THERE HAS always been a closer relationship between the Sixers and this city.
Maybe it's because Philadelphia is such a superb basketball town, producing hordes of professional talent every year; with six teams seeking men's NCAA Tournament bids every season; with its cathedral at 33rd and Walnut; with Doc and Wilt and even A.I. in its venerable NBA past.
OK, maybe not closer. When the Eagles and Phillies win, the town goes insane. Just . . . special.
So, maybe that's why, after enduring the Season of Bynum, it seemed so callous of the franchise to ignore its fan base after gutting itself.
Get used to it.
This is Josh Harris' show. He runs businesses. He runs them efficiently.
He makes money.
The abdication by head coach and chief machiavel Doug Collins, the firing of general manager Tony DiLeo and the brief, hollow introduction of young GM Sam Hinkie all proceeded with curt, corporate efficiency.
And then, for 6 weeks, nothing . . . until 1:08 a.m. Friday morning, after the Sixers had traded, and drafted, and formed their summer league team.
It's as if everyone involved signed nondisclosure agreements stipulating that any questions regarding the team would be unanswered, ignored or evaded.
As such, be assured that chances to ask such questions will be limited.
You think Harris holds news conferences when he's considering recasting "American Idol"? When he's considering where to build his next casino? His next Hardee's?
No, Harris and his investment group hired Hinkie to obscure and to condescend. Hinkie, 35, was unabashed in these admissions, unashamed in his patronization of a group of journalists who had been doing their jobs for a decade or more before he landed at the University of Oklahoma.
He encouraged discussion involving "something we should be pretty excited about," namely his team's drafting of Michael Carter-Williams.
The roomful of objective journalists should be excited about this?
Hinkie estimated that the Sixers worked out as many as 60 players leading up to the draft, but the team did not publicly own up to any workouts.
"Secrecy during the draft is pretty important," Hinkie said. "People not knowing what you're going to do is helpful."
Except . . . each of those players has an agent. Each of those agents told every team in the league where his players worked out. It helps create demand in the marketplace. Harris knows all about this.
"I think it's a very important part of the job to explain why we do things," Hinkie said. "I'm unlikely to leak who we want to pick. I'm unlikely to tip people off for the next move we're about to make."
DN Members Only: Report that Andrew Bynum won't work out for interested teams.
On Twitter: @inkstainedretch