Bryan Colangelo is out as the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Not exactly a “Wojbomb” I think a great deal of people saw this coming. The damage was done ten days ago when The Ringers Ben Detrick wrote This speculative piece on 5 twitter accounts, some of which leaked sensitive information only a few people could conceivably know. Some tweets from the account got weirdly defensive about Colangelo’s collars and others live tweeted University of Chicago basketball games, a team “coincidentally” played for by Colangelo’s son.
Detrick talked to the PR department of the 76ers about two of the accounts, 30 minutes later the other 3 accounts were put on private and Colangelo released a statement saying “someone is setting me up!” Not likely Bryan.
It is true that there is a certain level of discourse in the Sixers fanbase. Even Joel Embiid uses Sam Hinkie’s phrase of “Trust the Process” pretty regularly, but all signs pointed to Colangelo from the get-go.
Hinkie was famously fired from the Sixers after Adam Silver among other NBA big wigs “introduced” the Sixers ownership to Bryan Colangelo because Hinkie exploited the flawed draft system that the NBA created. He knew the best way to form a contender was to tank and trade assets for picks, and the NBA looked down upon his strategy because he didn’t use the win now mentality and preferred a hard rebuild. Sixers fans still chant “Trust the Process” in memory of Hinkie. He took the fall for blatantly doing something many teams have been doing for years. Before Bryan was hired, Jerry Colangelo, his father, was hired in an advisory, consultant type role. Who made this introduction you ask? The NBA. As if Nepotism didn’t already run rampant enough, his words of wisdom for the Sixers were to hire his son, who had recently been fired from the Toronto Raptors.
Today it was released that in fact it was Colangelo’s wife, Barbera Bottini who was releasing this sensitive information that included bashing star players and committing a couple HIPAA violations. The credit for discovering this has to go to NBA Twitter. They discovered that the number linked to 3 of the accounts was in fact Bottini’s. She finally admitted it 10 days later. Regardless if it was Colangelo or his wife either way Colangelo leaked sensitive information. He obviously had opinions about Hinkie, Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Masai Ujiri that he vented to his wife and in turn she took to Twitter to defend him. It’s also entirely possible she was just covering for him, trying to cover his ass in an honorable yet entirely idiotic way.
This brings me to Jerry Colangelo, former owner of the Phoenix Suns and long time NBA executive. You would think someone as close to this situation as Jerry would handle this tenderly. Nope! This crazy old bastard decided to tell the Sixers that if they fired his son he would ruin their relationships with many other NBA franchises. Way to be a great consultant Jerry! PhillyVoice cites multiple sources in their piece outing Jerry and his attempt to exploit the Sixers for the gains of his son. So not only is his son fired for being a blabber mouth, he’s most likely not going to have a job in the NBA as well.
In my humble opinion some of the blame here has to rest on Adam Silver’s shoulders. He got the Colangelo’s involved in the Sixers organization, whether it was forcibly or not has never addressed publicly. The NBA has been growing interest exponentially the past few years and while this may not undo all the good Adam Silver has done over the course of his tenure as commissioner, letting two thin skinned, nepotistic Colangelo’s ruin a front office will certainly put a chink in his armor.