My Summer Lair featuring Yaron Weitzman (Tanking to the Top)
Published on: March 24 2020
My Summer Lair Chapter #148: In Professional Sports What Matters More…The Past Or The Future?
“Hinkie triggered a culture war.” One of my favourite quotes from Yaron Weitzman’s NBA book.
Timing is everything in comedy and in sports: Yaron’s book Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports arrived shortly before ESPN broadcast The Last Dance. Which also ignited a culture war: people are aggressively going after former Bulls GM Jerry Krause who unfortunately is dead and cannot defend himself. Similarily Tanking to the Top documents how a lot of people (NBA owners, NBA fans, NBA players…you name it) went after Sixers GM Sam Hinkie.
Yet in both cases do we know enough about being a GM, all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes to be having these discussions? Can we trust the process or is wins all that matter? This is what Bleacher Report writer Yaron Weitzman chronicles in his book.
For most of Yaron’s book Sam Hinkie operates in the shadows and it reminded me of Nolan’s movie The Dark Knight. James Gordon says this about Batman: “Because we have to chase him. Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now, so we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it because he’s not a hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a Dark Knight.” The optimism many Sixers fans are feeling suggests that Hinkie succeed; he was the GM Phildephia needed.
Though not for long. As the book’s description confirms: “Beneath the surface, though, lies a different story, one of infighting, dueling egos, and competing agendas. Hinkie, pushed out less than three years into his reign by a demoralized owner, a jealous CEO, and an embarrassed NBA, was the first casualty of The Process. He’d be far from the last.”
In the NBA winning covers a multitude of sins but losing exposes all of them.
Recorded: Wednesday, April 22 at 12:30pm (EST)