The NBA Royally Screwed The Philadelphia 76ers

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

A Warriors win away from the 76ers’ most important summer in recent memory, Philly is scrambling for a new GM.

One with normal collars this time.

With a talented young roster, cap space, and a bevy of available free-agent stars, the 76ers have a chance to transform themselves into long-term contenders this summer. Head coach Brett Brown is in charge in the interim.

But it didn’t have to be this way. All the NBA had to do was let the 76ers run the 76ers.

In 2015, the league helped install Bryan Colangelo’s father as the team’s head shot caller at the behest of other owners. Jerry Colangelo essentially took over for general manager Sam Hinkie, the progenitor of “The Process,” a blatant tank job that yielded few wins but high draft picks that became Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz, as well as the discovery of diamond in the rough Robert Covington.

Four months later, the team hired Bryan Colangelo. Hinkie colorfully resigned.

As the team’s GM, Bryan Colangelo’s crowning achievement was drafting unanimous No. 1 overall pick Simmons first overall.

His defining moment will be trading the No. 3 overall pick in 2017 and another high-value first-rounder to the Celtics for the right to take Fultz at No. 1. The Celtics then used the third pick to draft Jayson Tatum

With the wagons circling his son this week, Jerry was responsible for this type of totally-not-childish-at-all behavior.

The Colangelos have over five decades of NBA executive experience between them. And zero championships.

The NBA’s being party to such blatant father-son nepotism was laughable in 2016. Now, it’s a travesty. A black mark on the otherwise sterling record of commissioner Adam Silver.