Sources: NBA restricting Jerry Colangelo's national team power, access

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Jerry Colangelo, center, with 76ers owner Josh Harris (AP Photo)
Jerry Colangelo, center, with 76ers owner Josh Harris (AP Photo)

Because rival teams protested about the potential for conflicts and player tampering after Jerry Colangelo partnered his duties as chairman of the Philadelphia 76ers and managing director of USA Basketball, the NBA restricted Colangelo’s reach in an apparent attempt to limit his access and influence over star players, league sources told The Vertical.

Among rival executives, there was concern that Colangelo’s powerful pathways and year-round lines of communication to elite American players could be leveraged into a free-agent advantage for the 76ers.

Within weeks of Colangelo’s hiring as 76ers chairman of basketball operations in December, the league office informed the NBA Board of Governors of new limitations on Colangelo’s ability to communicate directly to players outside of USA Basketball activities and how much formal impact he can have in the final voting process for national team and Olympic rosters, league sources said.

After the hiring of Colangelo’s son, Bryan, a two-time NBA executive of the year, as the 76ers president of basketball operations on Sunday, Jerry Colangelo relinquished his title of chairman of basketball operations for the 76ers. He will keep a title of special adviser to Philadelphia ownership, and league sources said the new guidelines will continue to apply to Jerry Colangelo as long as he has a working agreement with Philadelphia.

Beyond an ability to communicate with superstars on the senior national team, Colangelo’s role with USA Basketball delivers him the freedom to control opportunities for NBA talent via invitations to training camps and select team rosters.

The specific guidelines that apply to Colangelo: While he still is part of the group that selects the Team USA roster and Olympic player pool, he is no longer allowed to vote for the final national team and Olympic rosters as a member of the USA Basketball board of directors, and he must make opposing general managers aware of any contact with their players or their players’ agents, league sources told The Vertical.

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