Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on November 1, 2006
Complaining about poor management is a must for the average sport fan. It’s actually so easy, that we want to repeat it loudly: “Sixers management REALLY sucks”.
We consider Billy King, Sixers’ general manager, the main responsible for the (bad) situation we are in. Bad trades, even worse free agent signings, insane deals given to players that were already in our roster, weak decisions about coach(es), poor international scouting (assuming we have it, which we are starting to doubt): that’s only a short summary of all the mistakes we consider King to blame for.
As a result, we missed the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, in the same stretch we had four coaches, we are currently capped out for the next two years, with a payroll that is ranked as the 3rd highest in the league, just under the Knicks’ and Dallas’.
We want to give King a “last chance”: if Sixers will miss the playoffs even this year, he must go. The good thing is that he is probably aware of that too. An organization spending almost 100 million dollars in salaries can’t miss the post season for two seasons in a row (unless you are the Knicks, of course. But this is another story).
During the Larry Brown era, people said that most (dumb) decisions made by that time came more from Brown’s mind than from King’s. This is the argument often used to explain moves such as drafting Larry Hughes instead of Nowitzki in 1998 (word is Billy King wanted Dirk with that pick.. but we suspect that it was the same King who spread this “rumour” later), trading Tim Thomas for Tyrone Hill, giving Greg Brickner (ops ! it’s Buckner, sorry…) a six (yes, SIX !! 6 !!! S-i-x !!!! Not one, not two, not three… six !!!!!) years deal etc etc.
But after Brown left town (summer of 2003), King was in charge of all the operations. Than the rain of mistakes started. King picked Brown’s assistant, Randy Ayers, as head coach, only to fire him in the mid of the season and put Chris Ford on the bench. Result: losing record (33-49), no playoffs.
King than gave the coaching job to a Philly guy, Jim O’Brien, which was the last good decision we give him credit for.
King fired O’Brien after a winning season (43-39) and a (short) trip to the playoffs. He realized there was a “communication problem” with O’Brien and replaced him with Maurice Cheeks (summer of 2005). Result: another losing record (38-44), no playoffs again.
We’re not saying King hasn’t done anything good. He made some good trades (getting rid of Mutombo and – later – Van Horn, landing Webber basically for Kenny Thomas etc) and mostly did a nice drafting job: he was the guy who picked Igoudala in 2004 and, the year before that, found two solid players as Willie Green and Kyle Korver in the second round.
But his overall record speaks for itself: 114-132 over the last three years. That’s the epitome of mediocrity and we are tired of mediocrity.
Many things have changed in that stretch, one remained: Billy King as Sixers’ general manager. The clock is ticking for Billy. And he knows it.