SportsProf

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Name Your Headline -- Philadelphia 76ers Style

I had 3 choices for this post:

The King is Dead

Is Ed Snider Next to Go?

Eddie the Reluctant Takes Over

The news: the 76ers have fired formerly teflon-coated GM Billy King and replaced him with Penn grad (and former guard) Ed Stefanski, currently the GM of the Nets.

As for the first headline, all 76ers fans (and former ones) were waiting for this to happen. The 76ers haven't made much noise in quite a while, owing to some bad signings, bad draftings, bad drama ("Practice? We're talkin' about practice!") and inability to recognize that there is talent across the ocean that could help the team. For some reason, despite significant coaching turnover, Billy King kept his job -- for 10 years. Yes, the 76ers did challenge for the NBA title many years ago, but that was much more Larry Brown's doing. Once Brown cut the tether and left town, King was exposed. Unfortunately, he didn't pan out, although the 76ers waited too long to draw their conclusion. Attendance is bad, the team is 5-12, and they won't be very good for a while.

As for the second headline, well, the Flyers have turned the corner this year after several years of being skated around and by. The 76ers, though, have been dismal, and the Flyers haven't been preeminent. I still marvel that Comcast continues to let Ed Snider run the show. It seems like he's living in the 70's when it comes to sports, and there have to be more talented executives out there to manage over the situation. Sorry, Comcast, but it doesn't seem you're holding a Philadelphia icon as accountable as you should.

As for the third headline, Stefanski was a guard on some great Penn teams in the 1970's, but he seemingly past up open looks when he got the ball. That caused Big Five play-by-play commentator Big Al Meltzer to call him "Eddie the Reluctant." His CV since his playing days has been impressive, and he seems to be over the "reluctant" phase. You have to be if you're a GM in the NBA, although I do wonder why the Nets have let him go to a division rival mid-season. What's that all about? Rod Thorn's decision does raise questions -- although I'm not sure whether about the Nets or the 76ers.

At any rate, while you hate to see people lose jobs, you need to see improvement. Hopefully a new GM will cause the 76ers to view the pro world through a different lens and make better player personnel decision.

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