The Philadelphia 76ers are 1-20 this season and engaged in a multi-season rebuilding process that seems to have no end in sight. Today, they announced that some elite veteran leadership will provide some advice and assistance to the front office, which so far has acquired a few good young players and a ton of draft picks but nothing that suggests the team will be competitive anytime in the near future.
The team today named Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and Chairman of the Board of Directors for USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo as the Special Advisor to the Managing General Partner and Chairman of Basketball Operations.
“Jerry Colangelo is one of the most respected people in basketball and we are excited to add his five decades of knowledge, relationships and experience to help drive our organization forward,” said Sixers co-Managing Owner Josh Harris.
Colangelo currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for USA Basketball, having been involved in the organization since being announced as Managing Director of the then newly-created USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program, which he re-established as the best in the world. That team is 75-1 since his arrival, currently owns a 63-game winning streak dating back to 2006 and earned consecutive Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) and consecutive FIBA World Cup gold medals (2010 and 2014) for the first time in history.
“I am excited and energized about the opportunity to work with Josh Harris and this ownership group in their continued efforts to build something lasting and special here with the Sixers,” Colangelo said. “This is an organization with a storied history, strong and talented leadership and a number of promising pieces that have the potential for a very bright future.”
During Colangelo’s storied tenure with the Phoenix Suns, which spanned from 1968 through 2012, his roles included Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Managing General Partner, President, Head Coach and General Manager. His impact on the NBA has been immeasurable, having served as the Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors from 2001 through 2005, a member of the league’s Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Expansion Committee, and Competition and Rules Committee.
“It’s not every day you have the opportunity to work alongside a Hall of Famer with Jerry’s unique set of experiences,” said President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have him as part of our organization.”
He led an ownership group which secured the Major League Baseball expansion Arizona Diamondbacks to Phoenix for its inaugural season in 1998. Serving as the Chairman and CEO, his experience, acumen and vision helped guide the franchise to a World Series championship in 2001 – the quickest an expansion team has ever won a title in baseball history. He also served on the MLB Legislative Committee, Equal Opportunity Committee and on the Board of Directors of the MLB Advanced Media, the league’s technology arm.
Colangelo was also integral in bringing professional women’s basketball to the United States, having served on the founding committee for the WNBA, with the Phoenix Mercury becoming one of the league’s inaugural teams in 1997 and advancing to the WNBA Finals a year later. He was instrumental in facilitating the move of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets to Arizona in 1996, where they became the Phoenix Coyotes.
Currently a principal partner of JDM Partners LLC, a real estate development company, Colangelo also serves as Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and has authored two books: “Return of the Gold” and “How You Play the Game.”