The internet’s dogged reporting may have led to a breakthrough in the Bryan Colangelo case.
OK, this isn’t exactly Watergate. But a report that the Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations may be linked to “burner” Twitter accounts that have said some pretty incriminating things about current and former players and executives has dominated NBA headlines since Tuesday.
As such, it was notable news Wednesday night when Twitter sleuths appeared to pinpoint who was operating some of these accounts: Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini.
To the evidence!
Late Tuesday night, Twitter users confirmed — with the help of a Sixers beat writer — that one of the five accounts mentioned in The Ringer’s report was connected to a phone number (ending in “75”) and email address both associated with Colangelo.
But that Twitter account was inactive, and three of the accounts that actually tweeted — including the now-infamous “Eric jr” account — were connected to a phone number ending in “91.”
We’ll let “Did the Sixers win?” take it from here.
Twitter managed to track down Bottini’s phone number and email in a post on the Upper Canada College website, where Bottini served as the “Parents’ Organization nominating committee chair.” (Bryan and Barbara’s son, Mattia Colangelo, attended the school.)
Another Twitter user provided further evidence that Bottini does have a phone number ending in “91.”
We only know the last two digits of the “Eric jr” account’s phone number, so there’s still no hard evidence connecting it to Bottini. But if this was Colangelo’s wife, it would make a lot of sense. The account follows a very specific network of Sixers executives as well as Colangelo’s business partners, while the confidential nature and timing of some of the tweets suggest only Colangelo — or someone very close to him — could be sending them out.
In fact, there is another instance of a public figure’s wife defending him on Twitter using a burner account. Roger Goodell’s wife, Jane, openly admitted to firing back at the NFL commissioner’s critics on social media under the guise of another account last fall.
Colangelo has denied the burner accounts are his, and he may be right. But the culprit may be under his own roof.
Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images