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Fryin’ Bryan over burners

Posted by Eric Fisher On May 30

Many media members and fans have expressed frustration, at times, at having to read between the lines when Bryan Colangelo discusses the 76ers.

Apparently, all anyone needed to get an honest opinion from the Sixers’ president of basketball operations was to go on Twitter.

According to Ben Detrick of The Ringer, Colangelo may have operated as many as five Twitter accounts without revealing his identity. Detrick asked the Sixers about two accounts on Tues., May 22. Within hours, according to Detrick, the other three Twitter accounts were changed to “private” within hours of his inquiry. That’s either an amazing coincidence or Colangelo, or someone he knows, operated those accounts.

The accounts’ histories included criticism of Sixers players, coaching decisions, and former general manager Sam Hinkie. There also appears to be information that would be known only by someone close to the team.

The Sixers released a statement saying they are investigating the allegations. “An online media outlet filed a story linking multiple social media accounts to 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. The allegations are serious and we have commenced an independent investigation into the matter,” the Sixers’ statement said. “We will report the results of that investigation as soon as it is concluded.”

Colangelo issued a statement of his own through the Sixers.

“Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news,” the statement said. “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.”

Either someone is going to great lengths to frame Colangelo, including following his son’s high school coach and college basketball team on Twitter, or the Sixers have a major problem.

Some of the tweets were critical of Sixers center Joel Embiid. There were also tweets, which seemed to echo the Sixers’ company line, that were critical of Markelle Fultz. Obviously, it would be problematic for Colangelo to retain his current position if he criticized players on the team. The tweets also contained criticism of former Sixers Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.

Having an executive tweet out criticism of his own players may cause free agents to become hesitant before signing with the Sixers. The biggest free-agent fish, of course, is LeBron James.

The timing of the story is also inconvenient because the NBA Draft is less than a month away. Would the Sixers let Colangelo make their draft picks with a cloud hanging over his head? Will Colangelo even make it to the NBA Draft as a Sixers executive?

Those are just some of the many unanswered questions surrounding this bizarre story.

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