D.A.: Sixers' Only Choice Is To Fire Bryan Colangelo

Colangelo has no credibility, DA says, and Philly must show him the door

Damon Amendolara
May 31, 2018 - 4:42 pm

USA Today Images

Why would the Sixers keep Bryan Colangelo? Philadelphia ownership may want to avoid looking unfair or reactionary. The team may not want to create instability or go through another hire. The organization may just want to keep chugging along on an upward climb since it's finally selling tickets, creating buzz, and hosting playoff games. But there is no way their GM comes out looking trustworthy in this social media melodrama. And that's what matters. He's gotta go

Upon the story breaking, Colangelo immediately played the victim. "Someone is out to get me," he caterwauled. That's an interesting take, considering the anonymous Twitter accounts in question vehemently defended him against critics. If a group of unknown social media users began arguing on your behalf, and consistently calling you "a class act" and "total class," would you describe them as "out to get you"? He has predictably backtracked

Which means if it does turn out to be his wife, his best-case scenario, it still spotlights him as a liar. Under this situation, he fabricated an unknown enemy trying to "get him." He would've known this was his spouse, but created the invisible bogeyman to cover for her. And if this is the case, Colangelo came home bellyaching about Jahlil Okafor's conditioning, Nerlens Noel's work ethic, Joel Embiid's leadership, and Markelle Fultz's jump shot. And in this scenario, Barbara Bottini took to Twitter with this inside intel, using it to stir up stories for media, and defend her husband to detractors. That means he brought home sensitive knowledge of the organization, and was okay with it being disseminated for public consumption to make him look better. 

What if he didn't know it was his wife, you ask? There's even less reason to believe that. When The Ringer approached the Sixers about only two of the burner handles, immediately all five were switched to private accounts (essentially deactivated). So Colangelo edited the setting on his one acknowledged account... and that still doesn't account for the other four. If Bottini was running these without his knowledge, she either intercepts all his email, has tapped his phone at work, or spends all day looking over his shoulder at the office. Unless you believe Colangelo casually mentioned to his wife, "Hey, honey, craziest thing happened at work today. An online media outlet asked me about my Twitter activity. Nuts, huh?!" ... causing Bottini to scramble to her phone and start flipping settings on her "secret" accounts, while keeping her entire FOUR username web of "Colangelo Propaganda" undercover from him. She was in love enough to vociferously defend her man, but didn't want to tell him about it? How much of this seems plausible?

So either Colangelo is A) leaking information knowingly B) approving his wife to leak the information or C) has a wife with a Jason Bourne skillset who has gone rogue with sensitive intel. None of these situations are okay for a GM. If Colangelo was hailed as a brilliant roster-builder, and had championship credentials? If he was Jerry West? Sure, maybe you twist the facts on this story enough to keep him. But if you're a GM who stonewalled information on Fultz and Embiid's injuries, whose team just get bounced in 5, who gave up a first-round pick for Fultz over Jayson Tatum, and whose coach got absolutely owned by Brad Stevens? There's no reason to hold onto him. 

You have an exciting, fun young team that free agents would like to play for. It's a huge market and a passionate fan base. Ben Simmons sets his teammates up to score. Embiid is gregarious, uniquely talented big man with little ego. They're in the relatively wide-open Eastern Conference. And they have free cap space. Lots of it. If you're looking to woo LeBron James or Paul George, or trade for Kawhi Leonard, having an undercurrent of distrust for Colangelo only hurts your cause. Even if his wife was acting rogue (yeah right), who wouldn't feel paranoid within those walls around Colangelo? 

There is no true choice here. The Sixers should be thankful this story broke a month before free agency. They have four weeks to dismiss Colangelo, hire a new GM, and reset the reputation of their front office. Had this bomb dropped a few days before July 1st? It may have ruined the entire trajectory of the franchise. The only thing to do is show Colangelo the door. And tell him to delete his account. 

Damon Amendolara, known by his fans as D.A., hosts “The D.A. Show,” from 9:00AM-12:00PM, ET, across the country on the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market radio network. “The D.A. Show” is known for its unique perspective on sports, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, colorful listener interaction, and candid interviews with athletes and coaches. Amendolara also appears regularly on NFL Network as part of the “NFL Top 10” documentary film series, CBS television and SNY TV. He is a Syracuse University grad and native of Warwick, N.Y.