August 29 Philadelphia Inquirer
Rod Thorn never got to personally celebrate any of those titles.
Each year the Chicago Bulls won another one, their owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, “sent me a watch and a nice note thanking me for Michael Jordan,” said Thorn, the new Sixers president.
Of course, Reinsdorf also fired Thorn soon after the owner bought the team, less than a year after Thorn drafted Jordan. That, Thorn knows better than anybody, is life in the NBA. Don’t let the West Virginia native’s aw-shucks manner fool you. If anybody has seen it all, this may be the guy. Yes, Thorn drafted Jordan, turning down a myriad of trade offers that included a couple of history-changing overtures from the Sixers.
Thorn also sat on the Nets bench as an assistant coach for two seasons watching Julius Erving in his ABA prime. He marveled not just at the special feats Dr. J performed on the court – “every night,” Thorn said, but he also called Erving “the best teammate of anybody I’ve ever been around.”
Sitting in his new Sixers office – Ed Stefanski’s former office – Thorn made it clear he was here to do a job, not just have a job.
“I’ve been in this business for 40-some years,” Thorn said. “I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios. I don’t think I’ll be fooled by much that will happen.”
Thorn was well known during his decade in charge of the New Jersey Nets for not being so calm himself during games, even as team president.”
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