If you told Marc Eversley when he was young that he would be the vice president of player personnel for the Sixers when he was just starting out in the industry, he would probably believe you. He always had the kind of work ethic that made it believable.
But on the other side of that, Eversley, despite a commanding presence at 6-foot-8, was also shy. He discussed his rise to 76ers executive as a panelist at the second annual Mary Kline Classic Sports and Business Symposium on Wednesday at Jefferson University.
Eversley has become one of the most important figures in the NBA. All it took, he said, was having a bit of conviction.
“Walking up to an owner and introducing myself, walking up to another NBA GM – those are not easy things to do,” Eversley said. “In time, you get the confidence to actually approach people. But it’s something I had to learn.”
It isn’t easy putting players from all over the NBA — and in the Sixers’ case all around the world — on the same team. Just ask Eversley. He said that as an executive you are more likely to get fired than anything, so there is more failure than success.
Nonetheless, he has learned from those failures and has learned to navigate the challenges. According to Eversley, there is more to putting talented players on the same court and in the same uniform.
Eversley and his team had to look at the outcome of the 2018-19 season from various perspectives. He detailed what it was like for the front office after the Sixers’ loss to the Raptors in the second round of the playoffs.
“When you saw those four bounces and Kawhi Leonard hit that unbelievable shot, we went right into ‘How do we not have this taste in our mouths again?’ ” Eversley said.
Ultimately, he said, the front office decided that the team that lost to the Raptors in such a dramatic fashion wasn’t good enough.
“There’s no blueprint, no magic to this,” Eversley said. “It’s about fit, feel, and character players. Dudes who play hard, who you don’t have to manage every single day. We want to put 15 guys on the board that Brett Brown wants to coach.”