Bryan Colangelo's wife linked to burner Twitter accounts in latest twist to Sixers fiasco

Behind every powerful man there may also be a powerful and social-media-savvy woman.

That may be the case in the crazy saga unfolding in Philadelphia, where the Sixers are investigating if GM Bryan Colangelo was operating up to five fake burner Twitter accounts that defended him while ripping players and revealing sensitive team information. In the lastest wild twist, internet sleuths connected some of those accounts to a phone number used by Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini.

One Twitter user found the evidence, “When you type Bryan Colangelo's wife's # into the Twitter reset form,” according to a Barstool Sports blogger.

Crossing Broad blogger Kyle Scott backed that up with a screenshot taken by another user that shows an account recovery prompt with Bottini’s email address and a similar phone number ending in “91.” Deeper digging found that some tweets posted by one of the accounts were published at the same time Colangelo conducted a press conference in February 2017, which backs up Colangelo’s claim that he’s innocent.

18 PHOTOS
Philadelphia 76ers president Bryan Colangelo
See Gallery
Philadelphia 76ers president Bryan Colangelo
PHOENIX - 2000: Phoenix Suns General Manager Bryan Colangelo talks to the media during a press conference in 2000 at the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2000 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHOENIX - JULY 14: President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo of the Phoenix Suns speaks to the media on July 14, 2004 during a press conference introducing Steve Nash as the newest member of the team at America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2004 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Raptor President and CEO, Bryan Colangelo, photographed in his office at the Ait Canada Centre in dowtown Toronto Monday, October 26th, 2009. (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - MAY 23: President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors Bryan Colangelo poses with a ball after the the Raptors were awarded the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 23, 2006 at the NBA Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO - OCTOBER 2: President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo of the Toronto Raptors poses during NBA Media Day on October 2, 2006 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO - JULY 12: Jason Kapono of the Toronto Raptors and Raptors President and GM Bryan Colangelo pose at a press conference covering Kapono's signing to the Raptors on July 12, 2007 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO - JULY 9: President and general manager Bryan Colangelo of the Toronto Raptors poses with Jermaine O'Neal at Air Canada Centre on July 9, 2008 in Toronto, Canada. Jermaine O'Neal was aquired by the Toronto Raptors via trade from the Indiana Pacers. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO - OCTOBER 28: Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors accepts the award for the NBA Free Throw Champion for the 2008/2009 season handed to him by General Manager Bryan Colangelo before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 28, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
June 25, 2008 Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo at Air Canada Centre having a pre draft press conference. Toronto Star/Michael Stuparyk (Photo by Michael Stuparyk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 9: Bryan Colangelo ,President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors, answers questions about his own contract with the MLSE to The Star's Cathal Kelly. Rene Johnston/ Toronto Star (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO - JUNE 21: Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo introduces Dwayne Casey as the new head coach of the Raptors on June 21, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photos by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - MAY 17: Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo looks on during the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery at the Studios at NBA Entertainment on May 17, 2011 in Secaucus, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 24: General Manager Bryan Colangelo attends a press conference after the Philadelphia 76ers introduce Ben Simmons and Timoth�Luwawu-Cabarrot from the 2016 NBA Draft on June 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 24: General Manager Bryan Colangelo, Timoth�Luwawu-Cabarrot, Owner Joshua Harris and Ben Simmons attend a press conference after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft on June 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
CAMDEN, NJ- SEPTEMBER 23: Jerryd Bayless of the Philadelphia 76ers and President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo talk at the official opening of The Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex on September 23, 2016 in Camden, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 23: Joshua Harris and Bryan Colangelo of the Philadelphia 76ers introduce the overall number one pick Markelle Fultz at the Sixers Training Complex on June 23, 2017 in Camden, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant /NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 03: Bryan Colangelo talks to the media during the announment of the unveiling of the Doctor J sculpture on April 3, 2018 at the Legends Walk at the practice facility in Camden, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: Bryan Colangelo of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics on May 9, 2018 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Colangelo admitted to owning one of the Twitter accounts in question, but that one never posted anything. He has denied knowing about the other more vociferous accounts that have defended him, from his basketball moves to the collars he prefers on his shirts.

“Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news,” Colangelo said in a statement to The Ringer, which broke the story Tuesday night. “While I have never posted anything whatsoever on social media, I have used the @Phila1234567 Twitter account referenced in this story to monitor our industry and other current events. This storyline is disturbing to me on many levels, as I am not familiar with any of the other accounts that have been brought to my attention, nor do I know who is behind them or what their motives may be in using them.”

Colangelo indicated to Yahoo Sports Wednesday that he may be the target of a scam, texting reporter Jordan Schultz that “Someone’s out to get me … This is clearly not me.”

The Sixers are in the process (no pun intended) of conducting an internal investigation into the matter. Whoever was posting on those burner accounts criticized players like Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Nerlens Noel, and insinuated Jahlil Okafor failed a physical ahead of a trade that fell apart. They also ripped Sixers coach Brett Brown and former GM Sam Hinkie.

If indeed Colangelo’s wife was behind those burner accounts, it would not be the first time an executive’s better half anonymously defended her husband online.

Last year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s wife admitted to running a fake Twitter account that defended her husband, challenging trolls and reporters who were critical of him. Jane Skinner Goodell fessed up when the Wall Street Journal made the connection, and the burner account was shut down.

"It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration — and love," she said. "As a former media member, I'm always bothered when the coverage doesn't provide a complete and accurate picture of a story. I'm also a wife and a mom. I have always passionately defended the hard-working guy I love—and I always will. I just may not use Twitter to do so in the future!"

That might be sound advice for more than just Mrs. Goodell right now.

Read Full Story