For the first time in many months, there was a smattering of interest in the 76ers as reports were leaking that the organization had fired CEO Adam Aron.
Late last night, however, 76ers spokesperson Michael Preston confirmed to the Daily News that, despite numerous reports (not by the Daily News) that cited sources, Aron had not been let go.
Aron, also a minority owner of the team, has been associated in the business world with majority owner Josh Harris for close to 20 years.
"They have been together for a long time and they will continue to work together with the 76ers," Preston said. "Adam Aron will continue to work for the 76ers. He has not been fired. All reports saying he was were wrong."
Those reports started circulating yesterday afternoon, which seemed odd because both Aron and Harris were out of the country at the time.
It appears, though, that Aron's role with the team may change. Last week, Scott O'Neil, the former New York Knicks executive and Villanova alum, visited with the team, according to a source. O'Neil resigned as president of Madison Square Garden in September. Originally, O'Neil was mostly involved in the marketing aspect of the team, which was what Aron's role is with the Sixers. But through the years, according to the New York Daily News, O'Neil became more involved in basketball operations side.
On May 16, the day Sam Hinkie was introduced to the media as the Sixers' new president and general manager, there were reports that Aron's role with the team had been cut back. But even before Hinkie was in front of the microphone for the first time at his new position, Aron told anyone and everyone who was in attendance that "my role has not changed one bit. I don't know where that report came from."
Aron gained the interest of Sixers fans with his constant tweeting after being hired in 2011. He harped on bringing in a new mascot, changed public-address announcers (from Matt Cord to Tom Lamaine and then back to Cord) and frequently tweeted of the new ownership's desire to make the team more fan-friendly while promising to turn the mediocre on-court product into a winner.
While that seemed to excite the fan base early on, Aron's obsession with non-basketball issues wore thin with the team's followers, who are more focused on wins and not about what type of halftime show or lighting system should be installed at the Wells Fargo Center.
Aron, with his disheveled look and always-present iPad, made himself extremely visible and accessible at home games, often shaking hands, listening to ideas and even asking opinions of fans. But when the team soured this past season, finishing with just 34 wins, Aron was seen less and his tweeting became practically non-existent.
Though he may be less visible and perhaps may be answering to a new title in the future, Aron's future is with Harris, his longtime associate, and the Sixers.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Sixers have asked and received permission to talk with San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown about their head coaching vacancy.
Brown interviewed with the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, according to reports, for their head coaching job.
Brown has worked for the Spurs for the past seven seasons, two as an assistant to head coach Gregg Popovich and five as the director of player development. He coached for 14 years in the Australian National Basketball League and coached the Australian national team to the 2012 London Olympics. He played college ball at Boston University, where he was coached by Rick Pitino.