76ers president Bryan Colangelo resigns after investigation of Twitter accounts

“Recognizing the detrimental impact this matter had on the organization, Colangelo offered his resignation."

Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo speaks with members of the media during a news conference. –AP Photo/Matt Rourke

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers said Thursday that team president Bryan Colangelo has resigned following an investigation into anonymous Twitter accounts that were linked to him.

The “burner” accounts criticized Sixers players Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, as well as former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri, and former Sixers players Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, and they prompted the team to investigate.

The law firm hired by the Sixers discovered Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, was behind the accounts. She admitted to creating and operating the accounts in interviews with the firm.

“At no point did I ever purposefully or directly share any sensitive, non-public, club-related information with her,” Colangelo said in a statement. “Her actions were a seriously misguided effort to publicly defend and support me, and while I recognize how inappropriate these actions were, she acted independently and without my knowledge or consent.”

Colangelo said Bottini’s tweets were “filled with inaccuracies and conjecture” that do not represent his personal views or opinions.

“While this was obviously a mistake, we are a family and we will work through this together,” he continued.  “Although I am not directly responsible for the actions, I regret this incident occurred and understand that it has become a distraction for the team.”

Philadelphia’s head coach Brett Brown will oversee basketball operations on an interim basis. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the team will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon.

The team also released the following statement:

“The Philadelphia 76ers organization has accepted the resignation of President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo, effective immediately. We appreciate Bryan’s many contributions during his time leading our basketball operations and thank him for the work he did in positioning the team for long-term success.

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“An independent investigation by New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was conducted into certain anonymous social media accounts that posted information concerning the club, personnel, and related topics (a statement of the findings is attached). It has become clear Bryan’s relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised.

“Recognizing the detrimental impact this matter had on the organization, Colangelo offered his resignation. We find the situation to be disappointing for our entire organization.

“We are determined to continue the tremendous progress we have made over the last two seasons in our quest to win an NBA Championship. As such, we have appointed head coach Brett Brown to oversee basketball operations on an interim basis to lead our efforts in this important offseason. He will work closely with the rest of our talented basketball operations department in preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and thereafter until a new General Manager is found. The search for a new General Manager will commence immediately.”