After starting the season 1-20, the team's third-most horrible start in as many seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers announced on Monday that the team had signed Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations. General manager Sam Hinkie remains with the team, but all indications seem to imply that Colangelo will try his hardest to prevent Hinkie from continuing to tank the team into oblivion.
Philly's continued willingness to lose games in the hopes of obtaining a high draft lottery pick was causing so much anger that the NBA reportedly decided to intervene by forming a partnership between 76ers owner Joshua Harris and Colangelo, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Their new chairman of basketball operations was on hand as the 76ers hit a new low Monday night. Philly lost at home 119-68 to the San Antonio Spurs, even though Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rested Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili. That whopping 51-point victory was the largest margin in San Antonio's history.
With Monday's loss, Philadelphia stands at 1-21. The team started the season 0-18, and their only win of the season marked the end of a record-setting 28-game losing streak that dated back to last season.
Since the 76ers hired Sam Hinkie as their general manager in May 2013, the team's record had been 38-148, a winning percentage of about 26 percent. This stretch includes the aforementioned 28-game losing streak as well as a 26-game streak during the 2013-2014 season, the second longest losing streak of all time.
After two and a quarter seasons of losing basketball, it has become more evident than ever to many higher-ups in the NBA that whatever is going on in Philly is not working for the league, and perhaps not even for the 76ers.
To say Philadelphia has been disastrous would be an understatement. In fact, the franchise appears to regressing from their already-horrendous state last season. The roster is still filled with no-name role players, a staple of the Hinkie area, and the team has failed to make good on Hinkie's shameless attempt to lose games in order to obtain a top-10 talent, the sort of player that can turn a losing team into a major contender.
At this point, the organization is so deep into the Sam Hinkie experiment that they couldn't simply jump ship and boot him without alarming the fans who still want to #TrustTheProcess, the slogan that embodied the tanktastic Sixers. After more than two dreadful seasons, the front office is now forking over money to essentially pay for a co-GM -- an expensive way to say they're sorry.
This way, Philly's front office did what they could do without explicitly saying they were completely wrong for giving Hinkie the keys to the car -- a car they watched Hinkie crash and burn to the ground, with owner Joshua Harris left to hope the team's new hire can extinguish this mess.
The question is, what can Colangelo possibly do to stop this franchise from being the flaming wreck they are? Either way, it appears clear that the 76ers' patience, not to mention the league's, is wearing thin.
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