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Croce: 'Perfect time' for prospective new Sixers owners

The Daily News caught up with former Sixers president Pat Croce on the reported "imminent" sale of the team.

"I think if you get bought by a passionate owner, who is into it 100 percent, I think it's great ... You want that owner who is dedicated, who has leadership, who will bleed red, white and blue.

"When I was there, I didn't care about any other team. I wanted the Sixers to be better than the Flyers, the Eagles and the Phillies. I still rooted for those teams, but I wanted us to be the best, to be the No. 1 team among the fans.

"When we took over in 1996, we hadn't been to the playoffs in 8 years, it was almost an insult to be a Sixers fan. I would think between 1996 and 2001, we unleashed the basketball spirit in the city. Now the new owners know that the fans are out there. They might be a little dormant, but they're out there. My man Doug Collins is so passionate, so dedicated, so right for the franchise. You can smell success with him.

"It's not like you're buying the Dallas Mavericks, who have been a top level team, but this is a great time to be taking over that franchise. A perfect time. Sixers fans will hope, and demand, whoever it is taking over gives it their all. You can't beat the city of Philadelphia or its fans."