The Ringer's explosive investigation into Sixers president Bryan Colangelo potentially using fake Twitter accounts has been the talk of the NBA since it was published earlier this week. Colangelo claimed he did not operate four of the five accounts in question, but the evidence seemed damning.
The internet is a magical place. Since The Ringer's article went live, NBA fans—specifically Philly diehards—have committed to getting to the bottom of this weird situation. It appears Colangelo may be telling the truth—he may have been unaware of most of the accounts, though he did own up to operating one of the five accounts in question.
A member of his family, however, may have been behind the other accounts. One of the accounts, which operated under the name Eric Jr., appears to have been tweeting while Colangelo was in a media session.
Looking back, Bryan Colangelo held a media availability right before the Heat game on February 11, 2017 to address Joel Embiid’s (previously undisclosed) torn meniscus. From looking at the timestamps, it seems like during that time, Eric Jr was also tweeting during that session. pic.twitter.com/9Q1JOdrXZW— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) May 31, 2018
So, who was it? One Twitter user, @legsanity, compiled a compelling case that the account is run by Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini. Check out his full breakdown in this Twitter moment. The evidence was strange and striking. Below are a few of the most interesting pieces, but you should definitely read the full moment.
Bryan's wife, Barbara Bottini, was given an award by their son's high school, due to her service to the school (which includes helping with the Arts boosters, which connects to the Bonhams name in another account) . who nominated her? two people Eric jr followed. pic.twitter.com/3u4Xoh1qz2— Burner Colangelo (@legsanity) May 30, 2018
I will continue to speculate irresponsibly and stand in solidarity with @legsanity that I believe Colangelo's wife was running most if not all of the burners, as much as I crave for it to be Bryan acting alone— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) May 30, 2018
The phone number and email attached to the Eric Jr. account appear to both belong to Bottini. Her number also appears to match two of the other accounts.
🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨— Did the Sixers win? (@DidTheSixersWin) May 31, 2018
Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini has a phone number ending in 91, almost certainly linking her to 3 of the burner accounts.
and honestly, who would care more about Bryan's collar than his wife?— Burner Colangelo (@legsanity) May 30, 2018
CONTINUED— Kevin Taddei (@kevtaddei) May 30, 2018
-tweeted about getting a ladder to get up to Embiid
- had an issue with Beyonce (why would BC or JC tweet ab Beyonce)
- as @jimadair3 mentioned, followed accounts that tweeted Italian religious passages (she’s from Italy)
I’m sure this will change again in 2 hours...
This could all be a coincidence, of course...but that seems unlikely. In the fall, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's wife was exposed for using fake Twitter accounts to defend her husband.
The Sixers have launched an independent investigation into the matter.