76ers & Bryan Colangelo part ways after Twitter fiasco
The Philadelphia 76ers and Bryan Colangelo are parting ways after an investigation into fake Twitter accounts linked to the general manager/president of basketball operations were found to have been created and run by his wife.
The Ringer reported last week that Colangelo used five burner accounts to criticise players and coaches. The accounts mention top 76ers draft picks Markelle Fultz and Joel Embiid as well as former Philadelphia players Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, among others.
Colangelo denied the initial report and told Yahoo Sports last week that someone was "out to get" him.
The 76ers sought an independent investigation into the allegations last Thursday and their ownership group met on Tuesday evening to discuss the findings. The law firm tasked with the investigation connected the Twitter accounts in question to Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini.
A statement released by 76ers managing partner Josh Harris on Thursday said the franchise had accepted his offer of resignation.
The statement read: "The Philadelphia 76ers organisation has accepted the resignation of president of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo, effective immediately. We appreciate Bryan's many contributions during his time leading our basketball operations and thank him for the work he did in positioning the team for long-term success.
"An independent investigation by New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP was conducted into certain anonymous social media accounts that posted information concerning the club, personnel, and related topics. It has become clear Bryan's relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised.
"Recognising the detrimental impact this matter had on the organisation, Colangelo offered his resignation. We find the situation to be disappointing for our entire organisation.
Statement from 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris: pic.twitter.com/eCmz42FD7P— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 7, 2018
"We are determined to continue the tremendous progress we have made over the last two seasons in our quest to win an NBA Championship. As such, we have appointed head coach Brett Brown to oversee basketball operations on an interim basis to lead our efforts in this important offseason.
"He will work closely with the rest of our talented basketball operations department in preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and thereafter until a new general manager is found. The search for a new general manager will commence immediately."
Colangelo, however, denied he had resigned, instead claiming he had parted ways with the Sixers by mutual consent.
"While I am grateful that the independent investigation conducted by the 76ers has confirmed that I had no knowledge of or involvement in the Twitter activity conducted by my wife, I vigorously dispute the allegation that my conduct was in any way reckless," he said in a statement. "At no point did I ever purposefully or directly share any sensitive, non-public, club-related information with her.
"Her actions were a seriously misguided effort to publicly defend and support me, and while I recognise how inappropriate these actions were, she acted independently and without my knowledge or consent. Further, the content she shared was filled with inaccuracies and conjecture which in no way represent my own views or opinions. While this was obviously a mistake, we are a family and we will work through this together.
"Although I am not directly responsible for the actions, I regret this incident occurred and understand that it has become a distraction for the team. Therefore, the organisation and I have mutually agreed to part ways."
Colangelo was hired by the 76ers in 2016. He previously worked as the general manager of the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors.