Sam Hinkie Rumors
SLAM: From your perspective, how did it feel when Sam Hinkie stepped down as general manager? Robert Covington: It was a little sad. Sam was the one that gave me an opportunity, but we understood why. When he wrote that letter, it really meant a lot because it obviously lets you know the impact, you know, he doing something right. It was something different, but the team is very young, very athletic, but we have a great group of guys as far as a whole unit. The things that he has put into place, it put us in the position we’re at now. You got through rough times, but a lot of it can change over time.
Some sources claim Philly’s ownership group had grown impatient with Hinkie’s lack of a clear timetable to be competitive and had been worn down by constant criticism. Others suggest Silver pressured the 76ers into making a change.
The league has never hidden its distaste for tanking, and sources around the NBA say Silver grew more irritated after the Sixers lost their first 18 games last fall and Okafor was involved in multiple off-court incidents. Ultimately, those sources say, it is likely that a combination of all those factors led to Jerry Colangelo’s hiring.
“We’re in a competitive business,” says one Western Conference exec. “I think a lot of people feared what Sam was doing: ‘What if it works? It will become the new model.'” Adds the former GM, “There was a perception that Sam thought he was smarter than everyone else.”