Bryan Colangelo: 76ers Burner Scandal 'Very, Very Difficult' Time for My Family

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJune 26, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo speaks with members of the media during a news conference at the NBA basketball team's practice facility in Camden, N.J., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Bryan Colangelo opened up about the Twitter scandal that led to his resignation as the Philadelphia 76ers general manager and has played a part in keeping him out of the NBA since 2018.

Colangelo, now a part owner of the Australian National Basketball League's Hawks, recently spoke to Sam Philips of the Sydney Morning Herald and provided insight into what the last two years have been like since Twitter accounts linked to his family were found to have made disparaging comments about the Sixers while he worked for them.

"I haven't addressed it very much over the course of the last two years," Colangelo said. "I have stayed very much under the radar on the topic because it's a sensitive topic, for a lot of reasons. Family, personal, professional, or otherwise. I have to say I was dealt a pretty big blow, personally and professionally. And it's been a difficult time dealing with the fallout. I was completely blindsided by the accusation and the storyline of the controversy."

An investigation by The Ringer uncovered the existence of several social media accounts critical of Sixers coach Brett Brown and franchise star Joel Embiid, along with Colangelo's predecessor, Sam Hinkie, in May 2018. 

Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini, admitted to using three of the accounts, per the Herald. Once the scandal became public, and following an internal investigation by the Sixers, Colangelo resigned in June 2018 and essentially faded into the background of a league he'd been a factor of since the 1990s. 

In speaking with the Herald about the decision, Colangelo added:

"Once that investigation was completed and I was absolved, I felt the appropriate thing to do, in conjunction with ownership there in Philly, was to mutually walk away.

"It was a difficult decision and a difficult time for me. But I have to say, it was a very, very difficult time for my family. Because of some of the reasons that came to light, it was something I thought was important not to talk about, quite frankly. And we're still dealing with that.

"But the No. 1 thing I thought needed to happen was trying to stay positive; preserve and love my family, protect their interests, emotionally or otherwise. And frankly, two years on, it's gone. It's in the past and I'm ready to move on."

Now in the NBL, Colangelo will try to restart his career by helping take over a Hawks team that won just five of 28 games last season. After attempting to usher The Process in Philadelphia from rebuild to contender, the former NBA GM will try turn the NBL's last-place team into a winner.