Coming into this season, the Sixers team president, Bryan Colangelo, knew he had an issue brewing between the front office Nerlens Noel. Would he be traded? How would he be used on this team during the 2016-2017 season if he wasn’t traded? Heck, every Sixers fan could see the lava bubbling up, steaming and getting ready to explode. Well, the culmination and eruption from a lack of professionalism finally happened here in the third week of December.
Why did it take so long to happen? Did it really have to happen? And why didn’t Colangelo, as president of this organization, have a plan in place to deal with his player personnel?
Unless you’re a Sixers fan living under a rock, it’s no secret that Noel asked for a trade months ago knowing this his role on the team was significantly diminished as he recovered from injury. Noel has averaged 10.4 points, 8 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 blocks in 144 career games. There’s certainly value there.
However, relations have soured as both the Noel camp and Sixers organization haven’t handled things in the most professional manners possible. The entire situation really is quite unfortunate given where the team is during the rebuild, especially as we’re seeing a generational talent in Joel Embiid take the court night after night. We’ve talked about this Noel issue at length on the podcast show being unable to provide distinct answers as to what happens with the team as we’ve seen a ripple effect on the court.
This past Sunday, Brett Brown said to the Philly media, “in this particular situation, it does hurt Nerlens. But in other situations, it hurts Joel, it hurts Ersan [Ilyasova], it hurts Dario [Saric]. So the ripple effects are real.” Further, the head coach then revealed that sitting Noel was the organization’s decision. Colangelo’s decision.
The very next day, Colangelo essentially threw Brown under the bus saying, those comments were taken a little bit out of context. When asked about it by the Philly press Colangelo said, “at some point, you will see him [Noel] on the court.” Thanks for the foresight, Bryan. Thanks for trying to figure this situation out prior to this awful apex. Colangelo went on further to say, “every day presents something different to this team.” Hmm. Well, how about we get away from “something different” and get to something that’s more solid and embrace a vision for the team. Staying afloat and in flux isn’t helping or developing anything. It’s hurting the rebuild. Period. We’ve all waited much too long
Frankly, this is amateur hour and not fair to Brett Brown who has coached a plethora of C- and D-level talent for the past few seasons. The organization should know and better than this. Give Brown his tools and say, here…here’s what you have to work with this season…start developing. Stop trying to shake the magic 8 ball, Bryan.
I’m not sure we’ll have any concrete answers to my aforementioned questions. This is on Colangelo and his complete, utter lack of front office leadership. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a distinct or well-defined plan to handle the Noel situation when there most certainly should have been. Inevitably, this is about team building, the fundamental job responsibility of what presidents and GMs need to effectively handle day-in and day-out. While my (and countless other fan’s) level of intrigue is still very high with this team, especially with Ben Simmons’ debut around the corner, there’s now a seed planted as to whether nor not Colangelo is the right executive to lead this Sixers organization into future.