Storyline: Sixers Front Office

328 rumors in this storyline

More Rumors in this Storyline

Officially, Colangelo resigned, though sources told Yahoo Sports that Colangelo, 53, fought to keep his job the last few days as the law firm the Sixers engaged wound down its investigation. Its conclusions: Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, established and operated the accounts — which Bottini confirmed. And while it couldn’t determine if Colangelo was aware of them, there was “substantial evidence that Mr. Colangelo was the source of sensitive, non-public, club-related information contained in certain posts to the Twitter accounts,” and it believes Colangelo was “careless and in some instances reckless in failing to properly safeguard” the information, the firm said in a statement.

But even with the Sixers coming off their best regular season in almost two decades, the views expressed in the Twitter accounts that Colangelo’s wife admitted to being behind would’ve made it tough for the team to maintain its upward trajectory. Colangelo contended in his statement that, “The content she shared was filled with inaccuracies and conjecture which in no way represent my own views or opinions.” An alleged failed physical by Jahlil Okafor is one of the inaccuracies, according to multiple league sources. But whether the tweets were truths, half-truths, or falsehoods, Colangelo’s relationship with the players was irreconcilable as a result, according to multiple league sources.

Tom Moore: Bryan Colangelo statement vs #Sixers: 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. 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 recognize how inappropriate these actions were, she acted independently and witho. 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.

Bryan Colangelo: 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 organization and I have mutually agreed to part ways. Over the last two years, I have worked hard to help build a foundation for what I hope will soon be many championship seasons for the 76ers. I am grateful to team owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer for the opportunity they gave me to be part of such a great organization. I am saddened to have to leave under these circumstances. Basketball has been a core part of my life since childhood. I love the game and all those who play and coach it. I want to thank the many colleagues, players and friends from around the League and elsewhere who have expressed their support and encouragement during this difficult and painful time for me and my family.

Philadelphia 76ers: An independent investigation by New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was conducted into certain anonymous social media accounts that posted information concerning the club, personnel, and related topics (a statement of the findings is attached). It has become clear Bryan’s relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised. Recognizing the detrimental impact this matter had on the organization, Colangelo offered his resignation. We find the situation to be disappointing for our entire organization. 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.

With one of the stranger sagas in Philadelphia sports history coming to a close, the Sixers are left to prepare for what may be the most important offseason in franchise history with the lead decision-making role wide open. The delay was, in part, due to internal and external politics that ownership had to weigh. More than one person who spoke to PhillyVoice on the condition of anonymity suggested Jerry Colangelo tried to intervene on Bryan’s behalf, threatening to interfere with club relationships around the league.

One of the five Twitter accounts allegedly linked to Bryan Colangelo “liked” public tweets by other users suggesting certain draft prospects would be good fits for the Philadelphia 76ers, according to multiple sources who independently shared evidence of the Twitter activity with The Athletic. Activity logs show “Still Balling” (@s_bonhams), one of the anonymous Twitter accounts named in the bombshell report from The Ringer last week that triggered an internal investigation of Colangelo by the team, liked multiple tweets and articles suggesting two prospects in the 2018 draft, Mikal Bridges and Miles Bridges, could make sense for the Sixers.

The account also liked numerous other tweets praising Mikal and Miles Bridges, although those additional tweets did not specifically relate to how well the prospects would fit with the Sixers. The “Still Balling” account also liked tweets joking about LiAngelo Ball’s status as a draft prospect and how little pressure Trae Young would face if drafted by a Knicks team that isn’t expected to be competitive. Young is expected to be selected before the Sixers pick at 10 and Ball is unlikely to be drafted. The account had no other documented Twitter activity related to prospects likely to be selected by the Sixers with the 10th-overall pick.

While the Sixers’ investigation into president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo’s Twitter fiasco is ongoing, the general belief within the Sixers’ organization is that it believes Bryan Colangelo’s assertion he had no knowledge of the Twitter accounts, did not send the messages or had known the messages were being sent, according to a source. The Sixers are trying to decide if they can go forward with Colangelo after sensitive team information went public.
2 weeks ago via ESPN

The tweets included defenses of Colangelo’s job performance and disparaging comments about superstar Joel Embiid and Colangelo’s predecessor with the Sixers, Sam Hinkie, as well as Colangelo’s successor as president of the Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri. Other tweets alluded to sensitive information about events leading to rookie Markelle Fultz’s bizarre, season-long shooting yips. The tweets mentioned that the Sixers have video footage, presumably from their practice facility, of Fultz’s trainer, Keith Williams, instructing Fultz to shoot while sitting on a chair and lying on his back. Only a small circle of Sixers would have been privy to that information.

