According to Forbes.com, Kevin McHale is the best general manager in pro sports. Yes, that Kevin McHale. Secret-under-the-table deal with Joe Smith McHale. Best seven-footer in the game and only one season making it past the first round of the playoffs McHale. Hysterical. Dan O'Dowd is 65th, but the methodology of the survey is frankly demented. GMs are credited for continuing to win while cutting payroll, so pretty much every NHL team that spent tons of money before the salary cap kicked in is represented in the Top 20. Other howlers in the top ten include the Bears' Jerry Angelo (who just managed to infuriate Lance Briggs by sticking the dread franchise tag on him, let his defensive coordinator walk over money issues, and came very close to losing head coach Lovie Smith over nickels and dimes) and the 76ers' Billy King (where do I even begin).
At least the franchise power rankings ESPN does every year make some effort to include fan satisfaction in the formula. I find it funny that two of the guys in Forbes' top three would easily make another list of the most loathed GM's in pro sports. The highest-ranking local GM on the list is the Avs' Pierre LaCroix, who while fully aware of the implications the salary cap would have on his premium-priced roster didn't manage to turn all of the veterans Colorado lost into any new talent and randomly traded David Aebischer straight up for a goaltender who was older, more injury-prone, and less good.
Even accepting that it fits Forbes' whole image to ignore quality of product and focus in on the bottom line, a lot of these guys have killed their teams. After mismanaging Philadelphia to the point where their one marketable star forced a trade, how is Billy King possibly going to sell tickets to Sixers games the next few years? If they don't get the first or second pick in the draft, they're going to be Clippers East for years to come. LaCroix managed to break the Avs' home sellout streak (which dated to when they first moved to Denver) and is gunning for their playoff appearance streak (ditto). So if Forbes want to do this again next year and not look very, very silly, they ought to work in some kind of future projection adjustment to their formula.