The Sixers‘ investigation into team president Bryan Colangelo‘s alleged use of burner social media accounts is expected to conclude shortly and several league sources believe he will lose his job, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Pompey writes that the investigation could wrap up as soon as tomorrow. Due to Game 1 of the NBA Finals taking place tonight, the league did not want the Colangelo investigation to be a distraction, Pompey adds.
On Tuesday, a report from Ben Detrick of The Ringer provided evidence that connected Colangelo to five Twitter accounts that bashed Sixers players and coaches, and disclosed sensitive medical and team information. Colangelo admitted to owning one of the accounts in question but said that the account was used strictly to monitor social media.
Colangelo has unequivocally denied any wrongdoing or tweeting from any of the accounts. Today, Colangelo told John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia that he is “fully unaware of anything” pertaining to the messages. Colangelo added that he had “zero’ knowledge of any tweets being sent from those accounts.
During a press conference before Game 1 of the Finals, NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed that the Sixers hired a New York law firm to oversee the investigation (per Sixers insider Jon Johnson).
Did the Sixers win? on Twitter presented evidence that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, could be behind at least three of the accounts. Bottini’s phone number ends with the digits 91, which matches the final two numbers associated with the accounts. Bottini has yet to issue a denial.
As the Sixers prepare for free agency this summer with eyes on several top free agents, Colangelo’s presence could be a hindrance in luring players to Philadelphia. In an earlier report, one unidentified NBA executive said the damage — unless Colangelo is proven explicitly innocent — has been done.
“I think the damage is done,” an unidentified NBA executive told Pompey. “I don’t know if the players can trust him. I think he lost the trust of the players unless it’s proven definitively that it wasn’t him.”