Josh Harris Rumors

Sixers owner now after Mets?

Private equity billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer are now serious about making a run at the Amazins, adding the baseball club to their portfolio of teams that already includes the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. The interest was first reported by Variety. Harris, who co-founded mega-investment firm Apollo Global in 1990, and Blitzer, a senior exec at Blackstone Group, bought the Sixers for $280 million in 2011 and then scooped up a majority stake in the Devils in 2013. In 2017, the two formed Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a holding company for their sports franchises that also includes the English Premier League soccer club Crystal Palace.

Storyline: Coronavirus
The lessons of it all have been poorly extracted. Did Harris and Blitzer make a good or bad move in hiring Hinkie? Weitzman’s book is much-needed. This is the basketball world’s first shot at really understanding what even happened. It’s packed with new information, and it’s a lovely read. “I thought I was writing Moneyball or Astroball,” says Weitzman. But instead, it’s personal, touching on poignant scenes like the night Embiid—perhaps the best center in the NBA, and the centerpiece of Hinkie’s accomplishments—learned his brother Arthur had died. Coach Brown skipped the team’s preseason game to join Embiid at his apartment, as did Hinkie. But Hinkie understood the death of a brother in a whole different way. He had also lost a brother.
“But anyways, one of the conversations people are starting to have in the league is ‘will they move Embiid? What’s the price? Where would he go?’ I’m not going to get into that, but my point is people are talking about that. I don’t think they would do that without making an adjustment to the head coach. It’s such a radical thing, but the fact that we’re in mid-February and the people who work in the league, who have to prepare in advance, are mulling over Joel Embiid potentially coming to market, whether that’s true or not… I mean, Josh Harris can come on this podcast and deny it if he wants, but the fact people are talking about it, is not good. It’s a symptom of where they are.”
5 months ago via ESPN
Derek Bodner: Elton Brand, while reiterating that he believes in Brett Brown as the team’s coach, does admit that the org chart has changed. Previously, it was conveyed that Brown and Brand both reported to owner Josh Harris. Now, according to Brand, it’s a more normal GM/Coach hierarchy.
Storyline: 76ers Front Office
Meanwhile, Brown’s approach hasn’t changed. He talks up his best players, never criticizing them publicly. And to this point, it’s worked, obviously: Embiid and Simmons, 25 and 23 years old, are All Stars. But they still have a big piece of themselves to overcome, or to unlock. They still need to grow up. Which gives Brown, who started out in Philly with all the room in the world, a dilemma: Suddenly, he has very little time. Sixers owner Josh Harris has a history of listening to the noise of fans and media, plenty of whom think the team’s head coach should stop babying his two stars and force-feed their growth, given that they’re being paid tens of millions a year and we’re so close to that championship.
Josh Harris told us last week that the Sixers want to keep both Tobias Harris and Butler because players of that caliber are difficult to acquire. He’s right. The franchise learned that difficult lesson last offseason when they had oodles of cap space but no high-level free agents to ladle it out to. Retaining Harris and Butler would zoom them deep into the luxury tax for the foreseeable future and handicap how the Sixers can fill out the rest of the roster—especially because Simmons will soon be in line to sign an extension. That would be a lot of money wrapped up in four players. “We get it,” Harris stipulated. “It’s expensive.”
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Free Agency
Given an opportunity to endorse Brett Brown, 76ers managing partner Josh Harris was non-committal when asked about the embattled coach’s future before Saturday’s 111-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of opening-round of the playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Harris had stated in the past that it would be problematic if the Sixers don’t do well in the postseason. So he was asked to clarify that statement, and if Brown would be his coach next season no matter what happens in the playoffs. “What I meant by it is that all of us – Brett, [general manager] Elton [Brand], me, a lot of us, the players on the team,” Harris said of his past comments. “ We have high expectations. So that is what I meant.
“We learned a lot from our series against the Celtics, and we felt we needed Jimmy,” Josh Harris told The Athletic. “Since last summer, we’ve felt we needed a third elite talent. You don’t get a chance to get this talent every day. Jimmy wants to win, and Joel and Ben want to win. That’s the bottom line.” “When you can add a talented four-time All-Star, you got to do it and then worry about everything else afterward,” Brand told The Athletic. “We already lost to Milwaukee, we already lost to Boston, we already lost to Toronto — we needed to take a shot, take a leap. That was my thought, my vision. Me and my staff, we talked to ownership and they had our backs. You get the talent first. Talent wins. “When I talked to Nazr and Mike, they genuinely love Jimmy and say, ‘He just wants to win, EB. This is all about hoop.’ Of course, the money, whatever, it will work out when it’s time. We hope he sees a fit, and we hope we see a fit.”
Storyline: Sixers Front Office
Once the Wolves finally came to the conclusion that a deal had to be made, owner Glen Taylor spoke personally with Sixers owner Josh Harris to push it through, sources said. The Wolves were in a difficult position from a bargaining perspective given all of the negativity, and losing, that had enveloped the franchise. The Wolves were eyeing three offers from different teams, but made the decision on Saturday to go forward with Philly’s package, sources said.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler to Sixers?
This season’s goal is simple for Josh Harris. “We’ve got to get deeper in the playoffs,” Harris, the 76ers’ co-managing owner, said Friday, before the NBA China preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks in Shanghai. “Obviously, I don’t want to look by the regular season. But we’re assuming that we are going to have a good regular season based on the talent we have on the floor. So we need to get deeper in the playoffs.”
