The Philadelphia 76ers just wouldn’t stick to the plan. Or at least stick to it long enough.
Sam Hinkie, the man famous for tanking the Sixers and hoarding draft picks over the last three seasons, stepped down as general manager on Wednesday in a 13-page resignation letter that quoted the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Bill Belichick and Warren Buffett.
Hinkie was apparently dissatisfied with recent changes to the organization that prevented him from carrying out his long-term rebuilding strategy that’s sparked much criticism from those in the basketball world.
Given all the changes to our organization, I no longer have the confidence that I can make good decisions on behalf of investors in the Sixers—you. So I should step down. And I have.
According to ESPN, Hinkie was expected to surrender some authority this offseason, as the Sixers have been very interested in hiring two-time NBA Executive of the Year Bryan Colangelo, who will likely take over Hinkie’s job now that he’s gone.
To put it simply, Hinkie already looked to be on the way out because ownership was getting tired of his long game being too long. The Sixers have to start winning at some point, right?
Not to mention, Hinkie is kind of weird guy. His Lincoln quotes weren’t even real Lincoln quotes.
A league with 30 intense competitors requires a culture of finding new, better ways to solve repeating problems. In the short term, investing in that sort of innovation often doesn’t look like much progress, if any. Abraham Lincoln said “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
That quote had nothing to do with Lincoln.
Hinkie also used Belichick as an example to argue that even though he f*cked up, his original intention was to not f*ck up, and that’s why he’s a humble guy (you can’t make this sh*t up).
A way to prop up this kind of humility is to keep score. Use a decision journal. Write in your own words what you think will happen and why before a decision. Refer back to it later. See if you were right, and for the right reasons (think Bill Belichick’s famous 4th down decision against Indianapolis in 2009 which summarizes to: good decision, didn’t work). Reading your own past reasoning in your own words in your own handwriting time after time causes the tides of humility to gather at your feet. I’m often in waist-deep water here.
First of all, I’m a Patriots fan and there was nothing good about Belichick’s decision to go for it on fourth down. I was literally screaming at the television, “Punt it!” But regardless, there’s something ironic about a man who went 47-195 as GM quoting a guy that’s won six Super Bowls.
Sorry Hinkie, you’re no Bill Belichick.