The Philadelphia 76ers and president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo have parted ways. In a statement, the law firm hired to investigate the situation said: "As a result of our investigation, we do not believe that Mr. Colangelo established the Twitter accounts or posted content on those accounts".
Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini, admitted that she was the Twitter fingers behind each of the secret accounts.
"It has become clear Bryan's relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised", Sixers co-owner Josh Harris said in a statement. There was no definitive proof linking Colangelo to the others; however, when The Ringer contacted the 76ers about two of the accounts, they intentionally did not mention the other three. Other tweets alluded to sensitive information about events leading to Markelle Fultz's freakish, season-long shooting problems.
The Sixers said that head coach Brett Brown will take over Colangelo's duties until a new general manager can be hired. At the time of Colangelo's hiring, his father, Jerry, was the Sixers chairman of basketball operations.
Colangelo drafted Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and he made a couple savvy moves in adding JJ Redick, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova to the roster during Philadelphia's 52-30 campaign in 2017-18. Colangelo was at the center of of an investigation into anonymous Twitter accounts that have reportedly been linked to him.
On Friday, Philly.com reported the team's investigation was poised to end, while ESPN reported the Sixers were "seriously considering Colangelo's dismissal". ESPN reported the Sixers ownership group met in NY to discuss Colangelo's future Tuesday night.
"We can not conclude that Mr. Colangelo was aware of the Twitter accounts prior to the May 22 press inquiry". However, that does not mean Philadelphia won't fire its president of basketball operations, and team officials are still mulling his fate, with an announcement expected soon.
Shortly after the Ringer report was published last week, the 76ers announced they were launching "an independent investigation into the matter", and the team would likely have fired Colangelo by Wednesday had it determined he had posted the tweets.