And you thought Kevin Durant’s burner Twitter account was a strange situation.
An extensive report Tuesday by Ben Detrick of The Ringer intimates that Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo is at the center of a social media predicament. The Ringer received a tip in February that Colangelo has reportedly been secretly operating five Twitter accounts that have at times criticized NBA players that included Sixers, debated coaching decisions by his own staff, critiqued front office moves of Sam Hinkie and Toronto successor Masai Ujiri, telegraphed the Markelle Fultz trade and disclosed non-public information on players to members of the media.
“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,” Detrick said. “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.”
Detrick stated that he emailed the Sixers last week to discuss the nature of only two accounts — @phila1234567 and @Eric jr — in order “to see whether the partial disclosure would trigger any changes to the other accounts.” A Sixers representative later told Detrick over the phone they would discuss the claims with Colangelo, and within hours, the three other accounts not disclosed were changed from public to private.
In a follow-up call, the Sixers representative confirmed one of the accounts (@Phila1234567) did belong to Colangelo. The rep said that Colangelo denied any knowledge of the @Eric jr account.
When contacted tonight about the nature of all five accounts seemingly being linked, the team shared a statement from Colangelo with The Ringer.
“Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news,” the statement said. “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 Sixers said there would be no further statement when contacted by NBC Sports Philadelphia (see other reaction).
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, Colangelo had no further word Tuesday night and was standing by his statement.