Nine days after The Ringer’s Ben Detrick published a deep-dive investigative look at suspicious Twitter accounts posting sensitive information about Philadelphia 76ers players that implicated then General Manager Bryan Colangelo, Philly and their embattled GM are terminating their relationship. ESPN’s Adrian Wojarnowski had the news on Twitter around 12:00 PM, Eastern time.
Philadelphia and Bryan Colangelo have agreed to part ways, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 7, 2018
The breaking news from the end of May centered around a series of burner accounts that released information that could have only come from inside the organization and also levied accusations at 76ers players, chiefly center Embiid and No. 1 overall draft pick from 2017, Markelle Futlz. Detrick’s story prompted further unraveling, as the 76ers launched an investigation and rumors swirled around Barbara Bottini, Colangelo’s wife, as a possible burner account operator.
The investigation concluded that Bittoni was an owner of four of the six accounts. From the official statement:
As a result of our investigation, we do not believe that Mr. Colangelo established the accounts or posted content on those accounts. The evidence supports the conlcusion that Ms. Barbara Bottini, Mr. Colangelo’s wife, established the accounts and posted content on those accounts. When interviewed, Ms. Bottini admitted establishing and operating the accounts. Forensic evidence corroborates her admissions.
Today, Philly management agreed to allow Colangelo to resign.
In the wake of the twitter burner account probe, Bryan Colangelo's departure in Philadelphia is expected to be described as a resignation, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 7, 2018
The 76ers are on the brink of a critical summer. They are one of the only teams in the league that can make room for a max-level free agent. The 2018 draft is two weeks away. Making a few right moves during the offseason could bolster a team that was already good enough for a run to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Further success in June and July would only solidify Philadelphia’s standing as top team in the East for the next few seasons.
For now, Philly is technically GM-less. Per Wojarnowski, they’ll rely on head coach Brett Brown to lead basketball operations.
Sixers coach Brett Brown will oversee basketball operations on an interim basis.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 7, 2018
Taking an organizational hit like this in the chops, right before the summer kicks off, won’t make adding important pieces over the summer easy. For Philadelphia, now jockeying for Eastern Conference pole-position with Boston, Toronto and Cleveland, the next organizational moves are critical.