When Vince Rozman first walked into the 76ers’ front office in 2006, the doors were on City Line Ave at PCOM (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine). Rozman was an intern, a recent college graduate out of Ohio University.
“When I started, I filled fridges, got credentials for scouts - all the fun work,” Rozman remembers. “Front offices were small at that point. It was bare bones.”
Fast forward 15 years, and Rozman is one of the 76ers Assistant General Managers.
While there’s no traditional template to succeed in an NBA front office, Rozman’s rise, within a single team for the entirety of his career, is a unique one.
“Whatever position I was in at any given time was always so fun, and so interesting, that at some point, it’s like - if my career stopped here, I’d be happy forever,” Rozman said during a recent interview with Sixers.com.
“To do this job, or this role, or work with these people - it’s more like there was always a content-ness to wherever I was. Now it’s awesome, looking back.”
In an era of positionless basketball, Rozman could be the front office equivalent of a player capable of playing positions one through five.
He’s run the scouting department, worked with strategy and analytics, and worked with the salary cap. There are few areas of the 76ers front office today without Rozman’s fingerprints on them.
“I was just lucky coming up. I’ve worked for GMs with different types of backgrounds, that viewed and valued things differently. So you get exposed to a bunch of different stuff.”
Those exposures paid off, and today, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey appreciates the path Rozman took.
“Vince has spent the past 15-plus years climbing the ladder within our organization in a multitude of different roles and has proven himself to be one of the NBA’s fast-rising executives,” Morey said.
“Vince’s appointment to assistant general manager is well-deserved and hard-earned. We’re thrilled for him as he steps into this new position.”
Upon the promotion, Rozman reflected on his journey.
“I had a lot thrown at me at different points in my career: ‘Learn this, learn this, or learn this.’ So it’s been interesting to be able to bounce around a little bit. It’s been helpful in hindsight for sure.”
The push for growth and expanded horizons constant throughout the early days of Rozman’s career continues under Morey and Elton Brand.
“I think what’s unique about both Elton and Daryl is they’re willing to push their staff out to uncomfortable places. It’ll prepare you in the future, it’ll make us better now. I think there’s an element of empowering their staff to grow, which has obviously benefited me quite a bit.”
Brand appreciates Rozman’s determination to embrace those challenges.
Now, Rozman will continue working with the team’s scouting group, one that’s been extremely successful of late.
Ever-modest - Rozman likely wouldn’t even take partial credit for the moves - he played a role in the team’s draft acquisition of now-Sixer staples including Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, and Tyrese Maxey, plus exciting young players like Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed.
But the NBA Draft is much more than a stylish evening in Brooklyn.
It’s a years-long process that includes lots of cross-country travel to watch prospects play, meetings and calls with high school and college coaches, and hours-long evaluation sessions among the group.
For Rozman’s staff, success is found in the margins.
“We send our scouts out, [asking for] names, the players we need to get on, that we need to tell Elton and Daryl about early. You always want to get whatever little advantage that you can over other teams.”
“Our staff has been awesome at getting out, and getting really granular. Knowing guys a little bit sooner, or a little bit better, helps.”
But the hard work - when considering its results within the Sixers front office of late - pays off.
“We’ve had a good run,” Rozman said. “We’ve had a lot of luck, and the players we have brought in want to work, and want to get better, and that helps, obviously.
“It’s exciting for me to see the scouting staff get the benefit of their work,” Rozman said. “It’s fun when you get guys in the building, and they show the positive qualities that you expected, and the need to work on the things that we expected.”
Rozman & co. bring young players in, but even at that point, the work has only just begun.
“Once we get those kids in the building, we give them to the coaching staff, and we can explain to them, this is what we see out of them in the next few years, and this is how they get there.”
And the cycle continues. As each class of drafted Sixers is passed on to the coaching staff, there’s always a whole new group being evaluated.
Rozman relishes the challenge of his ever-evolving work.