Another prominent agent said that while he would have no problem going forward working with Colangelo, players might be a different story. “He’s always been fair and honest with me,” the agent said. “I hope it’s not true. I think players will have a hard time trusting him though if it is. … I would tell (the agent’s clients) about my personal dealings with him but this issue would certainly be one of the many factors to weigh. At the end of the day, though, the players usually (but not always) choose their destinations based on the best money offer and role.”
2 weeks ago via ESPN

I got asked a lot of questions about the Leafs and we were coming to the end of the chat and a question came in about Bryan Colangelo. I answered it honestly and described one of the ways in which Colangelo communicated as “bafflegab.” I finished the chat, went back to my desk, and a text message was waiting for me. Actually three text messages. All from Colangelo. All taking offence to my use of the term “bafflegab.” And the messages pointing out all the great things he had done at the time with the Raptors.

My message back to him was something along the lines of: Why were you even tuning in to a small online chat of so little significance? Don’t you have more important ways to spend your time? What followed were more messages. I make this point to try to best explain Colangelo’s paranoia. What he did with me, he did with many of my colleagues. It’s why I happen to believe a lot of the story about him operating Twitter accounts in other names. I have seen how he reacts badly to the least bit of criticism.

After Jahlil Okafor got caught up in the flap over 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo reportedly using a burner twitter account to imply that Okafor had failed a trade physical, the 22-year-old Nets center declined comment. “Jahlil has no comment. He’s in a good frame of mine, good spirit just focusing on him,” Okafor’s father, Chukwudi, told the Post. “Myself, him and his agent are going to watch it, see how it plays out. It’s crazy. But other than that, I don’t have anything for you.”
3 weeks ago via ESPN

As a Philadelphia 76ers internal probe into anonymous Twitter accounts has become increasingly focused on the wife of president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, franchise ownership is seriously considering Colangelo’s dismissal, league sources told ESPN. The probe hasn’t been completed, and a final decision has yet to be rendered, but the fallout from a report by The Ringer that connected Twitter accounts unleashing privileged information and provocative attacks surrounding the Sixers has left ownership flushed with embarrassment and anger — and Colangelo fighting for his professional life, league sources said.
3 weeks ago via ESPN

Colangelo, a two-time past NBA Executive of the Year, has discussed with ownership and upper management the possibility that his wife, Barbara Bottini, may have been involved in the postings of the tweets from so-called burner accounts, league sources said. So far, Philadelphia ownership has shown little, if any, inclination to separate Colangelo’s culpability in the matter should a family member or close associate be proven responsible for the postings, league sources said.
3 weeks ago via ESPN

While many of Colangelo’s staff with the Sixers are bracing for his dismissal, some are still holding on to hope that he can somehow survive this firestorm with this job, sources say. Ownership fears that Colangelo’s credibility inside and outside the organization may be too badly damaged to continue his job, especially within a month of a July free-agency period when the Sixers plan to pursue superstars such as LeBron James and Paul George to partner with young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
3 weeks ago via ESPN

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he has been in touch with the Philadelphia 76ers regarding the team’s investigation of team executive Bryan Colangelo’s social media activity. “The notion here was let’s find out what’s going on,” Silver said. “You have to separate sort of the chatter and sort of what either fans or, frankly, the media are saying from the facts. And the first thing we have to do here is determine what the actual facts are in this circumstance.”

Numerous players and league sources suggested in the last two days that it will be difficult for Colangelo to keep his position with the Sixers as a result of the report. “The only way that he’ll get out of it is if he comes with evidence that somebody set him up,” said a league executive, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If it is out there where they can’t prove either way, I don’t think he’ll keep his job. And if there’s involvement with a family member, it doesn’t look like he has a chance either.”

