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I believed Bryan Colangelo, too — and he still had to go

I believed Bryan Colangelo, too — and he still had to go

The extent to which departed Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo was aware of or participated in the many “burner” accounts defending him on Twitter was always irrelevant.

He had to go, and he had to go now.

For what it’s worth, I believed, as the Sixers apparently did, that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, was behind the vast majority and worst of the Tweets that ultimately doomed his tenure as president of basketball operations. It was sadly plausible that a 53-year-old sports executive would jump on social media under a bunch of different aliases to defend himself against internet trolls — but use somebody else’s phone to do it?

This is 2018, a time in history when most human beings are practically tethered to their cell phones. It was almost inconceivable Bottini’s phone was unattended long or often enough for Colangelo to get his hands on it with such frequency.

Which is why it was baffling to hear the Sixers believed Colangelo, as if for one second they considered the possibility that information shouldn’t cost him his job.

This situation was never about whether Colangelo was right or wrong, guilty or not guilty.

It was about the trust that was destroyed and would likely never be fully regained between a president of basketball operations and the Sixers’ coaches and players. Colangelo may not have authored those negative Tweets about the people in his employ, and he may not have personally spread sensitive information about them in a public forum. Regardless of where it came from, that stuff was out there, and he was ultimately the source for a lot of it.

Who can separate what Colangelo felt from what his wife said?

It was also about how the Sixers organization would be viewed by potential free agents around the NBA come July 1. This is a critical juncture for a team attempting to win a championship, and if even one player would consider steering clear of Philadelphia over the appearance of organizational disarray or because they weren’t comfortable with the front office, that was one too many.

You can’t have the best player in the world, who also happens to be an impending free agent — one that’s been repeatedly tied to the organization — dunking on your president of basketball operations for the entire world to see.

Colangelo probably should’ve been canned the moment LeBron James commented on the Sixers’ scandal. It certainly shouldn’t have taken as long as it did.

I can appreciate the Sixers doing their due diligence and not firing somebody before the full story is out. But once it was confirmed the Tweets came from his wife’s phone, it didn’t much matter to what degree Colangelo was involved with the accounts or their content.

At that point, he was tied to this scandal forever.

Maybe the Sixers, their players and coaches and the rest of the NBA could overlook a president of basketball operations' overbearing, defensive wife in the right climate, maybe if the team was already a legitimate contender or had won something. Even then, Bottini's disclosure of medical information would’ve complicated Colangelo’s ability to stay on manage the team effectively.

But the Sixers are at a tenuous point in their development. They’re trying to attract LeBron, or Kawhi Leonard, or Paul George or another top-tier free agent. They’re trying to take the next step toward becoming a contender. They haven’t accomplished anything yet.

The Sixers weren’t going to be able to accomplish anything, either, not with the most talented players in the world steering clear of Philly, with stars such as Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz mistrustful of management, and with his coach feeling undermined. Whether he tweeted those things or not, cutting ties with Colangelo was the only way forward.

More on Colangelo's resignation

•​ Josh Harris doesn't rule out possible Sam Hinkie return

• Harris reveals results of investigation

• Colangelo releases bizarre statement on his resignation

How Sixers actually benefit from Colangelo mess

• Did Sixers fall behind in draft prep during investigation

Brent Celek would rather retire than play for Cowboys

Brent Celek would rather retire than play for Cowboys

Need another reason to love Brent Celek?

Probably not — the standing ovation he got at the Sixers game in March just hours after being cut by the Eagles gives you a sense of the connection he has with Philadelphia fans.

But appearing Friday on 97.5 The Fanatic, Celek did the one thing guaranteed to get you in any Eagles fan's good graces — diss the Cowboys.

"Hell no. Do you think I would play for the Cowboys? Philly is my home," Celek said. "If they offered me 10 million, I still wouldn't go."

While Celek said back in March before being cut that he wasn't planning to retire, it sounds like his mind has shifted. He has a hard time imagining himself playing anywhere besides Philadelphia.

"I think I'm leaning more toward retirement," Celek said. "I've had a few offers, but none of them are worth leaving a city that I have been in for 11 years where I won the Super Bowl in my final year. It wouldn't feel right to put another uniform on."

Like seeing Brian Dawkins in a Broncos uniform, it would be bizarre to watch Celek suit up for another team. 

If he does find a new home, we know it definitely won't be Dallas. 

You can listen to the full interview with Celek here

More on the Eagles

Mets pitcher records 1st MLB hit off Scott Kingery, jokes on social media

Mets pitcher records 1st MLB hit off Scott Kingery, jokes on social media

When someone gets a bloop single or a broken bat hit, they’ll often say “it looks like a line drive in the box score.” Does the same apply when your first major-league hit came off Scott Kingery lobbing pitches over the plate?

Thursday, in the midst of the Mets' 20-run victory, the Phillies used position players to record the final nine outs of the game. Roman Quinn pitched first and regularly registered in the upper 70s with his offerings, but Kingery on the other hand …

In the eighth inning, Mets reliever Jerry Blevins was called on to hit for just the fourth time in his 12-year MLB career and he delivered with an RBI single off the soft-tossing rookie infielder. 

After the game, Blevins took to social media to make a joke about his first hit.

Mets fans had some fun with the moment, too.

While Dodgers fans, just didn’t get it.

The Phillies went on to win the second game of the twin bill, aided by a solo home run from Kingery. The Phils also gained a half-game on the Atlanta Braves in the standings, so we can have a laugh at this one.

Congratulations, Jerry, it’s a line drive off Kershaw in the box score.

More on the Phillies