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The Sixers have a former owner that can do some of its dirty work when recruiting potential new players.
Philadelphia 76ers GM Daryl Morey is the tampering king, and he now has a weapon at his disposal to do it without punishment. That’s bad news for the league and great news for the Sixers in future free-agency endeavors.
Over the summer Michael Rubin had to give up his minority stake in the group that owns the Sixers (as well as the New Jersey Devils) due to conflicts of interest that have arisen from the company he is CEO of, Fanatics, growing.
Fanatics’ — a sports merchandise company — growth has positioned it closer to the NBA, its players, and teams, and there is plenty of red tape that restricts what NBA owners can and can’t do, even if their stake is a minority one. Things were getting complicated for Rubin to be involved in both things.
But, there are also things you can do when you’re not an owner, and Rubin seems ready to weaponize those advantages as soon as possible to the advantage of the Sixers.
Michael Rubin is a tampering tool for Sixers now
Michael Rubin is still super close with Josh Harris David Blitzer, the principal owners of the Sixers, and let’s be honest, he’s always been the connective tissue for those two and the players.
Rubin, a little bit younger and certainly more hip than Blitzer and Harris, can be spotted out with players at other Philly sporting events, concerts, parties, and hanging with other celebrities like Meek Mill.
Simply put: He’s a cool dude, and players seem to like him.
When you’re an owner, that can restrict you a little bit. You technically can’t talk to free agents about joining your team before they’re officially free agents.
As someone who is “just a fan” though? You can do whatever the heck you want. Rubin talked about that with Pat McAfee on his show.
Rubin, stepping down from ownership, may be a “fan” by the letter of the law, but trust that he’s still super excited about the Sixers and what they’re trying to build, plus he has a direct line with ownership and players around the league.
“That does not change my loyalty for the team. I think everyone knows not only is Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who are the two managing partners, family to me, but look, Joel Embiid and James Harden are both family to me so I’m super committed to staying involved and helping these guys. I talk to all of these guys nearly daily.”
“It doesn’t change. I believe the Sixers. I’m here to help,” Rubin continued.
“Look, if I want to up with a free agent or if I want to be involved in something, I don’t have to be worried about breaking rules.”
The last part is clearly aimed at free agency and tampering.
Ironically, the Sixers were fined for having discussions with Danuel House Jr and P.J. Tucker before free agency opened this summer.