For more than 20 years, Tony DiLeo made a bit of a habit of collecting job descriptions with the 76ers, even leading them to the playoffs in a brief stint as head coach.
DiLeo beefed up his resume Friday when the Sixers named him their 12th managing director in franchise history.
He’ll get to make the shots for a team clearly on the rise after landing center Andrew Bynum from L.A in a 4-team, blockbuster deal. Ownership had praised DiLeo for his role in landing the All-Star and for his complete understanding of the inner workings of the front office.
DiLeo, 57-year-old, will work alongside team president Rod Thorn. Thorn has only one year left on his contract and has a provision that will allow him to become a specialist after his contract expires. DiLeo could assume both roles once the 2013 season is over.
”We are very confident that Tony has the experience and data to flourish in his new role, and we will continue to provide him with the necessary tools and resources – including enhancing our capabilities in analysis – to reinforce our basketball operations department,” owner Josh Harris expounded.
The Sixers spent the summer interviewing a few applicants for the job, including former Portland assistant GM Tom Penn and previous New Orleans GM Jeff Bowers. Instead of going outside, coach Doug Collins, who also plays a major role in staff decisions and management went with DiLeo.
DiLeo, entering his 23rd season with the Sixers, had been working as senior vice president.
”I am very excited about being named GM of this franchise and look forward to building on our recent success,” DiLeo said. ”I would like to thank Josh Harris and the ownership group for providing me with this amazing opportunity and I am going to continue to work tirelessly to ensure we put a team that our fans will be happy to support, both this season and in the future.”
DiLeo, a New Jersey native who played at La Salle, also played and coached in West Germany for 10 seasons before joining the Sixers in 1990-91. He had a short stint as an assistant in the early ’90s, and took over as interim coach in December 2008 after Maurice Cheeks was fired. The Sixers lost a 1st-round series to the Magic in six games under him.
He withdrew his name from consideration to return as the team’s coach that summer and the Sixers hired Eddie Jordan. DiLeo was Philadelphia’s director of player personnel from 1999 to 2003.
DiLeo will now oversee a team that went through a dramatic make-over after advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals last year. Led by Collins, the Philadelphia 76ers posted their 1st winning record (35-31) since 2004-05, and won a playoff series for the 1st time since 2003.
But the glow of that achievement soon faded once management realized the team had maxed out with veterans Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Lou Williams. Iguodala was traded, Brand was amnestied and Williams was allowed to walk in free-agency, releasing some needed dollars to sign Bynum.
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