Nine days after accusations against Bryan Colangelo for using burner Twitter accounts surfaced, the Sixers and their controversial General Manager agreed to part ways. The team, Colangelo, and the law firm that the Sixers hired to investigate the matter, all released statements on Thursday afternoon.
The law firm which led the investiagtion concluded that Colangelo’s wife, Barabar Bottini, created and operated the Twitter accounts. Colangelo was deemed to be the source for the sensetive information posted to these accounts, although he maintains that he had no knowledge of the accounts or their posts.
This ends Colangelo’s two year tenure as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations. His time as GM has been criticized by fans, largely because of the circumstance surrounding his hiring. After years of Sam Hinkie’s open willingness to tank in order to get the Sixers better draft picks, the NBA pressured the Sixers into hiring a more experience basketball executive to run the team in 2016. After hiring Jerry Colangelo, Bryan’s father, as a special adviser to the team, Hinkie resigned from his position as GM. Shortly after, Bryan Colangelo took over that same position. Many fans saw this process as the NBA forcing Hinkie out of his role with the team. As such, many had formed opinions on Colangelo before he even started the job in Philadelphia.
From a basketball perspective, results were more mixed. He slected Ben Simmons first overall in 2016, but Simmons was a consensus #1 pick and not exactly an obscure finding by the team. He also traded up with the Boston Celtics for Markelle Fultz, a trade is a clear win for Boston right now because of Jayson Tatum (that gap could narrow as Fultz plays more, but it’s hard to imagine that deal ever looking like a win for the Sixers). His aqcuistions of JJ Redick, Marco Belinelli, and Ersan Ilyasova were crucial parts in the Sixers winning 50 games for the first time in over 15 years.
With Colangelo gone, the Sixers shift their focus towards a crucial offseason. Head coach Brett Brown will manage all basketball operations for the team on a interim basis. Brown seems like a good fit that role, at least temporarily. He is highly respected around the league, and some have reported that his reputation will be able to soften the blow of the Colangelo ordeal amongst possible free agent acquisitions. The NBA Draft is on June 21st, and Free Agency begins on July 1st.