Jerry Colangelo Rumors
Not everyone was as hopeful; Pat Riley said at the time that he thought the rule changes would be the death of the game. But the Suns saw an opportunity. In the summer of 2004, ahead of the first season post-hand-checking, Phoenix signed Steve Nash in free agency. Then–Suns owner Jerry Colangelo had led the special committee behind the rule changes, and now his team had the perfect sports bike to weave through the big rigs that were being forced out of the lane.
“We had a built-in advantage because Jerry Colangelo was the chairman of that board. We knew from the very beginning what was likely to come about. So we were able to plan for longer than everybody else,” said David Griffin, the Suns’ former VP of basketball ops and staffer for nearly two decades. “If you told Daryl Morey right now that three years from now the cap is going to be a number that only he knows, Houston’s going to have a pretty big advantage. We were able to build a team that’s pretty ahead of the curve.”
“The first thing we had to determine, and we think we have a pretty good feel for this, is who’s really committed,” Colangelo said during a conference call. “Who’s really interested in moving forward with us. There are a lot of candidates on the Warriors who have indicated they wish to be part of it. So as we kind of watch this season, and this is not the secret sauce, but basically we have to monitor what’s happening during the course of the regular season in the NBA as it relates to injuries, as it relates to other circumstances that come up before we get down to really inviting the number of individuals that we plan to, to come to our camp next summer in preparation for the World Cup.”
It will be Colangelo and Gregg Popovich, who officially took over for Krzyzewski after the 2016 Rio Olympics, to choose those guys. Colangelo said there was initially an expectation on his part to step away from the program in 2016 along with Krzyzewski. But after Popovich said he would be willing to coach the team on one condition — that Colangelo stay at the helm — those plans changed. “So, in my mind, that gets me through 2020,” Colangelo said. “And then, we’ll see.”
In discussing the situation, Colangelo termed his own tenure in Philadelphia — with which he served as a special adviser — as over, before clarifying that it is “over at the end of the year.” A league source confirmed that account. While Colangelo is under contract through the end of this calendar year, and the 76ers will be honoring that contract, it won’t be renewed. It is an awkward ending to what was one of the stranger stories in recent NBA memory.