Billy King Fired As Philadelphia 76’ers GM. Cheeks Next?


In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise, the Sixers have reportedly fired Billy King. I attended the press conference announcing Ed Stefanski’s hire (Philly roots).

** Reporting from the 76’er press conference announcing the hire of Ed Stefanski is this piece I wrote for SLAM**

BILLY KING is out. Ed Stefanski is in.

A source in North Jersey confirmed last night that Stefanski, the general manager of the New Jersey Nets since the summer of 2004, will officially be named to a similar position today with the 76ers.

Stefanski, who will be introduced at a news conference, replaces Billy King, who has been with the franchise since June 2, 1997, and has been serving in the dual roles of president and general manager since May 26, 2003.

Stefanski, who played basketball at Monsignor Bonner High and Penn and later coached at Bonner, had been in his ninth season working for the Nets.

The source said that the Sixers contacted the Nets about a week ago, securing permission to speak with Stefanski. The source also said that the opportunity caught Stefanski by surprise, and that he had not been politicking for a job with his hometown team.

Neither King, Stefanski, chairman Ed Snider nor Peter Luukko, the president and chief operating officer of Comcast-Spectacor and chairman of Global Spectrum, responded to messages left by the Daily News late last night.

Stefanski is expected to sign a multiyear contract and will report directly to Luukko.

It is believed that no decision has been made on the future of head coach Maurice Cheeks.

Both King and Cheeks are in the final season of their respective contracts.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, because Snider had signed off on King’s three-stage plan to rebuild the team. That began with the trading of Allen Iverson to Denver last December and the subsequent buyout of the balance of Chris Webber’s contract.

The second stage included the acquisition of Thaddeus Young, Jason Smith, Herbert Hill and the since-waived Derrick Byars in the NBA’s June draft.

The third step was to come in the summer, when the Sixers are expected to have major salary- cap space and become a player in free agency and the trade market.

The Sixers, though, are 5-12 after last night’s 88-79 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, leaving them with their 10th loss in 13 games and a 3-6 record in the lifeless Wachovia Center.

Stefanski came to the Nets after a successful career as president of Preferred Mortgages Corp. and spent 20 years as a respected TV basketball analyst.

This once proud franchise hopefully can turn it around and become relevant again. I have questions why they waited so long. Regardless of what’s going on in house, when you trade away Allen Iverson for Andre Miller, King should have felt the kick me signs stuck to his forehead. He did nothing for this franchise in my opinion.

Cheeks is a good coach and should be given some time in the town he helped bring back to respectability as a player.

Don’t fire Mo Ed.


24 Responses to “Billy King Fired As Philadelphia 76’ers GM. Cheeks Next?”

  1. thebrotherreport Says:

    You’ve gotta give Cheeks ’til the end of the season at least. But it’s hard to say that after a loss Saturday night where they blew a 16-point lead to the Nets and they looked flat in last night’s loss to the Hawks. It seems like can’t play hard for a full 48 min.

    Who’s gonna be worth going after this summer? Arenas is being looked at as damaged goods now. Maybe Jamison? Gordon? Artest? Get a legit power forward in here, I’m saying for some time now bring Rasheed Wallace home. Reggie Evans is a nice energy guy on the glass, but this team needs to score points. They don’t have a perimeter stopper. Ed Stefanski should start by looking at some of the second-level players.

  2. thebrotherreport Says:

    You know what I apologize in my choice of words; I won’t say that they don’t play hard for a full 48 min. Focus would be a better term. They do play hard, I can’t say that they’ve even thought of quitting on Cheeks.

  3. The 76’ers management has been bad for awhile now. They got C-Webb about 14 years too late–drafting sorry Shawn Bradley instead. A.I. played his heart out and left the Philly on bad terms. Sammy is lost and shouldn’t have been given his current contract. He did nothing other than play well against Detroit in 1 playoff series to deserve it.

  4. The contract Billy gave Kenny Thomas was also a mistake. He went to Sacramento and gave them nothing. The team has too many small forawards and like TBR said they need a power forward. Sorry to say but Mo is not far behind on the chopping block. The team is not buying into his game plan.

  5. I’m not gonna pile on King, his record speaks for itself.
    Cheeks is gone, and Snider will say it’s business as usuall. In the case of Cheeks and even King, the sorry saga around Iverson in a nutshell tell me all I want to know about men in their position. They believe massa so much they will let the field slave take a bullet, safe in the belief that they won’t be touched.

