A few hours before Wednesday’s game against the Rockets, Sixers’ General Manager Bryan Colangelo announced via press conference the team was deciding to rest Markelle Fultz for three games to allow him to recover from a sore shoulder. My question to him is: what took so long? Not only why did it take so long to rest a clearly injured player, but why the hell is this the first official time anyone is commenting on a seemingly serious situation?
Fans who have followed Bryan Colangelo’s tenure so far will surely tell you that this is just the latest blunder in a pattern of incompetency. Last season he and the front office essentially left Ben Simmons return timetable in limbo until finally shutting him down when it was already more than evident that would happen. When Joel Embiid suffered his knee injury on January 20th fans and media were initially lead to believe it was a bone bruise, only to see him shut down for the season after playing again on the 27th. It was later revealed in yet another presser that the team was aware of his torn meniscus when they let him suit up for his final game that night; It wasn’t until March that they decided to give him season-ending knee surgery. This man has a clear habit of making poor decisions and it’s worth asking whether or not he should stick around for the long haul, let alone another day.
Some fans will be quick to point out that we experienced similar frustrations with our previous GM, Sam Hinkie. But at least when Hinkie withheld information from fans it was due to a philosophy that treated everything like a commodity, including seemingly insignificant details. Call this strategy egotistical, call it arrogant, but what do you call Colangelo’s philosophy? So far he’s done nothing but mishandle his player’s injuries, lie to the fan base, and then look like an asshole when he has to correct himself in another press conference. To call him ‘arrogant’ or ‘egotistical’ would be to suggest that Colangelo has some sort of plan or clue – which he does not.
There were plenty of fans in Philly eager to tear down management throughout the first three seasons of the process for their “poor” handling of players injuries. But the reality of the situation is we currently watch a healthy Embiid & healthy Simmons on a nightly basis; something that pundits (Eskin, Cataldi, Missanelli) emphatically declared we would never see. Those same fans now proudly sit on the bandwagon while a man as clueless as Brian Colangelo skates by with minimal scrutiny. The player who actually warrants concern at this point is the one who Colangelo has been solely responsible for, Fultz, and if it weren’t for his ugly shooting thus far and general fan outrage I don’t think anyone would have done a single thing about it.
Colangelo arrived in Philly under the façade that he would deliver a more transparent plan than Hinkie and that’s why fans called for the latter’s head. However now that we’ve seen the fruits of Hinkie’s labor grow all Colangelo has done is induce anxiety with his incessant lies and PR bullshit. If Sam’s detractors weren’t being premature in their calls for his firing then I don’t consider myself premature in calling for Colangelo’s.