ESPN has just posted an article by Pablo S. Torre which will appear in the March 2 ESPN The Magazine Analytics Issue. I haven’t had time to read the whole thing yet (it’s incredibly long), but here’s just a sampling:
Their would-be star was a hazardous fit — sometimes even literally. One day, memorably, the rehabbing big man parked next to Aaron Barzilai, DiLeo’s newly hired director of basketball analytics, in the parking lot of the team facility at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. As Bynum shuffled inside, Barzilai noticed something on their would-be star’s custom black Ferrari and called after him. Bynum, it turned out, had driven away from a gas station without removing the pump’s nozzle and eight- foot rubber hose, which he’d dragged, pythonlike, through the street.
That spring, Hinkie met Harris and Blitzer for dinner and another interview in Manhattan. Less than a year after their initial conversations, the contrast between ownership’s personal probabilistic sensibility and the current administration’s older-school tack stung. And Hinkie, as if to underscore that divergence, walked into dinner carrying a laptop, complete with a massively detailed PowerPoint presentation that Sixers executives now recall as an “investment thesis.” Its centerpiece was a diagram that illustrated, arrow by arrow, transaction by transaction, how Houston had amassed the assets — two first-rounders and a second-rounder, along with guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb — to acquire superstar guard James Hardenfrom the Thunder in October … a month after the Sixers had hired DiLeo. Hinkie’s abstract vision for artfully delayed NBA production suddenly felt concrete.
Fun fact: Our Sam Hinkie flowchart (or some variation thereof) will appear beside this article in the magazine, with full credit to Jim Adair, who’s all grown up!
Read the full thing here.
He has since found homes in Cleveland and Indiana, and whispers of Bynum’s failed marriage with Philadelphia still echoed throughout the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, with one league source sharing how Bynum would often park one of his luxury cars in the reserved space for Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast Spectacor — the company that owns the arena where the Sixers play — on purpose on game days. The source also passed on the story about the day Bynum showed up at the Sixers’ practice facility with a police car following him into the parking lot because he had sped off from a gas station with the pump nozzle still inside of his car and the officer noticed the severed hose flapping alongside the road as Bynum merrily drove along.
There were actually people who used to get mad at me when I would call him a “loon.”