In the wee hours of the morning, while many of us were dreaming about a world in which J.R. Smith actually knew the score with 5 seconds left in an NBA Finals game, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe released a report stating that the Sixers are seriously considering the dismissal of President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo.
ESPN reporting with @ZachLowe_NBA: As internal probe on Twitter activity increasingly focuses on his family, Sixers ownership seriously considering dismissal of Bryan Colangelo. https://t.co/0cdhZbl9nQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2018
Per the report, the team’s internal probe is focusing on Colangelo’s wife in the wake of the Twitter burner accounts scandal first brought to light by The Ringer’s Ben Detrick. Score one for Sixers twitter, who had zeroed in on his wife as the prime suspect Wednesday night. The Sixers could have saved themselves the money of paying a high-priced New York law firm and just Venmo’d a bit of cash to folks on the internet.
As for how the team will deal with the investigation’s findings, should Barbara Bottini be, in fact, the guilty party, here is the relevant part for the ESPN article:
So far, Philadelphia ownership has shown little, if any, inclination to separate Colangelo’s culpability in the matter should a family member or close associate be proven responsible for the postings, league sources said.
As people have made clear since the beginning, even if Colangelo was not operating the accounts himself, he was relaying sensitive team information to some unauthorized (and frankly, somewhat irrational) outside party. That’s on him. It’s something the organization can’t have hanging over its head with a crucial offseason looming. Philadelphia has a legitimate chance of landing LeBron James, who just dropped a 51/8/8 line in the NBA Finals. The report also indicates those concerns:
Ownership fears that Colangelo’s credibility inside and outside the organization may be too badly damaged to continue his job, especially within a month of a July free-agency period when the Sixers plan to pursue superstars such as LeBron James and Paul George to partner with young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Bryan Colangelo doesn’t appear long for this world as an employee of the Philadelphia 76ers. My money would be on his dismissal coming late in the day Friday (the classic Friday news dump). We’ll have more on this story as it develops.