A crazy story broke yesterday alleging that Sixers General Manager Bryan Colangelo — who you might remember from his Phoenix Suns days — has been using social media anonymous “burner” accounts to defend himself, tear down his predecessor Sam Hinkie, and spread inside knowledge and heavy shade at several Sixers players.
What is a “burner” account? It’s a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) social media account you create that pretends to be another person but really is just you supporting and defending yourself so it looks like you’ve got allies. We’ve seen this in BSOTS comment sections — and all over the internet — for years. After easy investigation, a moderator can see that the multiple accounts are coming from the same IP address.
What tips off those investigations? Another user or moderator seeing patterns of speech, consistency of defense and what I like to call meerkat gang-up mentality.
Remember when the story broke last year that Kevin Durant had a burner account that went around defending him against his trolls?
At least Bryan Colangelo switched to a burner account before tweeting about himself...Skip Bayless and Kevin Durant couldn’t even get that part right pic.twitter.com/q714EZoVKj— Someone's An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) May 30, 2018
Yeah. Apparently, that kind of behavior is not limited to everyday joes. It includes Kevins. And Bryans.
*Bryan Colangelo and Kevin Durant meet*— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) May 30, 2018
*Talk Burner Accounts* pic.twitter.com/kD6VgpE0qo
This whole situation is quite extraordinary.
Please read the Ringer’s article on this about our old friend Bryan Colangelo.
A collection of Twitter accounts has criticized Philadelphia 76ers players and disclosed sensitive information about the team. What does that have to do with Bryan Colangelo? An investigation by @bdetrick: https://t.co/sUn6m3nkBG— The Ringer (@ringer) May 30, 2018
You might think this all a witch hunt. Fake news is so prevalent these days. Why in the world would a highly successful person like BC stoop so low as to troll the internet under hidden personas like this?
Until you realize he’s already owned up to one of the accounts already, and after you see some of the connections being made here you realize it’s quite possible.
And then there’s this, from the SIXERS THEMSELVES.
Sixers announce they have launched an official investigation into the allegations of Twitter misuse by GM Bryan Colangelo: pic.twitter.com/xNDEgQczq7— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 30, 2018
Clearly, this isn’t being brushed off.
Joel Embiid has been one of BC’s burner account targets. Embiid is a staunch supporter of former GM Sam Hinkie, often calling HIMSELF the Process and honoring Hinkie every chance he gets.
The alleged burner account has periodically ripped Embiid, especially when Embiid was nursing yet another injury after BC took over the Sixers and was caught dancing on stage at a concert while he was supposed to be resting and rehabbing his knee.
So of course Embiid had something to say about this.
Joel told me that @samhinkie IS BETTER AND SMARTER THAN YOU @AlVic40117560 #BurnerAccount— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 30, 2018
This one is next-level trolling of BC. BC has been caught defending his love of “collars” — and innocuous everyday joke someone made about Colangelo liking big collars on his shirts. Here’s a snap of google images on BC.
So Embiid picked up on that and posted this last night.
BRUH pic.twitter.com/hv59PDxlgY— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 30, 2018
Then, he tamped down the fun to wait and see how it shakes out.
First, to Woj.
Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid tells ESPN on Bryan Colangelo: “I talked to him and he said that he didn’t say that. He called me just to deny the story. Gotta believe him until proven otherwise. If true though, that would be really bad.”— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 30, 2018
Fun night on Twitter lmao.. All jokes asides I don’t believe the story. That would just be insane— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 30, 2018
Fun night indeed. If you don’t have twitter and/or don’t follow a lot of the NBA media and fans, you missed out on some really awesome takes. Twitter can be a blast.
Houston’s Daryl Morey even got into it.
You need two blue checks to confirm you are not a burner https://t.co/eZPp2KZ3hg— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) May 30, 2018
In response to this from our SB Nation brother
We would like to confirm that we are not a @dmorey burner account.— The Dream Shake (@DreamShakeSBN) May 30, 2018
LOL. For those who don’t know, a “blue check” indicates that you’ve proven to twitter who you are and/or how legitimate your business is. Twitter limits the blue check marks to those with lots of followers and activity, so they don’t give them out to just anyone.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban jumped to the fray as well, in response to Morey’s ‘two blue checks’ joke.
Actually , that was back in the day. As of the new TPA (Twitter Posting Agreement ) every NBA exec gets assigned 7 burner accounts. Let me know if I can help you get a for your accounts. BTW, loved your burner account names. @moreymeister is my fave. #FeelTheBurn https://t.co/SRn6vH6PBd— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 30, 2018
So there are still two more burner accounts? Can Cyber Dust help? https://t.co/7LTrnF9uA0— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) May 30, 2018
Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge had some fun too at his rival GM’s expense.
May 30, 2018
Now back to the title of this story: “Aren’t we all just someone’s burner account?”
The bread crumbs of a burner account is one that blindly defends a person place or thing, ignores all rational arguments to the contrary, tries to tear down or diminish those who oppose, and is generally relentless about it by nature.
If that’s the profile, aren’t we all, at some time or another, a burner account?
I made a joke on twitter last night.
I don’t think I’m McDonoughs burner account but I can’t be entirely sure— Dave King (@DaveKingNBA) May 30, 2018
I’ve been accused over the years of defending Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough too much. I was previously accused of the same about Lon Babby. And Jeff Hornacek. And even Earl Watson for a long time.
Now, I’m being accused of being intractable about my preferensce of Ayton over Doncic.
Does that just make me a half dozen high profile peoples’ burner account?
Haha possibly. Or maybe it just makes me a fan.
That has me thinking. Maybe I should create a few burner accounts for myself, so I don’t feel so alone sometimes in this dark, deep internet.
DaveKingsburneraccount here we come!