A senior official with Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers has been reportedly caught out creating multiple fake Twitter accounts to criticise the team's players and coaches.
US sport website TheRinger.com reports that Bryan Colangelo set up five fake accounts under different names, one of which reportedly passed along private medical information about then-Sixers centre Jahlil Okafor plus gossip about other players, including star big man Joel Embiid.
Colangelo admitted that one of the five accounts was his, but he denied knowledge of the other four.
However, TheRinger.com put together a detailed list of circumstantial evidence making the case that all of the accounts were controlled by Colangelo – including the fact that three of the accounts immediately switched from public to private last week after the reporter told the team of his suspicions without mentioning those three accounts.
"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 TheRinger.com.
"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."
Embiid, speaking to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, said he heard by phone from Colangelo on Tuesday, with the team executive denying the report.
"I talked to him and he said that he didn't say that," Embiid said. "He called me just to deny the story. Gotta believe him until proven otherwise. If true, though, that would be really bad."
Embiid then sent a tongue-in-cheek tweet to one of Colangelo's alleged burner accounts, writing, "Joel told me that @samhinkie IS BETTER AND SMARTER THAN YOU @AlVic40117560 #BurnerAccount"
The story broke on the same day that the 76ers handed a three-year contract extension to coach Brett Brown, a former Australian Boomers coach.
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