And silly you if you think Hinkie is bothered by the fact that the Sixers are the only team in professional sports without a coach. He’ll solve for that unknown once he gets there. The coach is merely the hypotenuse to the Sixers’ triangle. A^2+B^2=C^2. Hinkie’s working on A and B right now. Once he has that, C is easy, provided his calculator found some ultraviolet grub.
But… try explaining that to 97.5 The Fanatic’s Phil From Mt. Airy.* He has a press credential, and he was in the house yesterday when the Sixers (finally) introduced Nerlens Noel and his sweet fucking flattop. And Phil, it would seem, did not accept Hinkie’s answer on why he has not yet solved for C.
It’s become an amusing dance to watch – this question and answer ballet between Hinkie and various reporters.
Well, amusing for some. Not so amusing for others. During Tuesday’s press conference, one frustrated media member tried hard to pin down Hinkie on the finalists for the coaching vacancy. And a possible return date for Noel, who’s recovering from a torn ACL. And what playing style – generalized to halfcourt or up-tempo – the Sixers might adopt.
Hinkie deflected each question with the uncrackable word force field he likes to deploy in those situations. The media member walked away sort of muttering to himself under his breath while Hinkie essentially repeated a point that the hurry-up-and-tell-us-how-this-will-go people keep missing: Today matters a lot less to the Sixers than tomorrow and the day after that and all the days to follow.
“I’m only trying to do what I think is right,” Hinkie said, “which is to build something that our owners want and I think that I want and I think our fans want – which is to build something that is lasting and build something that is special with a capital ‘S.’”
The reporter in question was Phil, he of Mt. Airy. After his initial inquiry, Phil twice pushed back when Hinkie showed his work but provided no answer to the coaching question:
“Building a roster to fit the coach… or you’re hiring a coach to fit your roster. You follow me?”
“Why so long? Why so long? I mean… do we have a … are we down to two candidates? You hear Michael Curry, you hear Brett Brown of the Spurs. Are we down to two candidates? I don’t understand. It’s been four months.”
And thus we’ll remember, remember the 23 of July, the coaching inquisition answered not.
I imagine there aren’t two individuals who differ more drastically in their opinions on how to run a professional basketball team than Hinkie, a shining beacon for Mathletes everywhere, and Phil From Mt. Airy, who represents the blue collar Philly fan who called sports talk radio so much he was given a job. It was a fascinating clash– Phil in his laid back draw, and Hinkie talking in circles in his surprisingly deep voice. Both men, unlikely occupiers of their current roles, battling it out for philosophical supremacy. Neither was the victor. Rather, it was us, the common fan, who won, for we are all more enlightened now that Sam Hinkie and Phil From Mt. Airy have jousted over the Sixers’ coaching search.
*We’re capitalizing the F in From. When Phil was just a caller, he was “Phil, from Mt. Airy.” But that comma gets jettisoned now that he’s big-time. Phil From Mt. Airy. Please update your style guides accordingly.
Video after the jump.