Portland Trail Blazers players, and players around the league, hear from fans or critics on social media. People like Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum are only one button away from possible interaction — positive or negative. Given this closer-than-ever-before environment, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype talked to multiple NBA players about the social media era.
Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic offered his take on haters and their persistence:
“I mean, haters are gonna hate. No matter what. Just look at when we had our winning streak – even then, people are going to say stuff. That’s how it is. We don’t care. We just try to live our lives and not care about any of that stuff. We don’t care about any of it – whether people are talking about our team [positively] or hating online. You can’t control that and the haters are always going to be there. I’ll live my life and they’ll live theirs. They may want to live my life or affect my life, but I don’t care.”
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert embraces haters:
“I love haters, even though they usually aren’t very smart. It’s always a good way to add some extra motivation.”
Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner finds critics often come from the wrong motives:
“That stuff is really annoying because most of it is because of fantasy [basketball], not true fans or people who truly love the game. Like, I understand if I play bad and then a basketball purist is upset, but it’s mostly kids who are trying to use us to win money in fantasy games. You’re tempted to fire back and I do at times, depending on the severity [of the other person’s tweet], but you’re better off just leaving it alone because firing back gives them satisfaction and they can say, ‘He responded to me!’ to their friends.”
Kennedy tackles issues like negativity affecting on-court performance, how smartphones changed the game and education of players on how to avoid social media mishaps. You can read the full piece here.