Trust the process, right? Well, it seems like someone someone high up in the Sixers organization might have broken a lot of trust. The Ringer has gotten to the bottom of the internet trolls who have been tweeting harsh comments about members of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.
It turns out, the five Twitter accounts under fire belonged to none other than Sixers president of basketball operations and general manager Bryan Colangelo.
After being approached by the Ringer about two of the accounts, Colangelo acknowledged that he was behind one of the accounts (@phila1234567), but denied owning the other account (@AIVic40117560).
The three other suspected accounts, @Honesta3419118 @Enoughunkownso1 and @s_bonhams ironically all changed from public to private on the same day that the Ringer sent the request about the two accounts to Colangelo. Things got even fishier when one of the accounts unfollowed all Twitter users with ties to Colangelo.
The individual tweeting from those accounts criticized players, coaches and league executives, saying the following:
- Insulting NBA players, including Sixers star Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel
- Publicly questioned the decisions of the 76ers coaching staff, and critiqued former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri — Colangelo replaced Hinkie and was replaced by Ujiri in Toronto
- Telegraphed the 2017 trade in which the Sixers acquired the No. 1 overall pick that would become Markelle Fultz
- Released confidential medical information about Okafor and behind-the-scenes gossip about Embiid and Fultz
The account @Enoughunkownso1 fired back at a tweet about the size of Colangelo’s shirt collars, responding: “That is a normal collar. Move on, find a new slant.” The other accounts retweeted compliments about him being “clean-cut,” and called “someone a big fat liar” for insulting him.
When the @Enoughunkownso1 account was asked if it was run by Colangelo, it was denied with a compliment to him:
“He is too classy to even engage. Worked with him: he is a class act.”
The accounts were very critical of Masai Ujiri, who was called in by the Raptors to replace Colangelo in 2013. The accounts tweeted harsh remarks, calling Ujiri a “trust fund baby,” and “You were resigned for 30+ millions this Summer, so yes! please Masai do something!”
The accounts also tweeted about Colangelo’s predecessor, Sam Hinkie:
“BC has done nothing but clean up hinkie’s mess,” the account wrote in January 2017. “Hinkie got great pieces but could [not] make the puzzle work.”
“I have no respect for Hinkie’s martyrdom bcs it is orchestrated by him behind the curtains via all the bloggers he cultivated with leaks,”
It didn’t stop there. The tyranny continued with several of the accounts attacking 76ers players, calling Noel a “selfish punk” who was “behaving like a vulture.” They went on to tweet “Bret Brown wanted NN gone,” then added “Bad for locker room. Once again Colangelo protected coach and got sh@t on for it. Bc is class act not a bad guy.”
All-Star Joel Embiid was also criticized, with tweets including
“Joel, you are just a kid, but why didn’t you tell docs knees hurt before Houston? You costed yrself (&us) 9+ games and play-offs.”
“Too bad that Embiid danced like a fool and the whole disaster happened, next time he will think twice before mocking his team.”
“If I had a medium size ladder I would love to knock some sense in Joel’s head right now,”
“Ben is going to be better than Joel@snd less distracted by models and social media,”
Colangelo confirmed on Tuesday night that one account, @phila1234567, was indeed his, but it is “protected” and “doesn’t actively tweet.”
He denied any involvement of the other four Twitter accounts, claiming that the accusations are“disturbing to me on many levels.”
“Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news,” Colangelo said 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 he spoke to Colangelo on the phone Tuesday night, but the general manager was still denying all accusations.
“I talked to him and he said that he didn’t say that,” Embiid told ESPN. “He called me just to deny the story. Gotta believe him until proven otherwise. If true though, that would be really bad.”