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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Owner Josh Harris: 'I love the Sixers in Philly. I'm committed to it.'

(Christopher A. Vito)

76ers owner Josh Harris covered a lot of ground Sunday in his State of the Sixers address, including offering a response to fans who questioned his purchase last month of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and what impact that would have on their team.

Check out Monday’s Delco Times for a full report, but for now, here are a few select snippets:

On expectations for the 2013-14 season: “We’re really putting the pieces in place to build a strong foundation for a consistently winning, championship-winning team. That’s been my goal. I’ve kind of always had that vision and now we’re doing it. I’m very excited about where we are.”

On Andrew Bynum: “Sometimes in sports, there’s an element of randomness. Going for Andrew Bynum was the right decision because it’s very tough to get a player of that caliber. We did a bunch of work and his health problems ended up being much worse than we thought, than anyone thought. The decision was fine. I’m a big boy. We’re big boys. We’re adults. We made a decision and it didn’t work out. I’m not discouraged.”

On his purchase of the Devils: “I understand if you are born and bred and live in Philadelphia, I can certainly understand that you’re an all-Philly fan. And so I acknowledge that. My answer to the fans is, you know, I love the Sixers in Philly. I’m committed to it. I have personal ties in Philly through my mom and in Newark through my dad. The fact that I also own a hockey team in Newark doesn’t change at all my commitment to the city, the Sixers and basketball. I’m here, on a Sunday, with my family. I’ve been at the games. I’ll be at the games. The number of hours I’ve spent putting in place Scott and Sam and Brett was enormous. I’m totally focused on the Sixers and won’t change one iota how driven I am to make this team a championship team.”

On whether he favors basketball or hockey: “I love both sports. Historically, I’m more of a basketball fan.”

On focusing on next year’s draft: “There are many ways to acquire good NBA talent. Certainly the draft is one good effective way. There are other ways – there’s free agency, trades. Andrew Bynum, we did not draft. I think we’ve shown we will spend and be aggressive when we see opportunities. … We’re going to position ourselves for all of those opportunities and take advantage of them aggressively. That certainly showed last season. We spent a lot of money and didn’t have a lot of results. We’re big boys. And we’ll do it again if we see the right opportunity.”

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