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Bryan Colangelo speaks out on controversial Burnergate

Sixers, Joel Embiid, Elton Brand, Bryan Colangelo

Former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo is back in the limelight as he prepares to take over as a part-owner of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks in Australia.

Along with his return, however, Colangelo’s controversial NBA exit two years ago was opened up once again.

The former NBA exec resigned from his position with the Sixers in the summer of 2018 following the revelation his wife ran a trio of “burner” accounts on Twitter. The said accounts were critical of the team’s players and other executives around the league.

Now, the 55-year-old revealed to Sam Phillips of the Sydney Morning Herald that he did not speak on the topic at the time because of the sensitivity of the issue.

“I haven’t addressed it very much over the course of the last two years. I have stayed very much under the radar on the topic because it’s a sensitive topic, for a lot of reasons,” the ex-Sixers boss said.

“Family, personal, professional, or otherwise. I have to say I was dealt a pretty big blow, personally and professionally. And it’s been a difficult time dealing with the fallout. I was completely blindsided by the accusation and the storyline of the controversy.”

Given the extent of the accusations and information released by the accounts, Colangelo felt it best to part ways with the Sixers.

“Once that investigation was completed and I was absolved, I felt the appropriate thing to do – in conjunction with ownership there in Philly – was to mutually walk away,” he added.

“It was a difficult decision and a difficult time for me. But I have to say, it was a very, very difficult time for my family. Because of some of the reasons that came to light, it was something I thought was important not to talk about, quite frankly. And we’re still dealing with that.”

Two years later, however, he is ready to move past the incident.

“But the No.1 thing I thought needed to happen was trying to stay positive; preserve and love my family, protect their interests, emotionally or otherwise. And frankly, two years on, it’s gone. It’s in the past and I’m ready to move on,” Colangelo furthered.

Bryan Colangelo is mostly responsible for the Sixers’ current foundation centered around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Elton Brand took over shortly after he resigned.

Sixers fans and players might still harbor ill will towards Colangelo, but he is ready for the next chapter of his basketball life.