Saturday, February 25, 2006

Breaking: Ed Snider and Billy King to Wed

We’ve had our doubts about Billy King for some time now but it’s now getting clearer. He’s just plain bad.

He’s acting like it’s been difficult to form a winning team around AI. Allen Iverson is one of the best players to have ever played basketball. Period.

Billy King should be heavily chastised for squandering (thus far) one of the best talents to have ever graced the hard-court anywhere.

It didn’t take much to see what type of player the Sixers (circa 2002) needed to complete the package. It wasn’t Keith Van Horn. It wasn’t Tony Kukoc. It wasn’t Glenn Robinson. It wasn’t hard to see that they needed a good forward. Hmm, who would fit in here in Philly? Maybe someone who’s awesome and a little rough around the edges (a la Iverson)? Maybe someone who would love the idea of playing here, i.e. someone who’s played here before? It was disturbingly obvious. Why Billy King never went after Philadelphia native Rasheed Wallace in 2003 or 2004 is completely beyond me. When he finally figured it out and went after a good forward, the forward he got was not close to his former self.

King’s incompetence is still widely unrecognized. (Kudos to the 700Level for their insight earlier this month.) And he’s definitely still untouchable as Ed Snider hearts him. What’s frustrating is Billy King is so bad that he has the majority of people, both fans here in Philadelphia and press across the country, convinced that the Sixers can not win with Allen Iverson. That couldn’t be more wrong. Allen Iverson isn’t nicknamed “The Answer” by accident. He is the motherfucking answer to Philadelphia’s championship drought.

And if we had a GM that was slightly more competent than our cousin’s golden retriever, AI would have already closed the deal.

So double respect to the Sports Guy for nailing it with his piece yesterday. Bill Simmons faux-moderated the first-annual Atrocious GM Summit over All Star Weekend in Houston. It was a round table discussion with a “dream panel” of atrocious GMs including Philadelphia's Billy King; former Raptors GM Rob Babcock; Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak; former Knicks GM Scott Layden; former Cavs GM Jim Paxson; Minnesota's Kevin McHale; former Orlando GM John Weisbrod; and, of course, Isiah Thomas of the New York Knicks. The full transcript is available on Page 2. The juicy excerpt below is but one of several highlights.
Simmons: So if you don't want to kill your team with bad drafting, what other recourses are there besides trades?

[Isiah] Thomas: Keep changing the roster -- you don't want any semblance of continuity. Once guys get used to playing with one another, they might start winning. …

[Billy] King: I'm also a big fan of giving out absurd contracts that tie up your cap space, ...

Just look at what I've done in Philly: Since we made the 2001 Finals, I gave Mutombo a $68 million extension even though he could have been, like, 48 years old for all we knew. I gave $35.5 million to Aaron McKie. I gave $29 million to Eric Snow. I gave $18 million to Greg Buckner. I gave $40 million to Kenny Thomas and $25 million to Brian Skinner. I gave $25 million to Kyle Korver and $60 million to Sam Dalembert last summer. That's $300 million of contracts to guys who were either on the decline or never that good in the first place. Plus, I traded for other bad contracts, guys like Keith Van Horn, Glenn Robinson, Kevin Ollie, you name it. And then, last February, the pinnacle -- dumping three bad contracts for C-Webb, who everyone thought couldn't be traded because of his contract and because he ran with a limp. …

(The crowd applauds.)

King: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Related: Who's worse at their job: Billy King or Isiah Thomas? (ESPN)
Related: Why is there no (700Level)
Earlier: Charles Barkley Redux

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