76ers Fire King, Hire Nets' Stefanski

Billy King, replaced as GM and team president, had been with the team since 1997.
Billy King, replaced as GM and team president, had been with the team since 1997. (2006 Photo By Matt Rourke -- Associated Press)
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The 76ers fired general manager and team president Billy King yesterday and replaced him with Nets general manager Ed Stefanski.

King, a Park View High graduate who had been with the franchise since June 1997, had said he was using this season as the start of a three-year rebuilding plan. The 76ers are 5-12 and in last place in the Atlantic Division. After reaching the NBA Finals in 2001, Philadelphia has missed the postseason three of the last four years, and King traded former MVP Allen Iverson to the Nuggets last December.

"We have a good plan in place, but we needed a fresh approach in the leadership of the franchise," 76ers chairman Ed Snider said.

King, who was in the final year of his contract, instead got 17 games.

Stefanski had served as New Jersey's general manager since 2004.

"I feel more than ready to be the caretaker for the 76ers," Stefanski said.

King declined to comment when reached on his cellphone.

STILL OUT: Cavaliers F LeBron James missed his third straight game last night because of a sprained left index finger. Coach Mike Brown declined to comment on whether James's injury is worse than first anticipated. James leads the NBA in scoring with 30.7 points per game.

A DEAL: In need of a big man, the Bobcats reached agreement on a three-year offer sheet with Cavaliers restricted free agent Anderson Varejao, giving Cleveland a week to match the deal or lose him.

SURGERY: Timberwolves Coach Randy Wittman, who is scheduled to have back surgery today, missed last night's game against the Lakers. The team said it's unclear when he will resume his duties. Assistant coach Jerry Sichting will coach in his absence.

-- From News Services

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