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76ers Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil Says The Rebuild Went Beyond Free Agency & Lottery Balls

Scott O'Neil | Chief Executive Officer | Philadelphia 76ers

We are in a great position to contend for years to come, we have the pieces in place and we are excited for our future.

Scott O'Neil

Chief Executive Officer

Philadelphia 76ers

× The interview with Scott O'Neil was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia 76ers and what made you want to pursue a career in sports?

I learned the value of entrepreneurism through my parents at an early age and quickly realized my passion for the sports and entertainment industry.

CEO Philadelphia 76ers

I have wanted to do this job ever since I was 22 years old and have been extremely fortunate to work for great people along the way, while always being interested in learning and growing. There is no typical day in my role and that is what makes what I do so exciting.

I focus on creating one of the most diverse, innovative and fun places to work in the world, creating a culture where people like to come to work, helping to develop the next generation of great leaders, leveraging what we have to make the world better and continuing to grow and expand our business.

When you started with the 76ers they needed a major rebuild and you have successfully spearheaded the team back into position as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Tell us about that process and how you have gotten them back to the playoffs!

I started my role with the 76ers in 2013 and we were a very young team in a rebuilding phase.

It went far beyond free agency and lottery balls. We trusted our sales process, strategy, outlook, research, tactics and management, as they were all integral.

We understood what we wanted to accomplish, and we are committed to making it happen. We have incredible people with a world class culture and are aligned in our vision and mission.

When things were going badly, we looked at it as an opportunity to improve the organization. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’re thrilled with where we are today.

How has the pandemic and basketball hiatus affected your organization and what do you think the long-term implications will be?

Like most organizations during this pandemic, we have been challenged to be creative in our approach to work, home and personal lives.

While our daily routines have changed, we haven’t stopped at all – we’ve never been busier.

We were prepared and ahead with the formation of an early task force prior to the season suspension, and we quickly put together a “return to host/play” task force to best prepare us for when the season resumed.

Our remote working has been unexpectedly efficient and extremely productive.

We will continue to find new ways to connect with our fans and adapt.

We are in unprecedented times continuing to navigate accordingly as best we can, and I think we will come back stronger and smarter.

How do you feel about the NBA Restart and the Disney Bubble? Do you think that this is similar to what the NBA will look like for the 2020/21 season as well?

This is an incredibly unique time given the circumstances, and Adam Silver and the league are committed to finding a way to create our own sense of normalcy. This has never been done before and I think it is great and the world needs sports now more than ever.

I think for the country it can be a respite from the enormous difficulties people are dealing with in their lives right now. The NBA has gone above and beyond with their preparation for this and to make sure that the safety of the players is paramount.

While it is difficult to predict what will happen in the coming months and year, our goal is to have fans back in the arenas when it is deemed safe and we will continue to learn as an organization and focus on “what’s next”.

Where do you see the 76ers in the standings 5 years from now? What will it take as an organization to get there?

Our ultimate goal is to win an NBA Championship, and we are committed to achieving that for our fans and our city.

CEO Philadelphia 76ers

We continue to make significant moves to strengthen the team and we are focused on delivering the best team possible. We are in a great position to contend for years to come, we have the pieces in place and we are excited for our future.

Stacey Leawood Stacey's Final Thoughts

With the NBA back up and running again, everyone from staff to fans and players are ecstatic! Scott revealed that thanks to the hardwork, dedication and work-from-home productivity of his staff that they are very happy about their position heading back into play. Since Scott started with the team back in 2013 they have underwent a massive rebuild and comeback as an organization but they have their goals set on the NBA Champions title. With the NBA playoffs upcoming, we’ll soon see if Scott O’Neil’s prediction comes to fruition!

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