Rod Thorn was named the president of the Philadelphia 76ers, the same position he held with the New Jersey Nets before stepping down in June.
Ed Stefanski, who worked under Thorn in New Jersey before joining the 76ers in 2007 as president and general manager, will remain with the National Basketball Association team as its GM, the 76ers said in a news release.
Thorn, 69, announced in late June that he would resign as president of the Nets, opting not to stay on with the team’s new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Thorn also had been serving as the team’s GM following Prokhorov’s May announcement that Kiki Vandeweghe’s contract would not be renewed.
“Rod is one of the most respected basketball minds in the game today,” Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the 76ers, said in a statement. “When we learned that he would not be re-signing with the Nets, we realized that this would be a terrific opportunity to bring one of the top executives in the NBA to the Sixers.”
The 76ers finished 27-55 last season. They hired Doug Collins to be their head coach in May and the following month selected guard Evan Turner with the second overall pick of the NBA draft.
Thorn became the Nets’ president in June 2000, leaving the NBA’s front office, where he oversaw the league’s on-court activities.
The Nets reached the NBA finals in 2002 and 2003 and made the playoffs six times during Thorn’s tenure. They missed the postseason each of the last three campaigns and narrowly missed setting an NBA record for defeats this year, finishing 12-70.
Thorn, an NBA player from 1963-1971, was the Chicago Bulls’ GM from 1978-1985, drafting Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in 1984. He also coached the Bulls for 30 games during the 1982 season.
Following his decision to leave the Nets, the team hired Billy King in July as GM. King was president of the 76ers from 2003 to 2007.