If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few days or simply haven’t had access to a television or phone, then you have missed quite some exciting Sixers news. Head coach Brett Brown was extended for another three years, we found out Ben Simmons is dating Kendal Jenner and that Bryan Colangelo has a Twitter alter ego by the name of Eric Jr. Crazy stuff right?
The headline that has caused the most waves throughout the NBA is by far the Bryan Colangelo Twitter scandal. Ben Detrick, from The Ringer, reported that an anonymous source had tipped off The Ringer about 76ers General Manager Bryan Colangelo using five secret Twitter accounts to criticize former and current NBA players, staff and executives. That includes players like Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie and Colangelo’s former boss and current Raptors GM Masai Ujiri.
Out of the five Twitter accounts that supposedly belong to Colangelo, only one has actually been proven to be his. In a statement from Colangelo, he claims “I have used the @Phila1234567 Twitter account referenced in this story to monitor our industry and other current events”. He does however go on to claim that he has no knowledge of the other four Twitter accounts or who runs them.
Sixers Twitter had a field day with this. While many made jokes about the allegations, there was some substantial evidence that the accounts belong to Bryan Colangelo or at least someone close to him with inside knowledge about the Sixers organization. The Sixers released a press statement stating that they were launching an investigation into the matter and would let us know of the findings once their investigation was over. Whether the anonymous accounts belong to Colangelo or not, this simply is not a good look for the organization.
After a very successful season by the 76ers, they put themselves in position to make a major splash in free agency this year as well as the NBA Draft, where the Sixers will have the 10th and 26th picks as well as several second rounders. The reports that the Sixers GM has burner accounts and uses them to trash talk players and executives isn’t a good look for any team, let alone a team with such a huge offseason ahead of them like the 76ers.
The team was reportedly the frontrunner to land LeBron James this summer. However, you have to imagine that these sudden accusations could threaten that. LeBron James has dealt with his fair share of drama throughout his career, particularly in Cleveland. He had to go through all of the Kyrie Irving drama, the Isaiah Thomas saga and much more. Does he really want to join a franchise that is run by someone who may or may not be trash talking his players online?
That goes for the likes of Paul George and any other free agents that the 76ers could go after. Does any player really want to join a team that is dealing with this? Even if the report comes back that the accounts weren’t his, can you really trust him? After all, he already confessed to one of the accounts being his.
Does anyone remember the 2015 NBA Draft? The one where the 76ers selected Jahlil Okafor, who’s now playing bench minutes for the Brooklyn Nets, with the 3rd pick and the Knicks took Kristaps Porzingis, a young and budding superstar, with the 4th pick? One of the reasons that Sam Hinkie took Okafor over Porzingis was because Porzingis’ camp refused to let Kristaps interview and practice for the team as well as deny them his medical records. Why? Sam Hinkie was a general manager in a rebuilding phase who didn’t have a good track record with prospective players or agents. Essentially, he was deemed untrustworthy by many around the league. Sound familiar?
Is that now a possibility in this year’s draft? That some players might tell the Sixers that they would prefer to be passed on because they don’t trust the GM or the front office? It certainly is. We’ve seen it happen before. The Sixers have to act on this quickly before the flames keep spreading. They can’t afford to have this situation on their hands at such a pivotal time for the franchise. In the coming days, we will find out how the Sixers deal with the allegations and more importantly, move forward from this.
Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports