If you’re like me then April 6th has been circled on your calendar for quite some time now. A day that is met with mixed emotions. A day that truly would have never happened, if not for the pressures put on the Sixers organization by the NBA Front Office. April 6th, 2016 is when Sam Hinkie resigned. I, a student at the time, discovered the news after I got out of class one day and collapsed on my campus walkway. I was revived some hours later, still in disbelief.
The Colangelo brass had essentially completed their coup on the Sixers. Jerry, who was appointed that Winter as a special adviser, would be naming his son Bryan as the new general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. Hinkie was the collateral damange. Most supporters of Hinkie were fearful of this move. They feared that Bryan would throw away any opportunities to develop prospects and groom the youth in favor of winning immediately, which at best would result in a low-seed Eastern Conference Playoff spot and first-round exit. The Conalgeo-led Sixers seemed doomed moving forward, and the process looked like it could ultimately fail, but something promising rose out of the ashes. Sam Hinkie’s resignation letter.
Now I don’t normally read things once let alone several times, but I keep coming back to this letter on April 6th. It’s amazing how calm and reassuring the tone of the letter is despite being written at a point in his life that must’ve been absolute hell. Trusting the Process didn’t mean that you were 100% sure that the process would work at every single point of it’s duration. But you still trusted the process. There were, of course, low moments like having no other choice but to draft Jahlil Okafor in Summer 2015, Joel Embiid’s setback that same summer, Ben Simmons breaking his foot and missing the entire 2016-2017 season and of course Sam Hinkie’s resignation letter. As a fan that is stressful enough, but being the man entirely responsible for the future of that franchise, well that probably blew. He was basically fired and (outside a strong following in Philadelphia) he was considered the laughing stock of the league. Still, Hinkie had the wherewithal to mention players like Joel Embiid and Robert Covington who he argued would be a force in this league for years to come.
As for Colangelo, well he did everything in his power to burn down everything that Sam Hinkie built. He essentially went full scorched-earth on the Sixers organization. His terrible decisions including trading two first round picks to draft Markelle Fultz, drafting TLC, drafting Furkan Korkmaz, getting rid of Jerami Grant and trading up to draft Anžejs Pasečņiks (who now works part-time as a ski instructor on the mountains in Gaiziņkalns). Still it wasn’t enough. Hinkie built a strong-enough foundation moving forward that Colangelo couldn’t undue it in just two years.
Three years on and Sam Hinkie still doesn’t have a job in the NBA.Why exactly? Well nobody knows. Has he been blackballed by the NBA’s establishment or does he simply not want to work in the league anymore? After all, tanking is now more fashionable in today’s NBA than ever despite it probably being the worst time to tank being how competitive it is. I mean, the bottom 5 teams right now (the New York Knicks, Cleveland, Phoenix, Chicago and Atlanta) are all absolute dumpster-fires. Barring an off-season miracle, it is gonna take those teams at least another couple years of rebuilding before they can be seen as competitive teams in the Playoffs. But that is besides the point. Someone needs to be held accountable for this man-made disaster brought on to Philadelphia known as the Colangelos. 2 years later and nobody has gone to jail for ruining a man’s career and livelihood. Bryan Colangelo, Jerry Colangelo and Adam Silver are all war criminals* who need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
*t-shirts coming soon