76ers Blog: Owner Describes 'Different Place'
9/29/2013 2:24:00 PM
'It feels like a different place, so it's exciting' - Joshua Harris
Joshua Harris is set to enter his third season as managing owner of the 76ers. In 2011-2012, his first season at the helm, Harris saw his team, with an inherited administration and head coach, go 35-31 over the course of a lockout-shortened schedule, and stretch the Boston Celtics to a seventh game in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Looking back on that season, Harris said the Sixers 'out-performed expectations,' and that their achievements convinced him to retain the status quo of the organization's infrastructure.
The second season of Harris' tenure was, as he said in a sit-down with reporters earlier today, a 'disappointment;' the club finished 34-48, and didn't see their blockbuster off-season acquisition play in a single game. The Sixers' shortcomings gave Harris the confidence to alter his approach. 'The second season I think made me feel empowered that it was the right time to make a bunch of changes. I've always had the same vision, but I took it a little more slowly given the success of the first season.'
Harris hired Scott O'Neil as his new team president, Sam Hinkie as his general manager, and Brett Brown as his head coach, all of whom Harris described as 'A-players.' He said, 'We're putting the pieces in place to build a strong foundation for a consistently winning, competitive, championship team. That's always been my goal.' To reach that point, Harris believes that an increased emphasis on analytics, sports science, and accountability will give the team necessary edges to - over time - advance.
Over two full seasons of overseeing the Sixers, Harris has had his sports-owning perspective shaped by two opposite extremes; the exhilaration of what he called a 'magical' playoff run, and the frustrations that seemingly well-laid plans produced. He spoke about acquiring an understanding of the differences that exist between running a traditional business venture, and a professional sports team. In the sports realm, the media footprint is significantly larger, and there is a different nature of 'public trust' that must be established via a demonstrated commitment to winning.
Another contrast Harris pointed out is that fortunes don't change immediately in professional sports. During his session with reporters, Harris stressed his desire to win, and win consistently. But, he was also willing to acknowledge that in order to lift the 76ers' to that level, a degree of patience unfamiliar to him will be required.
As for some of the news items from today...
- Head coach Brett Brown said F Lavoy Allen has not been a very active participant in practices due to a knee issue.
- G / F James Anderson has been working with the Sixers' first-stringers. He admitted he was a bit surprised by the assignment, and expressed his hope to earn a starting position.
- SF Evan Turner has enjoyed having the chance to see some of the Sixers' younger guards in action, saying, 'They're all skilled, and bring something different to the table.' Turner also said that he and former teammate Jrue Holiday touched base a few days ago, catching up about things that 'regular people do.'
** Links to audio files can be found in upper right corner of article, below image **
- Joshua Harris: On changes made to 76ers administration, and outlook for 2013-2014 season
- Joshua Harris: On management style in dealing with various investments, whether they be business ventures, or professional sports ventures
- Brett Brown: On versatility of 76ers' guards, and the impact that current injuries could have on the team's rotation