Smallwood: Agree or not, at least Bryan Colangelo explained himself

Bryan Colangelo
Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo meets with the media at the Sixers' training complex in Camden to talk about the direction of the team and recent trades.

See, now that wasn’t that hard.

It doesn’t matter if media, fans or whoever still do not fully trust Sixers President/General Manager Bryan Colangelo.

On Friday, in perhaps his most critical press conference as head of the Sixers basketball operations, Colangelo came off as a leader who is in charge, fully aware of where he wants to take this franchise and how to get there.

Is everyone going to agree with what Colangelo said? Of course, not, but that’s not the nature of running a professional sports franchise.

There are still people who disagree with the way Bill Belichick operates the New England Patriots.

But after a disastrous week of public relations, Colangelo needed to step to the plate with some direct answers to some difficult questions.

So, a day after he unloaded center Nerlens Noel in an unpopular trade with the Dallas Mavericks, Colangelo not only explained his logic behind that trade but also announced that injured No.1 overall pick Ben Simmons will not play this season; that he could have handled the injury situation with center Joel Embiid better; that he traded forward Ersan Ilyasova because of the emergence of rookie Dario Saric and that most of all the Sixers are not tanking and are fully committed to building a championship team.

“Nothing has changed with respect to the plan and the vision,” Colangelo said. “It is to build a successful and sustainable basketball program.

“The things that we go through on a daily basis, striving for success, striving for perfection are unchanged. We are aspiring to win an NBA championship and that means we’re building a program based on multi-positional talent, multi-positional skills and championship DNA.

“That goes into every decision that is made across the board. As we move forward, there are a lot of bright things on the horizon.  … We are moving forward for that future and the future is closer than I think a lot of people realize.”

People don’t have agree with Colangelo’s reasoning that it was better to trade Noel rather than sign him to an extension the team did not feel comfortable with or even risk trying a sign-and-trade.

They don’t have to buy Colangelo’s explanation for shutting down Simmons because each person heals differently based on “genetics, rest, exercise, diet. Everything plays a factor here.”

If people still believe that his earlier fumbling of the explanations about the injuries to Embiid was an attempt to deceive fans so they would buy tickets, he can’t control that.

It’s not Colangelo’s job to make decisions based on what the media or fans think. We’re going to have our opinions of what he does regardless.

Bryan Colangelo was hired to do what he believes is best for the Sixers. If it turns out he’s wrong, that will be addressed later.

His responsibility to the fans is to present a clear understanding of that vision – to show that he knows what he wants to do.

That’s what Colangelo did at his press conference on Friday.