PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Scott O’Neil has not been CEO of the Sixers for very long, but he’s certainly got a lot of important experience in the last two weeks. First, O’Neil appeared on the WIP Morning Show and was grilled by guest host Howard Eskin. On Thursday, he stopped by the show again, this time questioned by Angelo Cataldi.
On the list of topics for Cataldi was an apology from the team for Andrew Bynum. More specifically, for any fan who bought tickets expecting to see Bynum, and didn’t.
“I apologize on behalf of the Sixers to any fan, who invested and thought Bynum was going to be their guy and be the savior,” O’Neil said. “At the end of the day, that’s our apology, to every fan, not just to you. However, we’re going to take some chance when we can take some chances, and sometimes they’re not going to work. And sometimes they are. When they don’t work, the last thing—we’re not going to ever talk about a player negatively. That’s doesn’t help us, or the franchise, or the fans. It doesn’t help us recruit, it doesn’t help go out and grab free agents, it doesn’t help us when we’re evaluating talent, it doesn’t help us when we’re talking to coaches—it just doesn’t help. We’re going to be very positively publicly, as we always were, but if there is ever a chance where we slip or we fall down, we’ll stand up and say either ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘hey it didn’t work out, we made a mistake’. And that’s OK, that’s life, but I’d rather push us to the limit and take some chances because if you’re afraid to make mistakes you’re never going to be great as a franchise.”
Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie hasn’t made O’Neil’s job any easier, in the short term at least, as quotes from Hinkie are few and far between. Hinkie has generally been quiet about the Sixers coaching search, and personnel the team may add.
“I will tell you, I know there’s a rush [to find a coach]. Let’s do it right! Let’s do it right now! How come you don’t have it right now?! We don’t have much of a rush,” O’Neil said. “We’re going to get the right person. Some of the names have been floating in the media, some haven’t. At the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather have the right guy, then the guy we can get tomorrow?”
After the disaster of last season, and of many over the last decade, both O’Neil and Hinkie have quite a mess to clean up, a challenge they both, so far, seem up to. Rather than taking a reactionary approach, the two seem invested in a long-term plan, which may lead to success, but it will doubtfully come this season.