Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Bryan Colangelo resigns after investigation

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Courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo resigned over allegations and investigation into mishandled confidential team documents.

On June 7, 2018 at 9 AM, the Philadelphia 76ers revealed that the organization had accepted the resignation of embattled General Manager Bryan Colangelo after an internal investigation by the Sixers. The investigation found that Colangelo mishandled confidential team information in the form of sharing it with his wife, who then disseminated it over various Twitter accounts.

This incident has taken over the NBA media, with many theories being spread after The Ringer’s Ben Detrick revealed that there were numerous Twitter accounts which both criticised former GM Sam Hinkie and vehemently defended practically every decision which Colangelo made. The accounts also disclosed confidential medical information which would have only been available to high-ranking team management. Originally speculation was that Bryan Colangelo himself ran the accounts, however after an investigation by the Sixers through the prominent New York-based law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the popular opinion is that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, is actually the one who was running these accounts, seemingly to defend her husband from online journalists and negative opinions.

The law firm reviewed data on iPads, iPhones and other electronic devices from the Colangelo family. It also assessed witness statements and witnesses’ degree of cooperation. Paul Weiss concluded that Bottini authored the tweets and that Colangelo was “careless and in some instances reckless” in how he safeguarded confidential team information. Weiss also emphasizes in the law firm’s statement that Bottini “impeded” the investigation by, among other things, deleting the contents of her iPhone through a factory reset. She took suspicious steps with sensitive evidence prior to turning over materials to the law firm, the statement said. Bottini’s actions bring speculation that she could have removed implicating data in order to clear not only herself, but her husband as well from further negative implications.

The controversy seemed to be at an end yesterday, when it came out that the Sixers organization believed Colangelo’s story on the burner accounts, which meant that he would have likely stayed at his position as GM. Many in the local Philadelphia sports media felt that his presence would have driven away much of the high-level free agents which the team is looking to bring in this offseason. Particularly, the way Lebron James, the biggest name which the Sixers are looking to get this offseason, would feel about the Colangelo scandal has shifted many fans to the pessimistic side of things, with some resigned themselves to the thought that high-level talent would not come to Philly thanks to the controversy.

However, since the resignation of Colangelo, Sixers fans and NBA fans can finally rest and focus on watching the NBA Finals, which have taken somewhat of a backseat to the controversy which was at hand. The Sixers have stated that Brett Brown has taken over Colangelo’s role as President of Basketball Operations and will remain in the position until a replacement is found.