Sam Hinkie doesn’t often do public appearances these days. He was at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference back in February and teaches a pair of classes at Stanford University.
He recently joined Patrick O’Shaughnessy on the “Invest Like the Best” podcast, an episode titled “Data, Decisions, and Basketball.”
The first 30 minutes were a blur to me, filled with buzz words that made my non-financial head hurt. The relevant Sixers stuff begins about 50 minutes in.
On some of the biggest risks during his time with the Sixers –
“One of the lights at the end of the tunnel, during the first year, which was very hard, was that we had two lottery picks, our pick and the pick from New Orleans. So we had two lottery picks coming and we would get back another guy on our team who could help, so that would be great, everyone was excited about that. So there was a bit of a hype around that, even leading into the draft, reasonably so for fans, and some of that came from the team. But it was all reasonable stuff – ‘the cavalry is coming.’ We got to draft night and made a bunch of transactions, but the gist of it – at least at the top of the draft – was that we drafted one guy that was structurally unavailable to play for the first year (Joel Embiid) and another guy that was locked in to play in Europe for the next two years (Dario Saric). Coming in, everyone felt like we were going to get two great players tonight and it’s going to be so much fun in summer league in a week, and three hours later we don’t have anyone. That was very hard. I was super proud of us for doing that and proud of ownership for having the courage to do that, because we had talked about it days ahead of time, that it might go that way, and there was a real possibility it could be our best option…”
On some of his favorite NBA players and guys he enjoys watching –
“…Joel Embiid and I are still close, I love him and watch on pins and needles when he plays without his mask or something silly happens. T.J. McConnell and I love, and sort of what he stands for. Robert Covington I love, everywhere he’s been. There’s a lot of guys like that, that have been around…”
On the Sixers’ success this season –
“It’s been fun. I’m a big fan. I love those guys and the more they play well, the more fun it is for me. I feel great for the coach, Brett Brown, I’m a big fan of his. A lot of the staff is the same, they’ve made changes, too, but a lot of those people I just care deeply about. We’ve got a lot of friends in Philly. It’s been fun.”
Check it out. If you’re into investing and basketball, this is your podcast.