DiLeo Looking To Take Sixers To The Next Level
In his 22 years as a member of the 76ers organization, Tony DiLeo has held just about every position there is within the team’s front office. Entering the 2012-13 season with a new role – that of General Manager – the Cinnaminson native has reached the pinnacle of his field.
Working in a profession in which only 30 individuals at any given time can make that claim, the promotion is a major accomplishment for the longtime talent evaluator. What makes it even more impressive is that he has never had to part ways with the team with which he began his NBA career – his hometown Sixers.
“I’ve held every position in the organization, so there’s no place else to go,” DiLeo said with a wry smile during an introductory meeting with the media Monday afternoon. “I have so much invested in this team. It’s always been my dream to (stay) here.”
Having spent nearly a quarter century with the team, the former senior vice president of basketball operations knows this organization perhaps better than anybody. With encouragement from Sixers Managing Owner Josh Harris, DiLeo is looking to use that knowledge to reshape the team’s front office and make it the best in the league.
“We want to do a lot of things (to improve the front office),” he said. “I’m a big believer in (advanced) analytics, so we’re going to try to bring someone in that’s an expert in that field. We feel this will give us a competitive edge over other teams (that don’t utilize that information as completely).
“Josh (Harris)’ goal is to make our front office the best in the league and this is an area in which we can do that.”
DiLeo went on to say that the team was going to take its time and make sure it hires the right person for the new position, rather than rushing to make a decision with the season set to begin in just over a month.
In addition to his obvious excitement regarding his new role within the organization, the 57-year-old DiLeo is taking over a team that he believes is entering the final stage of what was a three-part plan to bring a championship to the city of Philadelphia.
“The first stage was to acquire and develop assets (through the draft) and the second was to go after an star player, so we made the trade Andrew Bynum, who makes an impact on both sides of the floor,” he said. “Now, the third part is to build a championship roster by putting pieces around (our key players).”
So far, DiLeo and his front office have to be very pleased with the result of their plan, but they know that the most difficult aspect of it will be making the jump from playoff team to contender.
“This year will be a little bit of a transition year,” said DiLeo. “Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner will have much larger roles (than they did last season) and we have a lot of new players we’re excited to see. We’re looking to answer a lot of questions this year and begin to put things together (once we find those answers).”
Having played a major role in orchestrating the first two-thirds of this plan, DiLeo’s experience and familiarity with the team’s current roster should pay dividends as he and his staff look to take the Sixers to the next level.
Posted: 4:49 PM, Monday, September 24, 2012