The Philadelphia 76ers are now without a CEO. After bouncing out in the second round of the postseason, franchise CEO Scott O’Neil announced his resignation. The Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) CEO reportedly wants to “pursue new opportunities.”
O’Neil started in Philadelphia, owned by Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment (HBSE), 8 years ago, back in 2013. He came into a team with little playoff success for much of the century. At the time of his arrival, the Sixers only made it past the second round twice in the 2000s. One of these times saw the team reach the finals but ultimately lose to the Lakers in 2000.
Struggles continued long after his appointment as the Sixers grew a reputation as one of the league’s worst teams for a period. In O’Neil’s first 4 seasons with the team, they failed to make the playoffs. Not only did they miss out, but they missed out big.
Philadelphia failed to win even just 20 games in 3 out of those 4 seasons. However, in 2018, the team managed to make the playoffs and even win the first round. This ended a 5 season playoff drought, but the team failed to gain any major success.
Perhaps the team’s biggest milestone during O’Neil’s tenure was the drafting of Joel Embiid in 2014. After injuries sidelined him his first 2 years in the league, he finally made his debut in 2016. Since then, Embiid grew into the franchise player that the team originally envisioned him to be. “The Process” that originated during O’Neil’s tenure was taking shape.
This season he averaged 28.5 points a game and became an MVP contender. Given Doc Rivers’ appointment at the start of the season along with Embiid’s growing stardom, the Sixers looked to a promising season. Losing in the second round certainly isn’t a bad season by any means. However, the team fell short of its title aspirations.