On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Bleacher Report’s Yaron Weitzman, who wrote the book, “Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and The Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports.” Alex and Yaron discuss the 76ers’ tanking, behind-the-scenes stories from “The Process” and more. Time-stamps are below!
1:50: This is Yaron’s first book. He discusses how it came together and why he chose to write about the 76ers’ tanking.
3:50: Yaron writes that he initially thought he was writing the NBA version of “Moneyball,” but he quickly realized that wasn’t the case when Sam Hinkie chose not to participate. He talks about that challenge and how the book he wrote differs from the one he initially envisioned.
6:35: The Sixers didn’t participate either, which Yaron discusses.
9:40: Yaron discusses the process of writing this book and how it differed from writing articles for Bleacher Report.
12:10: In the book, Yaron writes about Allen Iverson’s departure from Philly, Doug Collins refusing to use analytics and the awful Andrew Bynum trade – all of which helped Hinkie initially get hired.
15:10: Yaron discusses Hinkie’s background. Hinkie actually got his start in the NFL, working for the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texas before moving over the NBA.
18:00: Yaron talks about some of his favorite behind-the-stories that he learned while doing the interviews and research for this book.
21:05: Many NBA agents were adamantly opposed to “The Process,” which Yaron details in the book. He discusses why agents were so unhappy and shares a story about Excel refusing to do business with Hinkie.
23:35: What was the mood like around those tanking 76ers teams? On one hand, there were no expectations. On the other hand, Yaron says that Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel butted heads behind-the-scenes.
25:25: Would those young 76ers teams have benefited from more veteran leadership at times?
29:30: In addition to finding Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, “The Process” also allowed the 76ers to find diamonds in the rough like Robert Covington, TJ McConnell and Jerami Grant among others.
31:30: Not only did Hinkie load up on draft picks, he improved Philadelphia’s technology, facility and player-development staff (which often gets overlooked).
33:30: Yaron discusses Embiid’s background. When he moved to the United States, he was shy, didn’t speak much English and had no friends. Yaron discusses his upbringing and how he was able to come out of his shell.
37:00: What are some things that Hinkie should have done differently?
40:05: One of the most interesting chapters in the book is about Markelle Fultz and his struggles after being drafted No. 1 overall. Yaron talks about what he learned while researching that chapter.
42:45: Yaron also writes about Bryan Colangelo losing his job because of burner accounts, with details about what was tweeted from the burner accounts, how those tweets came to light and much more.
46:00: Will we ever see a tank like “The Process” again?