Fresh off a playoff beatdown by the Philadelphia 76ers, plenty of salty Miami Heat fans laughed their way through a report in the Ringer this morning that exploded Philly's front office. The story documents how the Sixers' president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, has almost certainly kept at least five secret Twitter accounts. On them, he has bashed his team's biggest stars, divulged secret medical information, and, most important, fiercely defended the weirdly gigantic collars he wears.
But Miami's basketball genius is light years ahead of Colangelo in the fake-Twitter department: Pat Riley has likely kept an anonymous account on the site for years, a fact that's been a thinly veiled secret among local sportswriters.
Ira Winderman, the Sun Sentinel's Heat reporter, seemed to have been among the first to out the account, @2620pr, in 2013.
Pat Riley on Twitter? Seems that way, apparently at @2620pr— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) April 7, 2013
Update: Brendan Tobin of 790 the Ticket looks to have actually beaten Winderman to the punch by about an hour:
No tweets, Micky Follows him, follows all the Heat players and main NBA writers guessing @2620pr is Pat Riley— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) April 7, 2013
The news spread to Reddit, where most commenters agreed it passed the smell test. The account follows just a few dozen people — all national NBA reporters, Heat legends such as Dwyane Wade, and top NBA officials.
Don't worry, though. Unlike Colangelo, the Heat Godfather is too smart to jump into comment threads to talk about how great his hair looks (still sexy, Pat!) or to call Mario Chalmers a punk (Wade takes care of that anyway). Besides, if Riley wanted to say terrible things about Hassan Whiteside, he'd probably just say it right to his face.
If Riley is secretly @2620pr, he's never used the account to tweet.
No, not a single tweet from @2620pr but following and being followed by those you would expect.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) April 7, 2013
New Times asked the Heat to finally comment on the record about @2620pr, but a spokesman hasn't responded.
The Colangelo saga does raise an obvious question, though: Who else in the South Florida sports world has been quietly logging online to scream at trolls and defend sartorial choices?
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The Heat Twitter community was briefly convinced this morning that it had turned up a burner account for Whiteside. That account, which regularly defends the mercurial center in arguments, was suspiciously switched to private after the Ringer story landed:
But the account went public again a few minutes later, and whoever runs it has been loudly insisting all morning that he or she is not Whiteside. Honestly, the Heat center is perfectly happy embarrassing himself on his official Twitter page, so it's not clear why he'd need a fake account anyway.
Know any other athletes or sports execs or deranged politicians using fake accounts to spam their critics? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.