Sam Hinkie Rumors
Still, sources both close to Hinkie and around the league said owners and executives routinely reach out to him for counsel. Several basketball operations vice presidents and owners said they would hire him, but they wouldn’t put him in charge. Others believe Hinkie and The Process weren’t given a full trial, and that he didn’t do anything wrong as much as the league turned on him.
“I have respect for what he did because he had a plan and he stuck with it,” said one Western Conference GM who spoke favorably of Hinkie. “It took balls to do what he did. I do [view what he did as a success.] But if they hadn’t drafted Embiid, the experiment would’ve been a colossal failure. Look at their record when he’s out. If Embiid can’t stay healthy, they’ll be horrible.”
The NBA apparently told the 76ers to tone down their unbridled effort to lose. “The league office told them multiple times, ‘It’s too much,'” a second Western Conference GM said. “Sam didn’t come up with anything original. People have been [tanking] for years. They just didn’t go to the extremes Sam did. The league doesn’t care if you win 22 games; they just don’t want you winning 15. It’s optics. He rubbed everybody’s nose in it to the point the league had to do something.”
While Hinkie’s critics acknowledge drafting talent is an inexact science that no team has mastered, an array of agents, executives, owners and former Sixers employees took the greatest issue with his administrative skills. They portrayed him as somewhat of a recluse, not staying in the same hotel when traveling with the team, not cultivating relationships with agents or providing enough oversight of the young rosters he assembled and taking a strong-arm approach to every trade conversation or contract negotiation. “When guys started getting in trouble, there was no structure or adult supervision,” an agent said in reference to Okafor’s reckless driving incident and several bar fights. “He had zero management over the players. They didn’t go to meetings, and they were late for everything.”
Sarah Todd: Kenny Atkinson, #Nets coach, says there should be a management award or study done on what Sam Hinkie did with #Sixers. Said he debated whether or not to bring up Hinkie tonight but says it needed to be said.