Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thorn officially named Sixers president

Rod Thorn wasn't out of work long, as the former New Jersey Nets president has landed the same role with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Thorn spent 10 years as team president and general manager of the Nets, but announced last month he was stepping down. New Jersey then named former Sixers general manager Billy King as their new GM.

In his new role, Thorn will be working with Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski, who took over for King in December 2007 and had held the dual roles of GM and president. Thorn and Stefanski worked together for seven years with the Nets.

"I look forward to working with him as we go forward," Thorn said at a Thursday press conference. "He understands me and I think I understand him. I think we make a good team."

The 69-year-old Thorn was the NBA's Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations from 1986-2000. Before that he served as GM of the Chicago Bulls and was instrumental in the club's selection of Michael Jordan in the 1984 draft.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to do some really good things here," remarked Thorn. "I've done a lot of different things over the course of time in professional basketball. Having seen many different organizations, that's the key thing, you have to have passion to win."

Thorn said his decision to resign with the Nets was in fact that, and he was not forced out with the new ownership. He added that the Nets offered him a lucrative contract to remain with the franchise.

"Over my time with the Nets, most of it was great," said Thorn. "The last few years we dismantled the team, on purpose, because of a corporate decision and that wasn't much fun. My feeling is, that time had run its course there."

Thorn helped build a Nets franchise that reached the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. The team went to the playoffs for six consecutive years from 2001-02 until 2006-07, then began to falter before this past season's club went a franchise-worst 12-70.

The Sixers were 27-55 this past season and will start the 2010-11 campaign with a new coach in Doug Collins.
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