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Billy King fired

In a stunning announcement, the Philadelphia 76ers have fired president and general manager Billy King, replacing him with Ed Stefanski.

In fact, Stefanski was in his ninth season with the New Jersey Nets and held the GM position since the summer of 2004. He helped engineer the 2004 trade that brought Vince Carter to New Jersey Nets.

"We needed a fresh approach to the leadership of the franchise," stated Sixers owner Ed Snider at a Tuesday press conference. "We had the opportunity to bring in someone as accomplished as Ed Stefanski. This was a guy who was too good to pass up."

Indeed, Tuesday's announcement marks a return to Philadelphia for Stefanski, who was a 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and coached on the high school level in the Philadelphia area. And he also worked as a broadcaster for nearly 20 years before joining the Nets.

"I feel more than ready to be the caretaker of the Sixers" expressed Stefanski, who thanked Nets president Rod Thorn for allowing him to make the move.

"I think that the 76ers are very close to my heart. They were my team. I'm a Philly guy through and through. I have a passion for basketball, a passion for Philadelphia. I love this place."

It's important to mention that The 41-year-old King had been with the Sixers since June of 1997 and was named the GM in May of the following year. He added the title of president in May of 2003.

Billy King, who was in the final year of his contract, was instrumental in trading perennial All-Star Allen Iverson to Denver last season, beginning the Sixers' current rebuilding phase.

"It was not an easy decision. Billy King is a good friend and did a good job," Snider added. "We believe we have an effective long-term plan in place, but we also feel it is time for a change, time for a new hand at the wheel."

Philadelphia 76ers fell to 5-12 this season following a loss at home to Atlanta on Monday. The squad went 35-47 last season.

We must remember that the high point of King's tenure with the Sixers came in the 2000-01 season when they went to the NBA Finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.

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