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Former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo joins Philadelphia 76ers front office

Former Phoenix Suns owner and current USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has joined the Philadelphia 76ers’ front office.

Colangelo was introduced Monday as the Sixers’ chairman of basketball operations and special adviser, putting him in step with current general manager Sam Hinkie, whose rebuilding process known in NBA circles as “the process” has been received controversially.

Hinkie has come under fire with his refusal to spend money on free agents and clear strategy of losing to earn high draft picks. That’s led to a lot of frustration since Hinkie took over in the summer of 2013.

The addition of Colangelo comes at a key time for the Sixers and was reportedly influenced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Philadelphia’s trust in “the process” has led to a 1-20 record to start the 2015-16 season and in the past two years, the 76ers went 19-63 and 18-64 under Hinkie’s leadership.

Team owner Joshua Harris said Hinkie will retain his decision-making role, according to PhillyMag’s Derek Bodner, but Colangelo will work closely with him to help rebuild the Sixers.

It sounds like Colangelo’s role is not going to include making a final decision on a draft pick, but Colangelo could help blend Hinkie’s basketball mind with a more business-friendly approach.

Colangelo certainly has experience doing both.

 

Colangelo, who coached the Suns before becoming the team’s owner in 1987, quickly turned the team into title contenders in the early 1990s. He led the team before his son, Bryan Colangelo, took over as general manager.

Jerry Colangelo sold the Suns to current owner Robert Sarver in 2004.

On the business side, Colangelo also had his hand in bringing the Diamondbacks, Mercury and Rattlers to the Valley. He also oversaw the rebranding of USA Basketball over the past decade following a downward trend of the men’s national team in the early 2000s.

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