Sam Hinkie Rumors
It’s been a long road back for the Sixers to the top, with “The Process” era finally coming full circle to sit atop the East, something Joel Embiid reflected on. “It starts from when the Sixers finished a season 10-62,” Embiid said. “I think that’s when it started. From that time we’ve only improved.”
At times, meetings with Thibodeau and Aller grew heated. Thibodeau would even mock Aller and call him “Hinkie” (a reference to Sam Hinkie, architect of the Philadelphia 76ers “Process”). Some around the team found this tussling strange. It’s one thing for a group that’s been together for years to debate the organization’s direction; it’s another to have this kind of philosophical disagreement among new hires brought in by a team president, who, in theory, during interviews would have shared his plan. “Leon’s communication isn’t always great,” a second person with close Knicks ties said. “He can be hands-off.”
From your perspective as a player, what did you think of Hinkie as an executive and what he was trying to build there at the time? Richaun Holmes: Sam, for me, he gave a lot of guys a chance to prove themselves in the NBA. I don’t know if I get drafted to any other team other than Philly at that time. I don’t know if any other situation could’ve worked out like Philly did. I feel like he gave a lot of young players a chance to prove themselves. A lot of guys need time and development. I think that’s one thing Sam was banking on was developing guys and getting guys prepared to play and getting the most of them. I think he had an eye for talent in that way.
For those fans, Hinkie’s endorsement of Morey might… be concerning. It shouldn’t be, but it might be. Here’s how Hinkie evaluated the Sixers hiring Morey, and why he thinks Morey will be a great fit for the organization: “This is why Daryl Morey will be good for this job, and has been good at his job for a really, really long time. In February 2009, we traded 32-year-old Rafer Alston for 22-year-old Kyle Lowry to be our backup point guard [in Houston]. […] I sent Daryl this very emotional, for me, text, and I said, ‘I’m so proud to work here, because you have done the hard right thing, which is, in the midst of where we are, leaned into this thing that we have massive conviction around.’ [..] “We’re going to get roasted in the interim. We traded our starting point guard, and we were good. We were, like, a four seed or five seed? We were interesting. And we traded our starting point guard. […]
“We’d long had our eyes on Kyle Lowry, and loved him, loved his makeup. And so we knew this was the time to do it. Increasingly the way the team was going, it was not going to work, in our minds, if Rafer continued to run the team. […] “It was the hard right thing, and we did it. […] And I was so happy to do it, even though I knew the papers were going to beat us up for a little while. […] That kind of hard right thing, I think Daryl will help with a bunch.”