The president of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Bryan Colangelo, resigned on Thursday following allegations that he used burner accounts on Twitter to criticize players.
A story in The Ringer last month suggested that Colangelo controlled multiple anonymous Twitter accounts that trash-talked current and former players on his team. The team hired the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to investigate, and the firm revealed Thursday that it was Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, who set up and posted on the accounts.
Paul Weiss noted that its investigation was limited because Bottini deleted the contents of her iPhone by using a factory reset prior to turning over the phone.
“It has become clear Bryan’s relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised,” the Sixers said in a statement.
Colangelo defended himself in a statement, saying he had no knowledge of his wife’s activities.
“While I am grateful that the independent investigation conducted by the 76ers has confirmed that I had no knowledge of or involvement in the Twitter activity conducted by my wife,” Colangelo said. “I vigorously dispute the allegation that my conduct was in any way reckless. At no point did I ever purposefully or directly share any sensitive, non-public, club-related information with her.”
He added that his wife’s actions “were a seriously misguided effort to publicly defend and support me.”
The accounts that The Ringer identified criticized both players and the team’s former general manager, Sam Hinkie. One tweet, for example, accused former Sixers player Jahlil Okafor of failing a physical and ruining the chances of trading him to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2017.
The Sixers said that head coach Brett Brown will take over Colangelo’s duties until a new general manager can be hired.
“We find the situation to be disappointing for our entire organization,” the team added in its statement. “We are determined to continue the tremendous progress we have made over the last two seasons in our quest to win an NBA championship.”