We knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of who and when. Someone was going to write the real life, stone serious version of this column. If you had Marcus Hayes and Monday in the block pool, congrats, you just won a new TI-85! It's just too delectable. Let's get right to it:
FS09 wrote: "Some have called it a huge step in the right direction, others have used it to say that this hiring has reinforced that the Sixers finally have ownership in place that actually cares about building a championship basketball team. I don't get it."
Hayes wrote: "Harris' group of hoops hobbyists, the Philadelphia 76ers, last week hired 35-year-old Stanford MBA graduate Sam Hinkie to be the team's president of basketball operations and general manager. Twinkies (no, for serious, that lede) have a timeless allure. Hinkie is more the flavor of the month."
FS09 wrote: "Suddenly, nerds in their mom's basements who have never stepped foot on a baseball field believed they had unlocked some secret that made them more knowledgeable than scouts, broadcasters and journalists with years of experience in and around the game."
Hayes wrote: "Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard was a panelist at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in March, where the ComicCon alumni who now work in sports administration meet to plot their revenge against the jocks they employ."
Hayes also wrote: "Hinkie will be given a sledgehammer and a smartphone by Harris, a fellow geek."
FS09 wrote: "Billy Beane might have sold copies of his book and parlayed it into a major Hollywood blockbuster, but he was never able to parlay it into a championship caliber club. While Billy Beane was looking for guys who could work a walk, the Yankees were signing superstars and collecting championship rings."
Hayes wrote: "And, lest anyone throw aside conventional wisdoms, consider this: The Oakland A's, sport's pioneer into calculus-dependent franchise-building, have made the playoffs just six times in Billy Beane's 15 seasons as GM, and have won one playoff series."
FS09 wrote: "Instead? They brought in Sam Hinkie, the assistant GM of a team that hasn't won a conference championship since 1995. In the six years Hinkie was with the Rockets, they only made it past the first round of the playoffs once. So why the excitement?"
Hayes wrote: "The Rockets – who, unlike the cost-conscious A's, operate under a leaguewide salary cap – have been to the playoffs three times under Morey. They have won one series. How much credit should Hinkie get for Houston's qualified success? Who are his guys? Fashionable, serviceable point guard Lin? Prized shooting guard Harden? Did Hinkie slam his red stapler on Morey's desk and threaten to burn down the building if Asik stayed in Chicago?"
FS09 wrote: "These are urban kids with big egos and high paychecks. Players these days care about cars, sneakers and bling. They need someone who understands this, someone who can flash them a championship ring and say "I'll get you this." Josh Hinkie may be a brilliant guy, but that sort of guy isn't respected in this game."
Hayes wrote: "Of course, there are facets to running a team that cannot be graphed. How do you quantify chemistry? What is the jerk quotient? What metric gauges the likelihood of, say, players eating chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse during games? Even if Hinkie is an eyes-on GM, an eager, tireless scout, does that mean he knows what he's seeing?"
FS09 wrote: "In the end, the Sixers let the rumblings of a few nerds on twitter and blogs dictate their future."
Hayes wrote: "The thirtysomethings and their Freakonomics legions likely will rejoice that the Sixers have moved past sexagenarian Doug Collins."