Not even a year ago, Adam Aron strutted proudly into the Constitution Center to present Andrew Bynum to the 76ers faithful in a moment that offered much hope for a struggling franchise. The team seemingly found the superstar center it has been missing since Moses Malone brought home the last NBA title in 1983. After a season full of promise spiraled into one full of apathy, sources say Aron may be relieved of his position just two years into his tenure as the 76ers CEO.
Majority owner Joshua Harris would likely keep him with the team in some capacity, such was the case with coach Doug Collins after he resigned. Last night however, upon learning the rumors after returning from vacation, Aron took to Twitter to address the issue much like he did many times last year to defend the teams performance. He even channeled Mark Twain, saying he hasn’t been fired and that “reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” I don’t know which is more annoying: this June humidity, the conflicting reports or Adam Aron snarkly tweeting Twain quotes.
Upon his hiring Aron promised to improve the experience for fans, hoping to revive the Wells Fargo Center on game nights. Gimmicks like the rapid fire T-shirt cannon and parachute drops, Twitter ticket giveaways, and the ill-fated Phil E. Moose mascot idea all happened on his watch. In a sports town like Philly the bottom line is winning games not dollar-dog eating contests. The team’s performance last season failed to meet expectations following a run to the 2012 Eastern semi-finals and the shallow attendance reflected the fan-base disappointment. Changes to the organization and roster were to be expected.
The move itself would not surprise me but the timing certainly makes you wonder what is going on behind the scenes. The 76ers have yet to hire a head coach and the NBA draft takes place on Thursday. Joshua Harris would obviously have a plan in place if he does pull the trigger and displace Adam Aron within the hierarchy. One rumor has Scott O’Neil, formerly of the New York Knicks, joining the team and could be the potential replacement as next CEO. Honestly I am not familiar with him and coming from the Knicks doesn’t exactly equal success. Right now its more crucial that GM Sam Hinkie hires a bright, young coach and maximizes the eleventh pick in the draft. What the owner does regarding Aron and the title of CEO is of minor impact right now. Let’s just hope the moose mascot idea stays on ice with Bynum’s knees.Tags: Adam Aron, Andrew Bynum, Doug Collins, Joshua Harris, Moses Malone, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Sam Hinkie, Scott O'Neil