His phone cut out once. When it cut out a second time, he
“I’m driving through the mountains,” 76ers president Rod
Thorn said with a chuckle. “If I lose you again, you can blame that on me.”
Thorn was in a great frame of
mind Friday night, after the Sixers announced that they had promoted the guy
they expect to take Thorn’s place.
The Sixers made senior vice
president Tony DiLeo the team’s general manager, the 12th in franchise history.
The Sixers fully expect DiLeo to use the upcoming season to glean as much from
Thorn as possible before Thorn leaves his post for a more-cozy consultant’s
role with the team.
“Tony’s capable enough to do
the job without me meddling too much,” Thorn said.
DiLeo, 57, who enters his 23rd season with the Sixers, has
been with the team since 1990 and has served in a variety of capacities in the
front office. A former assistant coach, he took over for coach Maurice Cheeks
when the Sixers fired him after opening the 2008-09 season with nine wins in 23
games. DiLeo led the Sixers to the playoffs that season, after which he
withdrew his name from consideration as full-time coach and returned to a role
Thorn didn’t confirm particular names of guys the Sixers
called in for interviews for the general manager post, but a few have been
widely reported. According to a CBS Sports report, they interviewed Tom Penn, a
former executive with the Trail Blazers, and Jeff Bower, an ex-Hornets exec,
but instead returned to DiLeo. It's also believed the team tried to sit down
with Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri, but Denver's brass nixed those bids
by the Sixers.
“In terms of the interview process, we interviewed a
number of people and got different perspectives,” Thorn said. “We always felt
Tony was a strong candidate because of his experience. With his experience, he
knows what he's doing. ... At the end of the day, he was going to be our
# # #
On an editorial note:
This is the first of what will be many posts throughout the Sixers' season -- and beyond. So make sure to bookmark the blog and check back regularly for observations, musings, news and notes. Thanks for stopping by.
Labels: Maurice Cheeks, Rod Thorn, Tony DiLeo