Adam Aron reportedly out as Sixers' CEO; team mum
It has been a silent summer as far as the 76ers are concerned, as they've tried to secretly work out potential draft picks and haven't commented on who they may be interested in to be their next head coach.
With 3 days until the draft and new president and general manager Sam Hinkie’s first meeting with the press in more than a month, reports are that the team has fired CEO and part owner Adam Aron. Aron had not returned repeated calls or a text message from the Daily News as of this evening and the team said it had no comment. Hinkie also could not be reached for comment.
Last week Scott O’Neil, 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 Knicks, which was what Aron’s role was with the Sixers. But through the years, according to the New York Daily News, O’Neil became more involved in the basketball operations side.
The day Hinkie was introduced to the media, 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 again) and frequently tweeted of the new ownership's desire to make the team more fan-friendly, while promising to turn the mediocre oncourt product into a winner.
While that seemed to excite the fan base early on, Aron’s obsession with non-basketball issues wore thin with fans, who are more focused on wins and not about what type of halftime show or what type of lighting system should be installed at the Wells Fargo Center.
Aron, with his disheveled look and always present iPad, always made himself visible at home games to fans, often shaking hands, listening to ideas and even asking opinions. But when the team sunk this past season, finishing with only 34 wins, Aron was seen less, and his tweeting became practically nonexistent.
Aron previously was chairman and CEO of World Leisure Partners Inc., a consultancy he formed in 2006. Before that, he was the chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, the largest ski resort operatior in the United States. Before that, he had held positions at Norwegian Cruise Line, United Airlines and Hyatt Hotels. He is a graduate of Abington High School and was born and raised in Philadelphia.
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 in the 2012 London Olympics. Brown played college ball at Boston University, where he was coached by Rick Pitino.
On Twitter: @BobCooney76