- The Ringer dropped a story alleging 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo owned and operated five “burner” Twitter accounts.
- Colangelo has already admitted to running one of the five accounts, and the 76ers have launched an investigation into the issue.
- We set fake props for the story: How long will Colangelo last? Over/under Joel Embiid tweets? Will Sam Hinkie be re-hired?
Late Tuesday evening, the Ringer dropped one of the oddest, most unbelievable, perfectly #NBATwitter stories we’ve seen in a while. The TL;DR version: There is growing suspicion that Bryan Colangelo, current general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, used five different “burner” Twitter accounts to criticize 76ers players and the coaching staff, take shots at former GM Sam Hinkie and discuss nonpublic medical information about players, most notably Jahlil Okafor.
It’s a doozy of a report, and here’s the craziest thing: Colangelo and the 76ers already admitted he was indeed running one of the accounts (they denied that he was running the other four). It’s unclear whether 76ers ownership would deem any of this a fireable offense, but it doesn’t look great, and there’s already been a ton of public reaction to it, even from star Joel Embiid.
Here’s how the night unfolded after the story dropped:
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 30, 2018
Joel’s hilarious on Twitter. Natural reaction. But this one … wow:
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 30, 2018
Embiid is a franchise-changing superstar, and there has always been a little discontent between the 76ers and him ever since Hinkie was fired. Embiid famously still uses the rallying cry of the Hinkie era — “Trust the Process” — all the time both on social media and even in on-court interviews. He is clearly a Hinkie fan, and this news likely can’t sit well with him.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) May 30, 2018
And then we got this tweet from ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski:
Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid tells ESPN on Bryan Colangelo: “I talked to him and he said that he didn’t say that. He called me just to deny the story. Gotta believe him until proven otherwise. If true though, that would be really bad.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 30, 2018
So the obvious question that comes from this is: How much longer will Colangelo last in Philadelphia? Obviously that’s an internal decision, but this is a complicated affair, even if just one of the accounts was his (which seems unlikely). Superstars in the NBA are the highest-valued commodity — by far. There’s no doubt that given the choice between Embiid and Colangelo, the 76ers would choose the former 100 times out of 100. Who knows if it’ll come to that, but early signs on Embiid’s tweet at least make this a worthwhile debate.
And since we’re The Action Network, we had to at least place some odds on the matter, be it real or ones we’ve handicapped ourselves.
Over/Under 5.5 Days Until Colangelo Is Fired
With this prop, you would bet the “over” if you think Colangelo won’t be fired. It’s clear, based on this Shams Charania tweet today, that the 76ers deem this a serious matter. Perhaps this will all just blow over, but the organization has already announced it will launch an investigation into the issue:
The Philadelphia 76ers have launched an investigation for the “serious” allegations on president Bryan Colangelo, who was linked to multiple Twitter accounts.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 30, 2018
Of course, it’s likely things will continue to come out: #NBATwitter has already proven its snooping/researching prowess, and that will definitely continue over the next week.
Sorry, Bryan. Got you.
Went to “reset password” and tried three of his burners. Every single one has a phone number ending in 91. This is clearly not a coincidence.
*note*: I cropped out Colangelo’s email addresses from the picture pic.twitter.com/qKS7KpIJNo
— Adam (@SixersAdam) May 30, 2018
I would say Colangelo is likely to be fired at this point, so in that case you’re really betting on how long the investigation lasts. With the NBA Draft upcoming in a couple weeks and free agency starting on July 1 — and, according to the betting market yesterday, the Sixers were the favorites to land LeBron James — I’m guessing Philadelphia wants to move past this ASAP. Further, we have to factor in that it might be not possible to prove it isn’t Colangelo operating the accounts. Although I believe in “innocent before proven guilty,” public perception does not work that way. A lot of irreparable damage has already been done, and it’s crazy to ignore the fact that free agents will have this in their heads when they take meetings in July. Do they want Colangelo sitting at that table?
Over/Under 8.5 Tweets From Joel Embiid Until Colangelo Is Fired
Embiid is a sporadic (yet brilliant) tweeter. He’s had just 18 tweets since April 14, although a big part of that was likely him still being in season. He’s had four tweets already on the subject, although, like Zach Lowe mentioned above, it’s likely he had a lovely meeting with the 76ers public relations team today. They are definitely telling him to not tweet about the matter, but they also definitely told him to stop tweeting “Trust the Process” or “#TheProcess” and he does it in just about every tweet about basketball.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) March 26, 2018
So I’m going to hedge here and put the line at 8.5 tweets about the topic before Colangelo is fired. When (if) that happens, watch out.
Over/Under 0.5 New Burner Accounts Discovered
There already have been five, and, again, Colangelo has already admitted to owning one of them! I still can’t get over that. However, I think it’s unlikely we discover more burner accounts. I mean, I can barely keep up with my own account — how in the world was this dude operating five different ones?! I think the fair line is 0.5 and I’d personally lean toward the under. If there is another, however, it’s very likely to be uncovered soon.
Odds Sam Hinkie Will Be Re-Hired (Yes +1000)
There is no shortage of bad blood between Hinkie and the organization, and while he almost certainly doesn’t like the Colangelos, I’m guessing the bridge is too broken with ownership and other employees for Hinkie to be interested in the job again, even as enticing as the future may be in Philadelphia. Perhaps a more interesting prop is the odds that Hinkie is the mysterious egg account that used artificial intelligence to uncover this scandal.
I mean, you could make a case…
— Kevin Cole (@Cole_Kev) May 30, 2018
And maybe my favorite tweet:
tfw you use an open-source data analysis tool to link five accounts through commonalities including similarities in who the accounts followed and linguistic quirks pic.twitter.com/gZpCfVqdYu
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) May 30, 2018