This morning in Phoenix, the home of dry heat and Jerry Colangelo, the big man on (remote) campus appeared on the Doug & Wolf Show* on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. He told Doug and Wolf that he’s been to Philadelphia three-ish times, “for a few days” each time, since his hiring… but that he’s on the phone every day. Most of the conversation with D and W was about Phoenix sports – since Colangelo is the “Godfather of Phoenix Sports” – but he did start off with some interesting info about his Sixers gig.
For example, Josh Harris is living his childhood dream, but he needs help:
“How about an owner who said ‘I had two ambitions when I was a kid: I wanted to make a lot of money and I wanted to own a basketball team. I made a lot of money, I own a basketball team, and now I need help. Help me become a better owner.’ Which is an interesting comment.
So I’m mentoring ownership in Philadelphia, I’m doing the same with management. I’m very involved with the basketball operations in its entirety.”
Josh Harris having a childhood dream of being a super rich guy is the least surprising thing I’ve ever heard. [Editor’s note: Hearing that he wants to own a basketball team throws some water on the notion of him flipping the Sixers.]
Colangelo once again called Sam Hinkie a “bright young guy” (which some see as belittling but isn’t that just how old people talk?) and admitted that he himself DOESN’T UNDERSTAND ANALYTICS, but he’s glad that Hinkie does:
“I’m Chairman of the Basketball Operation, it’s as simple as that. Sam Hinkie, who is a bright young guy who is very strong analytically, and you know analytics is a big thing in sports today … big time.
[Should analytics be a big part of sports?]
Well, analytics is. Should be? I’m not smart enough to know if it should be or could be. I’ll say this, it’s a good tool. I do think you need people with experience who have been around the game to be kinda leading the charge and analytics used as a tool.”
He also offered a little input into his relationship with Hinkie, but didn’t bring up how many times he shoves him in a locker when he’s in town:
“Sam has accepted me in my role, sees that I have a lot of experience and I’m trying to impart a lot of those experiences to him … Our scouting is an interesting situation in my mind because there’s such a stress on international scouting in basketball today … so you really have to be really sharp on that level …
Without taking risks, you’re not going to make it to the promised land.”
Risk thing? Good. Analytics thing? …. Good? He’s not out there like Larry Brown calling it black magic, and he at least acknowledges having an analytics guy is important. We still don’t 100% know what his day-to-day job is, or the leadership structure, or how he thinks the Sixers should move forward, but we do know that he’s down to help a super rich guy in need.
*I don’t know which is which, but I’m assuming Wolf is the one who sounds like Jesse Ventura doing a Funkhouser impression.