June 1, 2018 / 5:39 PM / 3 months ago

NBA: 76ers weigh firing Colangelo over 'burner' Twitter accounts

President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo is on thinning ice with Philadelphia 76ers ownership and could be fired as the internal probe into his alleged use of other Twitter accounts comes into greater focus, ESPN reported Friday morning.

Jun 23, 2017; Camden, NJ, USA; Philadelphia 76ers number 1 overall draft pick Markelle Fultz (center) poses with owner Joshua Harris (left) and general manager Bryan Colangelo (right) during an introductory press conference at Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Now with one month before the start of free agency, the makeup of the Philadelphia front office is in great doubt.

According to the ESPN report, ownership is considering dismissing Colangelo even as the internal probe into the use of anonymous Twitter accounts — or burner accounts — focuses on Colangelo’s wife.

The 76ers, who lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, are gearing up for what could be the next step in the transformation of the franchise this summer. All indications are the team is hoping to land a prime free agent in a class that includes LeBron James.

How the 76ers dive into personnel decisions including the draft and free agency is not yet determined.

The Ringer reported Colangelo was directly connected to Twitter accounts used to share privileged information and issue attacks on players and personnel connected with the Sixers. Citing league sources, ESPN stated team ownership is “flushed with embarrassment and anger” and characterized Colangelo’s standing as “fighting for his professional life.”

Colangelo, a two-time NBA Executive of the Year, allegedly directed ownership to his wife, Barbara Bottini, for being involved in the Twitter posts, according to the report.

Joel Embiid, the target of many of the personal attacks from the associated accounts, said he received word directly from Colangelo that he was not behind the keyboard when the messages were sent.

“He called me just to deny the story. Gotta believe him until proven otherwise. If true though, that would be really bad,” Embiid said.

—Field Level Media

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