clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Special Relationship Between Twitter and the NBA

New, comments

SI.com polls reporters about the influence of the social media giant on their jobs and perceptions.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Cyber Security Concerns In The Global Wake of Hacking Threat Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

No social media platform shares a closer identification with a professional sports league than Twitter does with the NBA. SI.com’s Richard Deitsch conducted a roundtable among NBA media, exploring the intimate, crazy chaos that NBA Twitter—a conglomerate that includes players, coaches, agents, reporters, and fans—embodies. Participants talked of the joys and dangers of participating in the social media environment while trying to retain enough objective distance to do their jobs.

Candace Buckner, now covering the Washington Wizards for the Washington Post, expressed caution.

I don’t want to get sucked into an echo chamber. I’d rather write what I see in the here and now. Again, it’s good to have context and apply it when it makes sense, but paying too much attention to NBA Twitter can be like spin. If I don’t want to be spun by the front office, then I have to keep the same standard in mind when I’m interacting with fans.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News and Sirius/XM Radio conveyed a sense of opportunity mixed with peril.

It's huge. From linking to your stories to expressing opinions in 140 characters, every NBA writer and broadcaster is building (or ruining) their brand every day...

For example, when Gordon Hayward suffered that gruesome leg injury a lot of players were quick to tweet "Prayers for Gordon Hayward." ...But when an NBA broadcaster tweeted how Hayward's injury would impact the Celtics on the court he received a lot of blowback from followers who thought he was being insensitive. Too soon? Was he supposed to tweet "Prayers for Hayward" and then wait 24 hours to give his basketball opinion.

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic—Bay Area remains skeptical.

It has become an extension of whatever outlet we work for, a mandatory component in addition to the paper or website, etc. It also is a straw man, a not-so-scientific survey of moods and tones and narratives. It drives motivations—of articles, player’s comments, team ordinances—because it has a way of shaping perception.

Share your impressions of NBA Twitter and its effect on your perception of the sport, if any. Check out Deitsch’s article for more perspectives on the subject.