After yet another season marked by historic futility, it appears that even Sam Hinkie lost all trust in The Process. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the embattled general manager has resigned from his post with the Philadelphia 76ers.
ESPN has also obtained a portion of the 13-page letter of resignation Hinkie sent to Sixers brass on Wednesday afternoon, which can be found below.
“There has been much criticism of our approach. There will be more. A competitive league like the NBA necessitates a zig while our competitors comfortably zag. We often chose not to defend ourselves against much of the criticism, largely in an effort to stay true to the ideal of having the longest view in the room.
“… Given all the changes to our organization, I no longer have the confidence that I can make good decisions on behalf of investors in the Sixers — you. So I should step down. And I have.”
This shocking development comes approximately four months after Philly hired long-time league decision maker Jerry Colangelo as its chairman of basketball operations. The timing of Hinkie’s decision is especially surprising considering he appeared on ESPN’s The Lowe Post podcast earlier this week and stressed utmost optimism about the organization’s success going forward.
The Daily News‘ Bob Cooney confirmed the consensus assumption that Hinkie’s resignation came completely out of left field, and The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski has learned that his peers remain in the dark.
On the other hand, two of the most respected reporters in the league don’t seem so taken aback by this turn of events. ESPN’s Zach Lowe notes that he’s heard rumblings of the Sixers’ plans to hire another front office guru for months, while Wojnarowski reports that Colangelo’s son, Bryan, has recently garnered swelling support to be the team’s general manager.
It stands to reason that Hinkie, no matter his public insistence otherwise, already felt his role was diminished upon Colangelo’s abrupt appointment in December. With another strong voice likely to be added to the fold, the 38 year old appears to have decided that stepping down was a better alternative than being further marginalized among franchise higher ups.
Philadelphia went 47-195 in Hinkie’s nearly three full seasons on the job, narrowly avoiding the league’s record for fewest wins in a season by notching its 10th victory of 2015-16 on Wednesday night. But the standings were never going to be an accurate portrayal of his job performance – the extent of losing be damned.
Hinkie had full autonomy to tear down the Sixers after taking reins of the organization in the summer of 2012. Every move he made in the interim was made with the intent of drafting young talent, acquiring a stable of assets, and clearing cap space for an eventual haul in free agency. Regardless of your stance on the morality of that approach to rebuilding, it’s not hard to see the future Hinkie envisioned for Philadelphia. The problem is that it had yet to come into focus on the horizon after three seasons of preaching The Process.
We’ll keep you updated as news on this developing story becomes available.