The 76ers have introduced new team president Rod Thorn. The move marks a reunion of Thorn and GM Ed Stefanski.
KYW’s Mike DeNardo reports that new Sixers president — and former Nets president — Rod Thorn (above) says he came to Philadelphia after chairman Ed Snider called:
“This is not about my ego. This is not about anybody’s ego here. This is about a team.”
Ed Stefanski, who was the Sixers’ president and GM, will keep the general manager’s job. He had held both roles since replacing Billy King in December 2007.
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Stefanski recalled that he was Thorn’s GM in New Jersey for seven years:
“We’re like the odd couple. We had no problem getting each other. We know each other’s strengths and how we can help each other.”
King succeeded Thorn as New Jersey’s GM last month. Thorn was president and general manager of the Nets for ten years before leaving in early July.
Thorn and Stefanski helped lead the Nets franchise to consecutive trips to the NBA finals. The Nets lost both times.
“There’s been a lot of speculation that I was retired,” Thorn said. “I was never retired. I retired from the Nets.”
Sixers’ chairman Ed Snider says the organization was excited to add one of the NBA’s “top executives.” The Sixers went 27-55 last year and missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
Thorn was contacted by Snider only a week after he left the Nets.
Thorn had called the shots for the Nets since 2000 and hired Avery Johnson as coach before resigning. Thorn helped turn the Nets into a contender in 2001 when he engineered a trade to bring Jason Kidd to New Jersey.
Before joining the Nets, Thorn was the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations from 1986-2000.
This is the latest big move this summer for the Sixers after they missed the playoffs last year. They fired coach Eddie Jordan after one season and replaced him with Doug Collins. Then they traded disgruntled center Sam Dalembert and drafted Ohio State guard Evan Turner with the #2 overall pick.
“We could always use some more, but I like some of the pieces that we have,” Thorn said.
Stefanski said after the season the Sixers took an “unacceptable” step backward in finishing 27-55 and missing the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
“We don’t want to take any more steps backward,” Thorn said. “We want to take steps forward.”
Stefanski called Thorn his mentor in the NBA.
(Photo by KYW’s Mike DeNardo)