-2010 campaign in a very disappointing fashion, Philadelphia is now poised to be one of the main ‘rebound’ teams next season.
Kudos to Ed Snider for taking the 76ers in this new – but already highly proven – direction!