Bryan Colangelo is under investigation for usually several Twitter burner accounts to criticize individuals, including Toronto Raptors’ President Masai Ujiri.
The Toronto Raptors find themselves caught up in one of the more surreal sporting stories you’ll ever read about. Fortunately though for fans, it’s not one where they have any direct involvement per se.
Late on Tuesday night, The Ringer‘s Ben Detrick posted an intriguing article regarding the Philadelphia 76ers’ president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo. The article included accusations that Colangelo had been secretly operating five Twitter accounts, to criticize individuals, disclose nonpublic medical information and defend his tenure in Philadelphia.
One such player who received significant criticism from the various Twitter accounts was Jahlil Okafor, who was selected third overall by the 76ers in the 2015 draft. Colangelo had been criticized for creating an embarrassing situation for the young player, when a trade to New Orleans fell through in February 2017.
At the time, Okafor said it was a weird situation, but one of the five Twitter accounts now under fire, said the media should ask him if he passed the Pelicans’ medical. The account added the center would never admit to failing this, as it could cost him other opportunities to play elsewhere.
More specific to the Raptors, one of the accounts criticized Masai Ujiri, who replaced Colangelo as GM in Toronto during 2013. After one particularly bad loss for the Raptors in 2017, one of the five accounts asked why Ujiri never seemed to receive any blame.
In other tweets, the account wrote that the Toronto Raptors were only successful, because of players Colangelo had originally brought in, including DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. In addition, the account had a dig at Ujiri’s contract extension in 2016.
In truth, Colangelo does receive some unfair criticism from his time in Toronto, because of how it ended. However, he did have a good amount of success, especially during his earlier years, including helping the Raptors win their first Atlantic Division title in franchise history and being named NBA Executive of the Year in 2007.
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By the same token, it’s tough for anyone to criticize Ujiri, after everything he has achieved in Toronto. He has resided over the most consistent spell in team history, and a lot of the success has nothing to do with Colangelo’s influence.
Detrick advised he had first received an anonymous tip regarding Colangelo’s alleged activities, in February this year. Since then, he had undertaken an in-depth review, to determine if there was anything to the claim. (Detrick advises the contact remains unknown.)
After his thorough review, Detrick contacted the 76ers and shared the names of two of the Twitter accounts in question. Philadelphia’s media representative advised they would discuss the matter with Colangelo.
Within hours, the three Twitter accounts Detrick didn’t mention had all been switched from public to private. And the account which had been most active, stopped posting tweets after the 76ers had been contacted by Detrick.
When the 76ers’ representative responded to Detrick, they advised Colangelo admitted one of the two accounts mentioned was his. This was the one which never tweeted, but followed media members, 76ers employees and NBA agents
Colangelo denied any knowledge of the other account. When Detrick replied with information about the remaining three accounts, the team provided a response from Colangelo, again denying any knowledge and advising the storyline is disturbing to him on many levels.
As you’d expect, a lot of executives from around the NBA have come to Colangelo’s defence. As per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the overriding sentiment is it’s hard to fathom a GM risking his job in such a reckless manner, with many giving him the benefit of doubt on that level alone.
Certainly, it’s true enough that it would be a crazy risk for anyone to take, in such a high-profile position. In addition, you want to believe we’re still in a society where you’re innocent until proven guilty.
However, objectively speaking, it is certainly suspicious that the Twitter accounts went from public to private shortly after Detrick first contacted the 76ers. In addition, the rep who responded, advised the only person he had discussed the matter with, was Colangelo.
With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the 76ers have now launched an independent investigation into the allegations. We genuinely hope Colangelo is found innocent, but it’s not looking good at this stage.
What’s your take on the accusations surrounding Colangelo? Do you believe the ex-Toronto Raptors’ GM is guilty, or do you agree with those who back his denials? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.