76ers' Bryan Colangelo Issues Statement on Twitter Burner Account Allegations
Bryan Colangelo issued a statement Tuesday after The Ringer's Ben Detrick published an extensive investigation regarding the Philadelphia 76ers general manager's alleged use of burner Twitter accounts to criticize players, head coach Brett Brown and executives.
The report, which details the trends of five different Twitter accounts, includes mention of an account with the handle @phila1234567. Colangelo confirmed that account, which is protected and does not actively tweet, belongs to him.
However, he denied that he was involved with any of the other accounts:
"Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news. 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 story line 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."
Detrick, whom an anonymous source tipped off to the accounts, added that he contacted the Sixers asking about two of the five accounts: phila1234567 and @AlVic40117560, which features the display name Eric jr.
Following a discussion with the club's media representative, Detrick noted "all three of the accounts I hadn't discussed with the team switched from public to private."
The investigation found that the accounts "repeatedly disclosed potentially damaging information" about current and former Sixers players, including Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Markelle Fultz, and actively sought to defend Colangelo's reputation.
Specifically, one of the accounts said that the Sixers couldn't close a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans because Okafor failed a physical.
Separately, accounts referred to Noel—whom Colangelo traded to the Dallas Mavericks in February 2017—as a "selfish punk" who was "behaving like a vulture." The same accounts said Noel was traded because he had fallen out of favor with Brown.
Additionally, one of the accounts in question scolded Embiid for taking off his shirt and dancing at a Meek Mill concert when he was out because of a knee injury in February 2017.
"Too bad that Embiid danced like a fool and the whole disaster happened, next time he will think twice before mocking his team," the account wrote.
The accounts also said Fultz, who missed 68 games because of a right shoulder injury, spent extended time on the shelf because his trainer, Keith Williams, tinkered with his shot.
"The so call mentor tried to force him to change the shot," the account wrote. "Tapes have surfaced of the guy making Markette shooting while sitting on a chair, while on his back on the floor etc. The guy denies it as doesn't want to say Y was forced out of kid's life. Y nobody reports this."