CHICAGO (AP) Jerry Colangelo insists he had no role in the Philadelphia 76ers hiring his son, Bryan, as team president.
The elder Colangelo said before Wednesday's game against the Bulls in Chicago that he recused himself from the hiring process once his son was under consideration.
''If he was the best candidate, he'd have to earn it through the selection process,'' Colangelo said.
His comments come on the heels of some sweeping changes as the team winds down another dismal season. The 76ers entered the game with a league-worst 10-71 record.
Sam Hinkie resigned as general manager last week in a colorful 13-page letter referencing quotes from Abraham Lincoln and flightless birds. Bryan Colangelo took over as team president on Sunday, the same day Jerry Colangelo stepped down as chairman of basketball operations. He is staying on as a special adviser.
Jerry Colangelo said he was caught off-guard by Hinkie's resignation, saying it ''came out of the blue.''
The elder Colangelo was brought in by owner Josh Harris in December. Both wanted to add more veteran basketball leadership and collaborate with the analytics-minded Hinkie.
''It wasn't so much about titles, it was about sharing responsibilities,'' he said. ''If we shared responsibilities, we'd have a stronger front office.''
Jerry Colangelo has said Hinkie was not pushed out.
''(Hinkie) was hired to do a job and he had a couple of roles as a president and GM, and if that was going to change, then he just didn't feel comfortable sticking with it,'' he said.
The 76ers loaded up on draft picks in recent years while cutting veteran contracts in an effort to win down the road. Jerry Colangelo credited Hinkie for loading up on assets and creating a brighter outlook for the franchise.
But he also said his son is the right person to lead the team.
''We now have someone in place that I think is going to do a great job for the Philadelphia 76ers,'' Colangelo said.