Colangelo is out: Sixers say his ability to lead has been 'compromised'

Anonymous Twitter accounts belonged to the Sixers GM's wife

Rachel Kurland
June 07, 2018 - 12:12 pm
Bryan Colangelo

© James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia 76ers released a statement Thursday accepting Bryan Colangelo's resignation following allegations of the general manager tweeting from anonymous accounts about sensitive Sixers information. 

An independent investigation firm looked into the anonymous Twitter accounts and determined Colangelo's "ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised."

Using the word "unfortunate" about two-dozen times, at a press conference in Camden, New Jersey, Sixers owner Josh Harris expressed his disappointment in how the Colangelo saga concluded. 

He announced that head coach Brett Brown will oversee basketball operations in an interim basis.

This move comes after a report in TheRinger.com about burner accounts on Twitter linked to Colangelo.

But another statement from the firm that investigated the accounts, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, concluded that Colangelo's wife created the accounts and posted content from them.

"The evidence supports the conclusion that Ms. Barbara Bottini, Mr. Colangelo’s wife, established the Twitter accounts and posted content on those accounts," read the statement. "When interviewed, Ms. Bottini admitted establishing and operating the accounts. Forensic evidence corroborates her admissions."

The firm could not conclude if Colangelo was aware of the accounts prior to the media storm, and he continues to deny it.

Sensitive information, however, was released from those accounts, which the firm called "careless" on Colangelo's behalf.

Following the news of his resignation, Colangelo released a statement: "While I am grateful that the independent investigation conducted by the 76ers has confirmed that I had no knowledge of or involvement in the Twitter activity conducted by my wife, I vigorously dispute the allegation that my conduct was in any way reckless."

The opinions she tweeted do not reflect Colangelo, he said, and though she acted independently, he regrets that the incident became a distraction for the team.

Harris and Brown focused on the Sixers' future at Thursday's press conference.

Colangelo's resignation comes two weeks before the NBA Draft, which Brown will oversee, as the Sixers enter an important off-season. Philly currently holds the number 10 and 26 picks in the first round. Both Harris and Brown don't expect this GM drama to have any impact on signing a big-time free agent this summer. 

Brown said he was "incredibly excited" about what lies ahead for the team. "This incredibly sad situation will not get the better of us," Brown said.

While Brown is covering in Colangelo's position, Harris hopes to find a new general manager as quickly as possible, while ensuring the best candidate.

"The goal is to find a general manager that can work in the context of a very talented team," he said. "If we can do that by the end of June, we will do that by the end of June. We want to make the right choice, not the fast choice."

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KYW Newsradio's Ed Benkin and Mike Dougherty contributed to this report.