Bryan Colangelo: Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news. While I have never posted anything whatsoever on social media, I have used the @Phila1234567 Twitter account referenced in this story to monitor our industry and other current events. This storyline is disturbing to me on many levels, as I am not familiar with any of the other accounts that have been brought to my attention, nor do I know who is behind them or what their motives may be in using them.

The five accounts pinpointed by the unnamed source included one that followed media members, Sixers employees, and NBA agents but never tweets (its handle is @phila1234567, and it has no account name), and four that have posted tweets or replied to other users. Of those, one was active between April 2016 and May 2017 (its account name is Eric jr, and its handle is @AlVic40117560), two were active within the past five months (HonestAbe / @Honesta34197118 and Enoughunkownsources / @Enoughunkownso1), and one was posting several times a day (Still Balling / @s_bonhams) and as recently as last week.

On February 12, while Okafor was home in Philadelphia as the team traveled, a writer for the blog The Sixers Sense named Brian Jacobs posted a highlight from then-Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Eric jr replied, seemingly off topic, “I must be nuts, I cannot sleep because I worry Jah will not pass physical exams and sent back.” The next day, Jacobs posted a prospective trade that would ship Okafor to the Pelicans for E’Twaun Moore and a pick. Eric jr responded again. “I feel it in my bones, deal was done and Jah did not pass physical,” the account wrote. “Let’s wait & see, only possibility at this point.”

The Sixers concluded the campaign with 16 straight end-of-the-season wins to set an NBA record. They also advanced to the conference semifinal, losing 4-1 to the Boston Celtics. Not bad for the squad that tanked the previous four season. “This year was the first year that he was really tested in terms of his in-game tactics and how he ran the team and wins,” Harris said on April 14. “We were judging him by wins. Go win some games. He delivered in spades. We over-exceeded expectations.” That’s why he thinks everyone’s hat should be off to Brown, who Harris described as a great person. “I hope he’s here for a long time,” the owner said.

Sarah Todd: Today the first question I asked Bryan Colangelo was, “Speaking of Markelle, is there any reason why you wouldn’t want him to play in Summer League?” This was his answer.

Let’s start with rudimentary salary cap issues. The Sixers are one of a few teams who have significant salary cap space to use in the summer of 2018. They would need to make a few moves to get close to a $34 million max salary for James in year one, but it can be done. Let’s also point out that James on media day in September said nothing has happened that has changed his stance about finishing his career with the Cavaliers. He also said, “Anytime I’m able to be a free agent or my contract is ending, I’ll approach that when the summer comes.”
7 months ago via ESPN

So far, Colangelo has rejected discussions on a contract buyout that would allow Okafor to become a free agent. Colangelo is holding out the possibility that Okafor’s $5 million salary could be packaged as part of a bigger deal before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, even if he can’t find a singular move involving Okafor, league sources said. That’s where the disconnect comes between Colangelo and Okafor’s camp, because waiting on that improbability could cause this to become a lost season for Okafor.

The reserve center told team president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo on Tuesday that he wanted to be bought out of his contract. That came after the Sixers declined to pick up Okafor’s contract for the 2018-19 season. The Sixers, however, appear unwilling to let the 21-year-old center, who has played only one game this season, just walk out the door. “Bryan didn’t think [a buyout] would be a great idea,” Okafor said, “because he said he would be giving me away to a team for free. But that’s pretty much where we stand right now.”

“I tried to do everything the right way,” Okafor said. “I tried to be professional; I will continue to be professional. But at some point, I have to defend myself, and this is my career. I’m not sure if [Colangelo] cares about that. I think that’s evident at this point.” Okafor said he understands that this a business and that Colangelo has to do what’s best for the organization. “But at some point, as people, on a personal level, you would hope, let’s get Jah out of here,” Okafor said. “Let him go play somewhere because I’m 21. I’m healthy. I’m trying to get on the right path of my career.”
More HoopsHype Rumors
June 19, 2018 | 10:28 pm EDT Update
Slovenian teen star Luka Doncic has elevated to the forefront of the Atlanta Hawks’ internal discussions on the third overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, league sources told ESPN. Doncic’s elevation within the Hawks organization reflects a leaguewide belief that Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III could go 1-2 to Phoenix and Sacramento, respectively, to open the draft, league sources said.
59 mins ago via ESPN
June 19, 2018 | 10:22 pm EDT Update