The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly parted ways with president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. The veteran govt’s departure is anticipated to return by way of resignation, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The transfer comes after a story by The Ringer’s Ben Detrick uncovered a handful of Twitter accounts allegedly tied to Colangelo that leaked delicate workforce info and hurled criticism at Sixers gamers. Follow-up reporting urged that the accounts might have been run by Colangelo’s spouse.
Colangelo got here to Philadelphia to streamline Sam Hinkie’s course of and wound up forsaking a mess of his personal. The Twitter accounts reportedly linked to the longtime govt forged often-misspelled barbs at 76ers gamers like Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor — the latter two since traded by Colangelo. That forged a pressure on the relationship between players and the 76ers’ front office, raised questions on Colangelo’s dealing with of confidential info, and compelled the workforce to conduct its personal inner investigation on the matter, resulting in Thursday’s ouster.
76ers’ possession met Tuesday night time and even thought-about retaining Colangelo whereas pushing head coach Brett Brown and new lead assistant Monty Williams because the faces of their free agent effort, according to Wojnarowski. In the tip, although, they decided the connection between the workforce and its lead govt was too fraught to proceed.
It’s a bitter finish to the 76ers’ most profitable season in additional than a decade since 2001. But the scandal damaged by Detrick forged a darkish cloud over the franchise that would solely by cleared up with the veteran govt’s elimination.
How did the 76ers and Colangelo get right here?
Colangelo got here to Philadelphia with a longtime pedigree as a workforce builder. He’d served as common supervisor of each the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors within the 2000s, profitable the league’s 2005 and 2007 Executive of the Year awards after shaping these groups into postseason contenders.
That type of resume was simply what proprietor Joshua Harris (and arguably the NBA itself) wished to re-establish the Sixers after a three-year rebuild underneath former common supervisor Sam Hinkie. Commonly known as “the process,” Hinkie bought out his workforce’s 2013-14, 14-15, and 15-16 seasons with a view to amass draft picks and future property. That introduced younger gamers like Embiid, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric to city, however it additionally led to some borderline unwatchable video games on the Wells Fargo Center. That finally created the strain that pressured Hinkie’s resignation in 2016.
On the league’s suggestion, Philadelphia employed Jerry Colangelo because the workforce’s chairman of basketball operations after which added his son Bryan weeks later to function the workforce’s common supervisor, making him Hinkie’s superior till Hinkie’s 13-page resignation letter later that season.
The youthful Colangelo didn’t need to do a lot to construct off Hinkie’s basis. He drafted Simmons with the No. 1 general decide Hinkie left behind, then jettisoned Noel and Okafor in limited-return trades.
His largest — and till May 29, most controversial — transfer got here earlier than the 2017 NBA Draft. Colangelo traded as much as Boston’s high spot within the draft to snag University of Washington level guard Markelle Fultz, giving up his workforce’s No. three general decide and a future first-rounder from the Sacramento Kings within the course of.
That commerce got here again to chew the franchise in 2017-18: whereas Fultz performed simply 14 video games this season, Jayson Tatum, the participant the Celtics chosen at No. three, developed right into a younger star, scoring practically 24 factors per recreation as Boston knocked Philadelphia out of the Eastern Conference semifinals in 5 video games.
How did Twitter get Bryan Colangelo fired?
The fundamental gist of the story is that this: Colangelo or somebody carefully associated to him — his spouse, Barbara Bottini, was reportedly the culprit and even performed a factory reset of her phone to eliminate any additional evidence — had been utilizing as much as 5 totally different Twitter accounts to anonymously air their grievances with the workforce. The accounts criticize former Sixers massive males Noel and Okafor, and some of the tweets included within the report even scrutinized all-star heart Embiid.
Other instances, Embiid was described as “a bit lazy,” “selfish,” and “acting like a tool,” and accused of partying an excessive amount of. “Ben is going to be better than [email protected] less distracted by models and social media,” Still Balling wrote in October 2017, in response to Sixers Nation.
But a few of these Tweets went past simply typical unaccountable trolling and delved into delicate medical info. One account prodded at the concept an Okafor commerce had been scuttled due to the younger heart’s failed bodily. That info hadn’t been reported elsewhere.
When Okafor rejoined the Sixers in Boston on Feb. 15, Colangelo was criticized for creating an embarrassing scenario for the second-year heart. From that time onward, Eric jr (and different accounts) constantly claimed, dozens of instances, deadline deal involving Okafor was derailed by a failed bodily. A supply tangential to the potential commerce informed me that he wasn’t certain why the transaction by no means went via, however essential paperwork had been drawn up and “the expectation was that the trade would be completed.”
That could be a critical breach, and it threw Colangelo into the hearth. The longtime NBA govt was fast to disclaim Detrick’s experiences — to both the press and to Embiid himself.
Sixers All-Star heart Joel Embiid tells ESPN on Bryan Colangelo: “I talked to him and he said that he didn’t say that. He called me just to deny the story. Gotta believe him until proven otherwise. If true though, that would be really bad.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 30, 2018
Despite these denials, the story was too massive — and too weird — to dismiss. On Friday, ESPN reported Colangelo was cooked even when the continued workforce investigation revealed it wasn’t the chief working these accounts however somebody near him:
So far, Philadelphia possession has proven little, if any, inclination to separate Colangelo’s culpability within the matter ought to a member of the family or shut affiliate be confirmed accountable for the postings, league sources stated.
While lots of Colangelo’s workers with the Sixers are bracing for his dismissal, some are nonetheless holding on to hope that he can someway survive this firestorm with this job, sources say.
With a pivotal offseason coming and sufficient wage cap house to land not less than one famous person, retaining Colangelo was now not an choice. Instead of overseeing one of many league’s most fun younger cores, he’ll need to pack up his alleged burner accounts and depart Philadelphia behind.
The 76ers at the moment are available in the market for his or her third common supervisor in fewer than three years, however with gamers like Embiid, Simmons, Saric, Covington, and Fultz in tow, it shouldn’t be too tough to seek out certified candidates to switch Colangelo.