To Evolution

Sixers and GM Bryan Colangelo split up after the burner account scandal

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Recreation and Sports


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    Bryan Colangelo is no longer president of Philadelphia 76ers basketball operations after the two sides agreed to split, a source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Thursday.

    The news was reported for the first time by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who also broadcast that Brett Brown will take over basketball operations on an interim basis.

    As part of a statement issued at the conclusion of the investigation, the Sixers noted that they did not believe that Colangelo knew the burner accounts, but they gave him responsibility for the situation to develop as he did.

    We can not conclude that Mr. Colangelo knew the Twitter accounts before the May 22 press investigation. Mr. Colangelo denies such knowledge and we have not observed forensic evidence to show that he was aware of Twitter accounts before that date. However, we note that our investigation was limited and hampered by certain actions taken by Ms. Bottini, including her decision to remove the contents of her iPhone by performing a factory reset of the device before submitting it for forensic review.

    Our investigation revealed substantial evidence that Mr. Colangelo was the source of sensitive, non-public, club-related information contained in certain Twitter account posts. We believe that Mr. Colangelo was careless and, in some cases, reckless in failing to adequately protect sensitive, non-public information related to clubs in communications with people outside the 76ers' organization.

    A report by Ben Detrick in The Ringer last week put the basketball world in a frenzy, with speculation that the general manager himself has several accounts on Twitter. Those accounts included detailed information that only people with internal access to the Sixers would know, from medical information to several notes on the health and well-being of the No. 1 Markelle Fultz selection.

    And although they were publicly beaten by several Sixers fans on Twitter, the reports eventually leaked that the investigation focused on Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini, whose public phone number revealed a possible connection to the accounts in question.

    The most conclusive report before the resignation of Colangelo came from Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN, who hinted at the result we finally reached at the end of last week.

    Colangelo, twice former NBA executive of the year, has discussed with the property and senior management the possibility that his wife, Barbara Bottini, has been involved in the publication of the tweets of the so-called burned accounts, sources with the league.

    So far, the Philadelphia property has shown little, if any, the inclination to separate Colangelo's guilt in the matter if a family member or a close associate is responsible for the shipments, league sources said. [espn.com]

    Ultimately, the Sixers decided they could not separate the shares of a member of Colangelo's family from him. In a business based on relationships and trust, it would be difficult to find many people who do not understand the move.

    With one of the strangest sagas in Philadelphia's sporting history coming to an end, the Sixers are left to prepare for what may be the most important season in franchise history with the role of open decision-making. The delay was, in part, due to internal and external policies that the property had to weigh.

    More than one person who spoke with Philly Voice on the condition of anonymity suggested that Jerry Colangelo attempted to intervene on behalf of Bryan, threatening to interfere with the club's relations in the league. The Sixers, aware of Colangelo's influence in the league and his connection to numerous agents and agents of power after decades of work in basketball, chose to move carefully into what the team's sources described as a chaotic and uncertain environment.

    The discussions that PhillyVoice had with people inside and outside the organization did not reveal any connection between the staff of Bryan or Bryan and the actions of their father during the last week.

    Asked by Mike Sielski of the Inquirer about the participation of Jerry Colangelo during his press conference on Thursday, Joshua Harris offered a refusal.

    "Jerry was not involved in the process in any way, I'm aware of the press report, it just is not true, we gave Jerry ahead at the end of the process, just before this morning before he saw them all. respectful of the process we had to go through. "

    Candidates such as former Cavs general manager David Griffin, with close contacts with nearby free agent LeBron James, and Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren, are expected to be considered seriously for the job, among other candidates. Qualified The Sixers will also see internal candidates, such as Marc Eversley and Ned Cohen, with the short window between the draft and free agency that complicates a potential job search.

    This time it's a very different search than the NBA Sixers suffered to replace Sam Hinkie. The last time Philadelphia changed its head, they were equipped with many promises but little in the way of concrete returns. They still had to secure the No. 1 pick that became Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid had not yet stepped on an NBA court for the first time. With everything that happened, since they have a much more attractive position to offer to potential candidates, even if they are not able to attract a great player to join them this summer.

    And then, of course, we have to discuss what all this means to Bryan Colangelo. It seems hard to believe that he would have another chance to run a basketball organization again after this attack, even if he could get an opportunity to work some kind of basketball operations job on the line. It will be difficult for him to convince teams in the future that he can distance himself from his wife, so this could be the end of his time in basketball at a high level.

    Even for the strongest critics of his performance, you should feel some sympathy for how all this developed. Should he have maintained a stronger line by withholding confidential information from the people around him, and deserved to lose his job because of this? Definitely. But on a human level, someone who communicates the trials and tribulations of his work with his partner is not exactly the most condemnatory trait in the world.

    Not only that, Colangelo will not be able to see during the offseason that his office had invested so much time, effort and planning as the jewel in the crown of his time here. Because his big acquisition (Simmons at No. 1) is seen by many as a Hinkie inheritance, there will be many who will dispute if he leaves any kind of lasting legacy in Philadelphia.

    However, that is a conversation we can have in the coming days.

    The Sixers will need to get out of this scandal quickly and prepare for the biggest summer of their professional lives. Without pressure, everyone.