Who Is "The Source" That Discovered Bryan Colangelo's (Alleged) Burner Accounts?

Late Tuesday night, The Ringer published a frankly bizarre investigation of five burner accounts that are allegedly operated by none other than Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo. The article is extensive, delving into a months-long analysis of the account’s tweets, likes, follows, and general activity.
The accounts  — @phila1234567, @AlVic40117560, @Honesta34197118, @Enoughunkownso1, @s_bonhams — tweeted criticisms of NBA players, including Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens Noel, publicly debate the decisions of his own coaching staff, critique former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, telegraph the 2017 Markelle Fultz trade, disclose nonpublic medical information about Okafor and gossip about Embiid and Fultz to members of the national and Philadelphia media.
While nothing has been confirmed, the evidence against Colangelo is rather damning. For the full in-depth report, head over to The Ringer.

But even more interesting than the Colangelo Twitter accounts themselves, is how — and why — they came to the light in the first place.
Brandon Detrick, the author of the original Ringer story, says he was contacted in February by an anonymous source on Twitter claiming to work in artificial intelligence. This source, after noticing a “bunch of weird tweets” directed at Sixers writers, used an “open-source data analysis tool to link five accounts through commonalities including similarities in who the accounts followed and linguistic quirks.” That sounds like some shit that Q would try to convince James Bond to use, which seems rather advanced for the average Twitter egg.
As soon as the story dropped, multiple theories exploded onto the internet, questioning A) how the source could have even noticed/found these rather anonymous and insignificant tweets, B) how they had the ability to conduct such tests, C) why they would even bother putting in the effort, and most importantly, D) who could it be?

Conspiracy Theory #1: Danny Ainge

Anyone who watched the NBA Playoffs this season knows that there are three teams that will be fighting for supremacy in the Eastern Conference for the next few years: the Celtics, the 76ers, and whichever team ends up landing LeBron. Coincidentally, the Philadelphia 76ers are currently the favorites to land LeBron James (according to Las Vegas), which may permanently tip the scales in Philadelphia’s favor over Boston.
Knowing this, Danny Ainge, the Celtics general manager and arguably the best executive in the league, hired a team of investigators to turn up dirt on Philadelphia with the hopes of deterring The King from calling the City of Brotherly Love home. In this scenario, the “dirt” ended up being these alleged Colangelo burner accounts, one of which even tweeted criticism of LeBron, calling him “whiny”:
Update: Vegas dropped Philly from +150 odds of landing LeBron to +175, which ties them with Cleveland.

Conspiracy Theory #2: The Philadelphia 76ers


This is where the conspiracies become more complicated. If Danny Ainge is the “flat earth” of basketball conspiracies, then the Philadelphia 76ers are the next step up: the “lizard people” of basketball conspiracies.
In this scenario, members of the Philadelphia 76ers organization dug up (or created) these alleged Bryan Colangelo burner accounts with the hope of getting Colangelo fired from within. The reason? Once again, LeBron James. As I mentioned earlier, Philadelphia is currently the Vegas favorite to land LeBron, however, that dream pairing of James-Simmons-Embiid may never come to fruition if Colangelo remains with the team.
Colangelo’s father Jerry, a longtime NBA executive who ran USA Basketball in the 2000’s, actually had a couple of dust-ups with King James in the past, as he used to question James’ loyalty and commitment to his country’s basketball team. With that in mind, members of the 76ers may have used these Twitter accounts as a way of getting Bryan fired with the hopes of appeasing LeBron.

Conspiracy Theory #3: Sam Hinkie


My favorite conspiracy theory is that the anonymous source is none other than Sam “Trust The Process” Hinkie himself, who, coincidentally, currently teaches an artificial intelligence class at Stanford University.
Given that these burner accounts were critical of Heinke directly, that would explain how he ever came across them in the first place, and because he’s an artificial intelligence professor at Stanford, that explains how he had access to the technology required to run such “open-source data analysis” tests.
While I’m no lawyer, I’ve seen enough crime dramas in my day to know that figuring out the motive of a crime is a key component of solving a case, and Heinke’s motive seems to be the strongest. Colangelo was using these accounts to directly attack Hinkie, so when Hinkie discovered the tweets while using artificial intelligence technology provided to him by Stanford, he then realized that the accounts could be owned by Colangelo, thus contacting The Ringer.

Bryan Colangelo Burner Accounts: Why Is The 76ers President Criticizing His Players?
Bryan Colangelo Burner Accounts: Why Is The 76ers President Criticizing His Players?
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