The Philadelphia 76ers made official on Thursday what the NBA world expected to happen for the past week, as they announced Bryan Colangelo had resigned after the investigation into alleged burner Twitter accounts found they were operated by his wife, Barbara Bottini.
This was the conclusion Sixers Twitter reached an entire week ago with some Twitter sleuthing and rather impressive private investigation skills, but for whatever reason it took the team seven more days to finally come to the conclusion they needed to part ways with Colangelo. There are logistical explanations for that, regarding how the announcement would go down and what, if any, buyout would be involved, but even still it seemed like a fairly lengthy delay.
There was almost no way, given the content of some of the tweets, Colangelo could stay if it were anyone tied closely to him, as it would be extremely difficult to build the trust back with the players criticized by his wife (which included Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, and Ben Simmons). However, there was apparently some interference on behalf of Bryan, once again from a family member, that attempted to prevent his firing.
This time it was Jerry Colangelo, Bryan’s father, who reportedly pressured the Sixers to keep his son on board by threatening to potentially damage the team’s relationship with clubs around the league if he was fired, according to Kyle Neubeck of the PhillyVoice.
The delay was, in part, due to internal and external politics that ownership had to weigh. More than one person who spoke to PhillyVoice on the condition of anonymity suggested Jerry Colangelo tried to intervene on Bryan’s behalf, threatening to interfere with club relationships around the league.
Jerry Colangelo, of course, was a long time executive in the NBA and does have many long-standing relationships around the league. However, the Sixers ultimately determined that any effort by Jerry to drag them down would be worth it to remove Bryan and avoid the guaranteed fracture that would happen in the organization if he stayed.
It’s truly incredible that this was the decision of Jerry given that Bryan found himself in this mess due to meddling from his wife on his behalf to protect him. Alas, as this saga has shown, the Colangelo clan appears to be very protective of their own and willing to go to great lengths to try and help Bryan, to the point of serious detriment to his career.