While the NBA Finals got off to a hot start, things also appear to be picking up in the Sixers’ investigation of the reported Bryan Colangelo Twitter saga.
Per a report early Friday morning by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the Sixers are seriously considering dismissing their president of basketball operations as the probe has become increasingly focused on Colangelo’s wife.
“The probe hasn't been completed — and a final decision has yet to be rendered — but the fallout 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,” the report states.
The news has already gotten the attention of the highest level at the league office. NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the situation during a press conference prior to Game 1 of the Finals.
“For the league there’s always that balance of speed and doing things in a deliberate and appropriate way,” Silver said (see story). “And so I have talked to management at the 76ers and the notion here was, let’s find out what’s going on. And I said, in anything we’ve dealt with over the years, I think 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.”
While Silver kept his response as direct as possible, he did admit the scenario was “not necessarily something that we want to be talking about” as the league’s championship clash tipped off on Thursday.
Colangelo himself wasn’t in much of a talking mood either. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark caught up with Colangelo at Philadelphia International Airport earlier in the day, where the front office exec maintained his innocence.
Colangelo told Clark that he “stands by his (previous) statement” and is “fully unaware of anything” related to the scandal (see story).
Colangelo found himself at the center of this bizarre incident on Tuesday when The Ringer’s Ben Detrick released a report that tied the Sixers’ president to five Twitter accounts. The accounts 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 (see story).
While Colangelo admitted to using one of the accounts (@Phila1234567) for reference purposes, he denied any connection to the four others.
“Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news,” Colangelo said in his initial statement to The Ringer. “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.”
Colangelo doubled down on his denial to players and various media outlets over the course of the next few days.
"Someone's out to get me,” Colangelo said Wednesday to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo! Sports (see story).
Whether that claim is true or not, Colangelo appears on the verge of being got.