Let’s check in quickly on the embattled president/general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, Bryan Colangelo, as the team prepares for an extremely important draft three weeks from tonight. After the team traded up with a division rival to take a player who makes horrible decisions with money while not playing very much basketball, it would seem like the emphasis on this coming draft for the GM would be assumed.
Not so much:
#sixers’ Bryan Colangelo did not attend today’s and yesterday’s agent-run predraft workouts on the West Coast, according to league sources. He was at a predraft workouts on Tuesday when The Ringer report broke.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 31, 2018
Well that’s just great. When the going gets tough…the tough don’t go to work. Or can’t go to work, whatever. This is, to say the least, not a great look for the Sixers in the eyes of the agents who set these workouts up, and here the Colangelo thing is already having an impact.
Pompey suggested with fairly strong language in a post earlier this evening that he doesn’t see a way out of this for Colangelo. “Fresh off the franchise’s most successful season in nearly 20 years, the Sixers are suddenly looking at a firestorm that could seriously damage their “Trust the Process” rebuilding plan,” Pompey wrote. “And it could cost Colangelo, hired in 2016, his job.”
According to Pompey, fellow NBA executives are still refusing to bury Colangelo on the record, but they’re not riding to Colangelo’s rescue, either:
“I think the damage is done,” said an NBA executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I don’t know if the players can trust him. I think he lost the trust of the players unless it’s proven definitively that it wasn’t him.”
It would be unfair to say Colangelo is hiding, at least in so many words. It would be unfair to say that because, as everybody knows, if you’re in an airport anywhere in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii or Canada, NBC10’s John Clark is going to be there and he is going to insist on a few minutes of your time:
Bryan Colangelo is back in Philly.
I spoke with him at Philly airport.
He told me he stands by his Ringer statement and is “fully unaware of anything” related to the messages.
I asked him if he had any knowledge any of those tweets were being sent
He told me “zero” pic.twitter.com/2AUtCZYhHR
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 31, 2018
On one level, it’s hard to knock the hustle on Johnny Airport’s part. But on another level, he could’ve omitted the remainder of the body of that tweet and just said “he told me zero.” Regardless, it’s nearly impossible to take a few hastily tossed off airport comments from Colangelo to a local sports reporter as the definitive proof of non-involvement that Colangelo’s peers apparently think he needs.
At least the league office doesn’t seem too concerned with this whole situation. What? God dammit:
Adam Silver, at his annual Finals press conference, acknowledges the Bryan Colangelo situation in Philadelphia is not something he enjoys having to address before the tip-off of Game 1 but said “that’s the reality of this league” #thisleague
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 1, 2018
I love that hashtag. Marc Stein is paying this whole Colangelo circus sideshow the precise amount of attention and respect it deserves until such time as the Sixers get their collective head out of their collective ass and pull the trigger one way or the other.