The Philadelphia 76ers opened an “independent investigation” right into a report alleging that Bryan Colangelo, the staff’s high basketball govt, used nameless burner Twitter accounts to criticize his gamers, together with stars Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, and to reveal private data that might be damaging to the athletes.
“An online media outlet filed a story linking multiple social media accounts to 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo,” the staff stated in an announcement Wednesday morning, in response to a story published by the Ringer. “The allegations are serious and we have commenced an independent investigation into the matter. We will report the results of that investigation as soon as it is concluded.”
By Wednesday morning, Colangelo was “actively reaching out to individuals mentioned in those burner accounts, insisting that he isn’t responsible for those tweets,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
The Ringer’s Ben Detrick reported Tuesday that an nameless supply advised months in the past that he look into 5 Twitter accounts with nondescript identifiers. The identical supply advised to Detrick that every one 5 accounts have been managed by Colangelo, who is also the staff’s normal supervisor. Some of the accounts had conveyed vehement help for Colangelo, who has taken criticism for his personnel choices since changing Sam Hinkie, the overall supervisor behind “The Process,” as Philadelphia’s rebuild is thought. The accounts adopted different Twitter customers who appeared to replicate not solely Colangelo’s present occupation, but in addition his earlier stops in Toronto and Phoenix, and the truth that his son performs basketball for the University of Chicago.
“Most disturbingly,” Detrick wrote, “the accounts have repeatedly disclosed potentially damaging information about Sixers players, including [Jahlil] Okafor, [Nerlens] Noel, Embiid, and, most recently, Fultz. The accounts routinely challenge journalists to report these negative claims and, in some cases, have pushed writers to ask players specific questions or to contact the organization to set up interviews. In every example, the accounts have pursued an agenda of absolving Colangelo of blame while vilifying Sixers players.”
According to Detrick, the 76ers confirmed that Colangelo managed one of many 5 accounts, however it was one that by no means issued its personal tweets, merely following others. The staff stated Colangelo had no information of one other account, created across the identical time he assumed the reins in Philadelphia, which issued a number of the most noteworthy feedback within the Ringer story, together with that Embiid ought to be “called out” by 76ers beat writers for his conduct, however “nobody has the guts to do it.”
Detrick stated he intentionally talked about simply these two accounts to the staff. After this correspondence with the staff, he wrote, the opposite three accounts dropped at his consideration “switched from public to private, effectively taking them offline.”
In an announcement to the Ringer, Colangelo acknowledged utilizing the primary account. “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,” he stated. “This story line 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.”
Embiid, who maintains an energetic and often humorous presence on social media, appeared to take a pointy jab again at Colangelo, tweeting to one of many 5 accounts that Hinkie “IS BETTER AND SMARTER THAN YOU,” utilizing the hashtag, “#BurnerAccount.”
Wojnarowski reported Tuesday night time that Embiid “talked to” Colangelo, and the overall supervisor asserted that “he didn’t say” what was within the tweets. “He called me just to deny the story,” Embiid advised Wojnarowski. “Gotta believe him until proven otherwise.”
“If true though,” Embiid added, “that would be really bad.”
Wojnarowski additionally reported that “many league executives seem to believe” that Colangelo’s denials have been credible. “It is hard to fathom a GM risking his job in such a reckless manner,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Many are giving him the benefit of doubt on that level alone. It just doesn’t add up.”
Many others have been having enjoyable with the story’s concentrate on alleged “burner” Twitter accounts, although, together with Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey and Dallas Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban. Morey responded to a well known Rockets weblog’s joking clarification that it wasn’t secretly below his management by tweeting, “You need two blue checks to confirm you are not a burner,” at which level Cuban replied that “every NBA exec gets assigned 7 burner accounts.”
NBA gamers took observe of the story, as effectively, with Jamal Crawford tweeting, “Oh this is getting crazy.” Trevor Booker, who was acquired by Colangelo in a December commerce that despatched Okafor to the Nets, stated on Twitter: “Just when I was getting depressed [because] there weren’t any NBA [games] tonight, this happens. I knew there was a basketball god after all.”
Booker, who was launched by the 76ers in February and latched on with the Pacers, subsequently said, “I don’t think it’s true.” In response to a Twitter person who requested him, “You don’t think they’re his burner accounts?” the veteran ahead replied, “Can’t be LOL.”
The Colangelo story capped what was a wild day of headlines for the 76ers, with information that rookie of the 12 months candidate Ben Simmons is courting Kendall Jenner, a distinguished member of the Kardashian clan, oddsmakers itemizing the 76ers with the most effective odds of touchdown LeBron James as a free agent this summer season and Coach Brett Brown getting a three-year contract extension. Oh, and there was the newest video of Embiid education civilians on Philadelphia’s public basketball courts.
The New York Post’s Page Six cited an “insider familiar with the duo” as saying that “the romance has been going on ‘for a few weeks.’”
That was upsetting information for some 76ers followers who’ve purchased into the “Curse of the Kardashians” narrative, during which the reality-TV stars’ affection for NBA gamers has been seen as a typically dismal growth for these athletes’ careers. Page Six additionally famous that Simmons not too long ago indicated to TMZ Sports that he would be greater than open to having James as a teammate, calling the Cavaliers star a “great player.”
James is broadly anticipated to choose out of his contract with Cleveland and develop into a free agent, and the Sixers, who’ve burgeoning superstars in Simmons and Embiid, loads of salary-cap area and tradable belongings, are considered as amongst his most definitely locations. The sportsbook BetOnline.ag precipitated just a few ripples Tuesday by giving Philadelphia the most effective probability of touchdown the four-time NBA MVP, with the Cavs subsequent, adopted by the Rockets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers.
After the Colangelo story was posted Tuesday night, although, quite a lot of observers puzzled whether or not that information, and the attainable front-office turmoil that might outcome from it, would be sufficient to maintain James from becoming a member of the 76ers. That would presumably be a disappointment for Embiid, who has lobbied up to now for James to come back to Philadelphia, however the former may at all times console himself by persevering with to dunk on amateurs at Seger Park.
That’s the spot in South Philly the place Embiid has been filmed taking part in tennis — and indulging in an obvious hankering to develop into the nation’s most overqualified pickup-basketball participant. Monday introduced the Internet a clip of the first-time all-star bouncing a basketball off a hopelessly outmatched opponent’s face earlier than cruising to the ring for a windmill dunk.
The cameo appearances in what are clearly extraordinarily informal, neighborhood hoops classes have solely continued to endear the playful Embiid to Sixers followers, however the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported that there might be a penalty for the oft-injured middle. “A team source acknowledged that Embiid would put himself at risk of having at least a portion of his five-year, $146 million contract extension voided if he suffers a serious injury that causes him to miss a substantial amount of time,” Pompey wrote.
Happier contract speak centered round Brown, who has been the 76ers’ head coach since 2013 and thus has endured an enormous variety of losses because the “Process” unfolded. Brown started to reap the rewards this season, when his squad went from 28 to 52 wins and received to the second spherical of the playoffs, and he was cemented in his function with the three-year extension, which is ready to maintain him in Philadelphia by the 2021-22 season (per Wojnarowski).
Ever keen to attach the dots, actual or imagined, some on-line voices posited that the timing of Brown’s extension may not be unintentional, on condition that Colangelo may effectively have been anticipating the upcoming arrival of an exceedingly unflattering story about him. In any occasion, the information concerning the coach solely served as one among a number of appetizers Tuesday to the primary course of Sixers-centric content material that was the Ringer article.
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