First Kevin Durant, now Bryan Colangelo?
If you haven’t heard, Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo (and possibly his wife, Barbara Bottini) are the alleged operators of up to five different burner accounts on Twitter that have posted things that are detrimental to the Sixers’ organization.
We already saw this from Durant in September 2017. I wasn’t surprised to hear the story about his burner accounts. I knew after watching the second-best player in the world put in a basketball cheat code and join the NBA’s best team in the Golden State Warriors that he was willing to reveal to the world how weak and not care. So yes, it’s pathetic and petty that Durant felt the need to argue with critics on social media, but it’s an even worse look for Colangelo.
Most notably, there were negative comments about Joel Embiid, a rising superstar and arguably the best player on the team. Two of the accounts allegedly linked to Colangelo said the 24-year-old center was “playing like a toddler having tantrums” and “acting like a tool.”
One of the account users also claimed to know Colangelo personally and referred to him as a “class act” on multiple occasions.
Yet, Embiid – who has had a history of being injury prone but made it through most of the 2017-18 season – has been as dominant on the court as anybody when he’s healthy.
While he’s still working his way to full speed, playing just 63 of 82 games this year and averaging 30.3 minutes per contest, it’s a much better sight for Philly fans than the 31 he played and 25.4 minutes he averaged in 2016-17.
Embiid’s a transcendent talent with virtually no ceiling. He led Philadelphia in scoring, rebounds and blocks, all contributing to his place on the All-NBA and All-Defensive second teams this season. Obviously, he was instrumental in the Sixers’ 52-30 regular season, the fifth-best record in the league. The combined win total for the previous three seasons: 56.
The addition of point guard Ben Simmons, the likely recipient of the 2018 Rookie of the Year, has Sixers fans excited about the future of their team built around its young talent.
Which is why it makes sense to attack his teammates on Twitter, right? This is obviously not the right time to stir up conflict.
Apparently the team has hired a law firm to sort out this mess, including his wife’s involvement with the burner accounts. But Colangelo can’t come back from this. His reputation is ruined and he’ll most likely be fired.
Moral of the story: Don’t do stupid stuff on social media because the internet will always, always remember.
An article from ESPN.com contributed to this report.
Andrew Huang is a sports writer. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJHuang and contact him at [email protected].