The Bryan Colangelo burner saga came to its logical conclusion Thursday, with the 76ers and the embattled general manager agreeing to part ways. The departure is being termed as a “resignation” in a last-ditch effort for Colangelo to save face after the public embarrassment. An investigation commissioned by the team actually revealed Colangelo’s wife, Barbara, to be running the accounts leaking the most sensitive information, but the damage had already been done.
First things first, there was no possible way for Colangelo to remain employed in Philadelphia. Already not quite a fan favorite after his bloodless takeover of the Sam Hinkie regime, Colangelo allowed too much insider info to be made public. I’m certainly not going to suggest Colangelo tell his wife how to live her life, but theoretically it’s the job of a general manager to make sure no one associated with the organization is tweeting out players’ private medical information, asking reporters to probe certain delicate topics or undermining its best player.
Secondly, this is f—ing hilarious. Bryan Colangelo was essentially brought to Philadelphia because the NBA was getting tired of Hinkie’s shameless tanking. The Colangelo family has long had a close relationship with the league, so you could say Colangelo’s family got him hired and then ultimately got him fired. Seriously, this dude lost his job because his wife couldn’t stop calling out Joel Embiid on Twitter? You know how hard it would be to mess up as the GM of the 76ers? I’m pretty sure one of those weird MIT robots could easily run the team at this point. All the Philly job entails is keeping Ben Simmons and Embiid healthy and then signing superstars with your gobs of cap space. If Colangelo (or his wife) simply never tweeted, he could be sitting on the league’s next dynasty that was largely built for him by someone else. Instead Colangelo is going to have to go into hiding for a few months until someone is willing to write a sympathetic profile about his love of the game. (Hey Bryan—my DMs are open.)
The situation isn’t too terrible for the 76ers. They can hire a better GM than Colangelo, and talented people around the league will be clawing at the chance to have Simmons and Embiid as building blocks. David Griffin, the former Cavs GM, will be touted by every NBA writer as a seamless fit. Griffin constructed LeBron’s only title team in Cleveland, and James just so happens to likely become a free agent this summer.
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There is one big question remaining from this whole episode: Who leaked the information about the Colangelo accounts to The Ringer? The idea that the leaker used artificial intelligence to connect the accounts is somewhat dubious. Why did the leaker choose to go to Ben Detrick—a Hinkie sympathizer—for the story? Something still seems the slightest bit off here. Is it possible the leaker was a dedicated Hinkie fan? Is it possible the phone call came from INSIDE THE HOUSE? It is perhaps likely that whoever set this process in motion had an agenda, and it’s no secret that Colangelo had a wide swath of critics in Philadelphia. Whoever started this potential coup should be the focus of any subsequent investigation, whether that’s conducted by the Sixers or the media.
But let’s not lose sight of what’s truly important here: The general manager of the third seed in the East lost his job because of Twitter. You know how there’s so much concern trolling for high school students to clean up their social media when they’re applying for college? This is like the acid trip version of that. Organizations are always so worried about players embarrassing themselves on Twitter, they seemingly never thought to tell people in the front office to refrain from revealing private details about the franchise. If there’s one thing we can all take away from Burnghazi, it’s that no one is immune to life’s most important axiom: Never tweet.