The Philadelphia 76ers today named Rod Thorn, an NBA veteran of more than four decades, as the team’s new President. Ed Stefanski, who had served as the team’s President and General Manager since December 4, 2007, will continue in his role as General Manager.
“Rod is one of the most respected basketball minds in the game today,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “When we learned that he would not be re-signing with the Nets, we realized that this would be a terrific opportunity to bring one of the top executives in the NBA to the Sixers to work closely with Ed Stefanski. I’m really pleased to be adding him to our organization. I’m confident that Rod will be a tremendous asset for our team and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
“We felt with the direction we are now heading that it was important for us to have two very strong basketball minds leading the Philadelphia 76ers,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “We are building a strong organization and we’re off to a terrific start with the addition of Coach Doug Collins, the best available coach, and Evan Turner, who we feel was the best available player in the draft. Now we have added another top-level executive to help lead us into the future.”
“This is a great opportunity to join one of the most-storied franchises in the NBA,” said Thorn. “I look forward to once again working with Ed Stefanski and helping Ed Snider and Peter Luukko build a championship team here in Philadelphia.”
Thorn, the 2001-02 NBA Executive of the Year, spent the past 10 seasons as President of the New Jersey Nets, joining them on June 27, 2000. During his tenure in East Rutherford, the Nets won the Eastern Conference in 2002 and 2003 and captured four Atlantic Division titles in five seasons.
Thorn engineered two major deals the final week in June of 2001, trading the Nets first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft (Eddie Griffin-7th overall) to the Houston Rockets for their three first round picks (Richard Jefferson-13, Jason Collins-18, and Brandon Armstrong-23). The next day he negotiated a major six-player blockbuster trade with the Phoenix Suns that landed the Nets three-time First Team All-NBA guard Jason Kidd in exchange for Stephon Marbury.
Stefanski was Thorn’s General Manager in New Jersey for nine seasons and was instrumental in the 2004 blockbuster transaction that brought All-Star Vince Carter to the Nets in exchange for Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, Alonzo Mourning and two first-round draft picks.
Prior to joining the Nets, Thorn spent 14 years working for the NBA’s league office in Manhattan, where he was the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. At the NBA office, Thorn oversaw all-on court operations, including officiating, game conduct and discipline.
During seven seasons as General Manager of the Chicago Bulls (1978-1985), Thorn selected Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA draft and actually coached the team for 30 games in 1982.
Thorn was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets as the second overall pick in 1963. After playing one season in Baltimore, Thorn spent a season and a half in both Detroit and St. Louis before finishing his career in Seattle. He was an assistant coach of the Nets in 1973 when the Nets were in the ABA, helping lead the team to their first-ever ABA Championship. Two years later, Thorn became head coach of the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis. In 1976, Thorn was named an assistant coach with the Nets when they moved into the NBA.
Thorn graduated from the University of Washington (Seattle) with a B.A. in political science. He also holds an honorary degree from West Virginia University. He served on the Board of Directors of West Virginia University for five years.