    Same old, same old. At least King will leave some space for a potentially good draft by some one who knows how to draft.


    Hey! aint that something about the coach at ULCA?

  6. Got something coming on that Sankofa. Karl Dorrell indirectly affected the naming of my son.

  7. Sanfofa,

    I’m with you on the firing of Dorrell. The built in excuse will be the loss to the terrible Fighting Irish. But Charlie still has his job. Aint that a B….

  8. I think the excuse is the loss to USC, and the fact that (in the minds of some) they’ve underachieved every year he’s been there.

  9. Yeah the USC loss is a factor. How is it that Charlie isn’t on thin ice after ND got rid of Ty after just 3 short years? After all it was Ty’s recruits that Charlie had some succes with.

  10. I don’t know. You could assume that it’s because of skin color, or that ND thinks they have a better chance to do well with Charlie at the helm than they did with Ty. who knows? I’m not in there being Jimmy Olsen.

    My team’s U of Michigan. I’d like us to hire a coach before the bowls are over.

  11. ND folks are saying they need to keep some consistency so they can’t fire Weiss just yet.

    Billy King was a horrible GM. He needed to go. The question is how McHale still has a job.

  12. Okori,

    You and I have something in common. I’m a MI fan to.

  13. woot!

    I’m actually more of a fan of the UM ice hockey program than I am of the football program.

  14. Okori,

    Ahh, I to am a hockey fan.

  15. They will say it later, but boy am I glad I had Jack Johnson on my college team before he went and wrecked stuff in LA. That kid is gonna be a beast.

  16. Malik Mohammed Says:

    Good luck in your future endeavors Brother Billy. Keep fighting the good fight against whitey. Goes to show that white America is still threatened by a successful black man. Damned white devils should die immediately and all go straight to hell. Will the oppression ever end?

  17. Shut up Malik. Somewhere a bridge is missing a troll.

  18. Owners always do stuff…well, not in the case of the Pistons and Spurs, and the Cavs and Bulls seem to be under the sway of some more visionary leadership too…but they do it too fast. I’m a Laker fan (sorry, sorry – 5 championships in the ’80s, y’all ha ha) and I was hoping Kupchak would resist the braying of fans who wanted something done (regardless of whether it was, in the long run, useful) – i.e. trading #24, or trading Bynum and Odom…..ya gotta notice, since my boy AB is averaging a double-double, haven’t been a lot of calls for him to be traded recently. And kid’s only 20. Lamar, well, he can do it all. My point is, it’s real hard for GMs to resist the mindless braying of impatient fans….and if you don’t think your owner has your back, even harder……I can’t say I’ve followed the Philly situation that closely, and I don’t know the rightness of firing King…but certainly firing Mo Cheeks would be pointless. Here’s a guy who his players like, who knows what he’s doing, who is probably one of the best former players, if not the best former player currently a head coach… can he be expected to get substantially more out of a squad which he was not largely responsible for putting together? I just wish that GMs, owners, etc, would withstand public pressure of a bunch of dolts who get worked up by ESPN radio and imagine that somehow, making any move, no matter how dopey in the long run, will improve things now, is good. Best wishes to Billy King.

  19. Tc

    Have you ever considered that most owners aren’t sports lovers, but business men? Meaning that yeah, it is termed a business, but you should never run a sports franchise like any other business. This is why you’ll have whole tteams blown up in the middle of a season, because they are (a) caring more about the bottom line than putting together a dynasty (b) care more about their image than crafting a championship team. Hmmm! I think it’s (a).

  20. I know that Sankofa……but I’m an unadulterated fan and I think it’s long past time that fans who really like a team shouldn’t be too loyal to owners who don’t give a crap about them. I know exactly what you’re saying is right, it just pisses me off…..I’m not suggesting that what I said is anything new, but I think fans should be a little more pissed off and if it takes withholding your money from your team or something, maybe that’s necessary to make teams a bit more accountable. As you know, people develop loyalties to sports teams (myself included) that often outstrip their commitments to other people, to other obligations, to civic duties, to just about anything……so I’m sayin’, if we take sports that seriously, surely we shouldn’t let sports owners let us look like chumps.

  21. I hope they give Mo a chance too. In Portland and here in Philly he has had little to no talent and still has got his teams to play hard each night.

    Plus he is by all accounts one of the classiest dudes in the association.

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  23. […] a surprising development, GM Billy King was fired on December 4, 2007 and replaced by former New Jersey Nets GM Ed […]

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