Philadelphia 76ers president Bryan Colangelo appears to have used multiple Twitter accounts to criticize players and coaches on his own team and release sensitive team information, according to a lengthy report from The Ringer on Tuesday night.
The Ringer believes the 52-year-old Colangelo, a longtime basketball executive who has also held jobs with the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors, may have used up to five fake Twitter accounts to criticize his team's own players — including 2018 NBA All-Star Joel Embiid — debate his own coaching staff's decisions and reveal confidential team information.
"In February, The Ringer received an anonymous tip that Bryan Colangelo ... had been secretly operating five Twitter accounts," The Ringer's Ben Detrick wrote. Detrick added The Ringer has since "scrutinized and archived those accounts in an attempt to verify the source's claims."
Colangelo, the son of former Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo, served as the Suns' general manager from 1995-2006 and was the 2005 NBA Executive of the Year. He resigned as Suns GM and became president and GM of the Toronto Raptors in 2006, two years after his father sold the Suns to current owner Robert Sarver. Colangelo went on to win the NBA Executive of the Year award with the Raptors in 2007.
Colangelo was relieved of his role as Raptors GM in 2013 and soon resigned from his role as team president, as well. In 2016, he was hired as the 76ers' president of basketball operations.
After The Ringer published its report, Colangelo admitted to operating one of the accounts but denied being behind the others.
"Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news," Colangelo told The Ringer in a statement. "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."
Embiid told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Colangelo called him Tuesday night to deny the tweets were from him.
"Maybe there's an IT person who can prove it wasn't Bryan Colangelo, but here's one of his biggest problems in disputing Ringer story: Those tweets reflected not only private team (business), but launched personal beefs/jealousies/frustrations that he's shared inside and outside 76ers," Wojnarowski tweeted. "Nevertheless, Colangelo is denying he is responsible for those tweets and many league executives seem to believe this: It is hard to fathom a GM risking his job in such a reckless manner. Many are giving him the benefit of the doubt on that level alone. It just doesn't add up."