Pressed on who would ultimately have final say in the organization, Josh Harris gave a rather roundabout answer that both did and did not answer the question: “Elton and Brett are partners, like in many, many great organizations in basketball, him and Brett are partners. Both of them report to me and to ownership, and we expect they’ll be collaborating a lot. Ultimately, Brett is the on the court voice, and Elton’s the off-the-court voice. Elton will have kind of the loudest voice off the court, and final decisionmaking authority subject to ownership…minute-to-minute coach sort of decisions will be Brett, and personnel decisions, trades, free agency will be Elton.”
Storyline: Sixers Front Office
In fact, Harris’ primary rebuttal to questions about Brand’s lack of experience was to point to what he did as a player and not anything specific he’d done to date as a Sixers staffer: “Elton has 17 years experience as a player, and you can’t discount that in terms of understanding how this league works and how to get to the next level. And in his two years of management experience, we’ve been incredibly impressed, and then during the interview process, his vision and ability to lead was evident. But also, just the broad support he had internally, across the board, and so it became a relatively easy decision for us, he rose.”
The 76ers’ search for a president of basketball operations/general manager could drag on. “I think it’s going to take a while to find the right person,” Sixers co-managing partner Josh Harris said Monday at the NBA Summer League. “I hate to keep talking about it, but we really need to find the right person who can develop the special culture. It’s very consensus-oriented.”
Storyline: Sixers Front Office
Bryan Colangelo: Although I am not directly responsible for the actions, I regret this incident occurred and understand that it has become a distraction for the team. Therefore, the organization and I have mutually agreed to part ways. Over the last two years, I have worked hard to help build a foundation for what I hope will soon be many championship seasons for the 76ers. I am grateful to team owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer for the opportunity they gave me to be part of such a great organization. I am saddened to have to leave under these circumstances. Basketball has been a core part of my life since childhood. I love the game and all those who play and coach it. I want to thank the many colleagues, players and friends from around the League and elsewhere who have expressed their support and encouragement during this difficult and painful time for me and my family.
Philadelphia 76ers: Statement from 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris: The Philadelphia 76ers organization has accepted the resignation of President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo, effective immediately. We appreciate Bryan’s many contributions during his time leading our basketball operations and thank him for the work he did in positioning the team for long-term success.
Under Brown’s leadership, Philadelphia has increased its win total by 42 games since the start of the 2015-16 season, a run that tied Boston (2006-08) for the largest turnaround within a three-year span in NBA history. “Brett has done a remarkable job in helping build a family-like culture centered around player development, work ethic and a commitment to long-term winning. We made incredible strides this past season with 52 wins and a playoff run,” said Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris. “With a dynamic young core and opportunities to further strengthen our team, the 76ers are well-positioned for the future and we’re thrilled to reach this agreement with Brett to continue as our head coach.”
Brown, the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March/April, guided the 76ers to 16 straight wins to end the season, which set an NBA record for the longest winning streak by a team heading in the playoffs. The 16-game winning streak is a single-season team record. “I am especially grateful to my coaching staff and my players,” said Brown. “It takes a village. I feel a tremendous responsibility to owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to help grow and lead our program. They have treated my family and me with integrity and care. They are great owners to work for. The city of Philadelphia deserves a parade and this evolution is all that is on my mind. I am excited to partner with Bryan Colangelo and Scott O’Neil to continuously strive for this elusive goal.”
Team co-managing partner Josh Harris acknowledged Saturday night the plan is to keep Brown beyond the end of next season when his contract is set to expire. “I’m invested in keeping Brett here for a long time,” Harris said before the Sixers defeated the Miami Heat, 130-103, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Center.
Team co-managing partner Josh Harris acknowledged Saturday night the plan is to keep Brown beyond the end of next season when his contract is set to expire. “I’m invested in keeping Brett here for a long time,” Harris said before the Sixers defeated the Miami Heat, 130-103, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Center.
Brown compiled just 75 wins during first four seasons while the Sixers were tanking for top draft picks. He, however, led the team with a 52-30 record, third-place in the Eastern Conference and their first postseason appearance in since the 2011-12 season. They’ve also concluded the regular season with 16 straight wins to set a record for the most consecutive wins to end a season. “I think he should be coach of the year,” Harris said. “I think that Brett was clearly an amazing coach before this year in terms of his player development skills, and his vision and the culture that he built.”
Storyline: Brett Brown Contract
Josh Harris: “Obviously, we chose the draft. That takes longer because you get one or two good players a year. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. We’ve had some of those. But my vision was of restoring Philly’s greatness and going deep in the playoffs and ultimately win an NBA championship. That was really what I set out to do. So it allowed me to take a long-term point of view even though it was really frustrating to go through the losing. I stuck with it. We stuck with it. I’m glad we did.”