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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Tony DiLeo is introduced as the new Sixers general manager later today, it will be the crowning achievement of his 22 years with the organization.
DiLeo has been director of scouting, assistant coach, interim head coach and assistant general manager for the team since 1990, but it’s general manager that is the title that is the most impressive, and to DiLeo, the job that fits his skill set best.
“I think one of my strengths is that I can gather information, I like to analyze it and come to a decision. So my role now will be more of a decision making role,” DiLeo told 94WIP’s Sonny Hill in an interview on Sunday morning. “And I’ll continue to gather information, decipher it, analyze it and come to a decision. You know, just plan for the team for the future, and that’s basically the same role, but I’ll be more of the decision making process.”
Rod Thorn will remain as the team president through the 2012-13 season, and Doug Collins continues as head coach. With those two strong personalities in the front office, DiLeo has a clear vision of his role. “I’ll be running the day to day operations that general managers do,” he said. “Calling teams, reaching out to agents, free agents, thinking about different trade scenarios, planning our team for the future, communicating with Doug Collins on a daily basis, just to find out what he’s thinking, what his needs are. And just planning everything for the team as we go into the season.”
Many of the candidates the Sixers were rumored to have interviewed for the then vacant general manager position have backgrounds in advanced statistics. DiLeo says that that even though none of those candidates were hired, the Sixers are still interested in adding someone of that ilk. “We’re going to make some changes. We’re going to try to upgrade our front office. Speaking of analytics, we’re going to add an analytics person to the front office to study different statistical things, and come up with recommendations from a statistical and analytical side that will help me make decisions. We’re going to add to our scouting staff to help me get more information,” he said.
DiLeo was here when Harold Katz owned the team, and then when it was owned by Comcast Spectacor, so he’s got some perspective on owners, and likes the current regime. “New ownership, it’s been great so far. They are really motivated to win a championship.They will give us anything we need to win a championship,” he said.
Listen to Sonny Hill’s interview with Tony DiLeo: