Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:27 am Post subject: Billy King is thinking about trading Iverson
Sixers GM Billy King could be next to go
By Stephen A. Smith
Inquirer Sports Columnist
The man who would be king walked from camera to camera this afternoon, looking as despondent as someone who had just been fired.
As it turns out, Billy King was the one who did the firing yesterday, dismissing 76ers coach Randy Ayers quicker than he shrugged off one of those trademark temper tantrums from his former boss, Larry Brown. Because King sensed the perilous position he now finds himself in.
Let team chairman Ed Snider sit side-by-side with his president and general manager all he wants, vowing his unwavering devotion to the young executive considered possible U.S. Senate material less than a year ago.
Successful aspirations require political savvy, and the longer King kept Ayers around, the more he would have resembled Al Sharpton in the New Hampshire primary.
Votes would have been nonexistent, regardless of what Snider would tell us all.
There would have been no vote of confidence. No votes to continue spending Comcast's money. None of the golden-boy glow King had the six previous years.
Hence, no job security.
"I feel terrible," King said, looking devastated at having had to fire Ayers. "Just awful. It's really difficult to put into words."
It should be.
Especially when talking to Snider.
Now that his Sixers have fallen into mediocrity, how would you feel if you were King right now, forced to look Snider in the eye?
Eric Snow, aging and frustrated, signed a four-year, $25.58 million extension before the season. Aaron McKie, who aged a long time ago, is in the midst of a six-year, $42 million deal. Kenny Thomas - a 6-foot-7 power forward - got $50 million over seven years from King. Robinson has $22.80 million remaining on his contract through 2004. Derrick Coleman has roughly $6 million remaining in the last year and a half of a three-year deal.
Allen Iverson, the new $104 million man, is disgusted at everything, including King for neglecting to inform him of Ayers' firing. Starting next season, the rarely seen, used or thought-of Greg Buckner is guaranteed $9.36 million before an option year on his contract kicks in for the 2007 season. All this means the Sixers are stuck with contracts that make trades nearly impossible at the moment.
Then there's the mutiny that already has taken place.
So if you're Snider, how are you feeling right now?
"It's Billy decision and I support him," Snider responded.
Right answer. For now.
Face it, lots of us - especially in this space - supported King when he made most of his decisions.
The players didn't respect Keith Van Horn, so Robinson was considered a good addition. If Malik Rose, who plays a similar position, could start with a salary near $5 million per season in 2003 and end with a salary of $7.6 million in 2008, it's reasonable that Thomas deserved to be in the same ballpark.
Who else can put up any semblance of an offensive game and play alongside Iverson the way Snow can? Iverson is box office and should be paid. And anything else King had up his sleeve earned our faith, such as the way he was able to get rid of the $52 million salary of Dikembe Mutombo.
To lambaste the Sixers is hypocritical. Hindsight is always 20-20. But King does deserve to be put on notice.
"Kill me," King said figuratively. "Right now, I deserve it. There's no question about that."
Snider, by his presence yesterday, proved it won't be necessary. He's in the mix and, somehow, you get the impression he won't hesitate to bring the ax down on King.
King knows Snider's support has been dented somewhat. And their love affair will fade quickly if this situation isn't fixed quickly.
"This was so hard for me to do," King said, "but I really feel like I had no choice."
King wouldn't mention it was due to the players because, in his mind, he can't right now.
The Sixers have been awful on his watch. They have lost money and appeal because of it.
Ayers paid the price yesterday, and he won't be alone if change doesn't occur.
Indeed, the next name is Billy King.
Bobby Clarke he is not.
King's job isn't all that secure either. I don't think snider would have a.i. traded now. especially since he (allen) has been acting more professional this year.
Joined: Nov 19, 2003 Posts: 894 Location: DA DUUUURTY SOUTH!!!
Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:37 am Post subject: Billy King is thinking about trading Iverson
THAT IS SO DUMB. HOW CAN YOU FIRE THE COACH AND NOT TALK IT OVER WITH THE PLAYERS? I MEAN THE PLAYERS ARE THE ONES WHO ACTUALLY TAKE ORDERS, SO TO SPEAK, FROM THE COACH. I JUST DONT GET HOW KING COULD DO THAT.
[ February 11, 2004: Message edited by: Karamel3A.I. ]
Joined: Nov 20, 2003 Posts: 213 Location: makati philippines
Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:54 am Post subject: Billy King is thinking about trading Iverson
if they're gon' trade iverson my question is "what the hell is wrong with you???", i mean he's not the problem, he's doing the best of what he can, the problem is he doesn't have anybody who can help him that much.
i mean er'body have their bad/good night, but regardless he's still ai, and he's still one of the best in the league.
it's not his fault that the team wasn't doing any good, in fact he's been beaten up inside the court just to earn points for the sixers, it'll be totally unfair to trade him to other team.
he made this team reach this far, he's a trademark, if they gon' let him go...i don't know what gon' happen but a lot will be disappointed fo'sho.