Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Name the three players you most enjoy following on Twitter? Why?
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Sorry, but I don’t like wearing a seat belt when I’m on Twitter, so I am not a Metta World Peace follower (I’m not convinced that level of crazy isn’t contagious). So here are my Top 3: 1) Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) is a must-follow because he’s a little ornery these days even as he embraces social media. And his orneriness can be newsworthy. 2) While Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) is genuinely funny, I favor Chicago’s Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) by a hair for the emotion and zaniness inherent in his Tweets. And 3) Indiana’s Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) is playful and makes regular-guy observations that play better on Twitter than, say, on the podium after a conference finals game.
Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: 1) Metta World Peace. He’s unfiltered. He’s honest. He’s absurd. He’s ridiculous. He doesn’t care what you think or I think or even about what he thinks. The eternal sunshine of a spotless mind. 2) Kobe Bryant. Who else would dare rip his own teammates with live tweets during a game when he’s injured? 3) LeBron James. The fact that he’s the best player on the planet makes him a must-follow and it doesn’t hurt that he is a relentless tweeter who’ll occasionally drop in some news.
Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: As a general rule, players are bad follows. They’re just boring. So leading my top three list is one guy who is definitely not boring and you’d know that if you follow his offseason travels. Mavs forward Shawn Marion seems to be everywhere and he’s never having a bad time. Whether he’s tweeting his meal at Nabu or which fashion socks he’s wearing, the Matrix (@matrix31) is fun to follow — or live vicariously through. My No. 2 is a guy I’ve begun to like more and more — Pacers center Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer), and not just because he pays homage to his college team. He’s straightforward, real and talks a lot about what he’s doing to work hard and improve himself and his team. I like that. And third is Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) because he just seems like a pretty ordinary dude and he constantly interacts with his fans, doing giveaways for game tickets, etc., and that’s what it’s all about, interacting in a positive and fun way with fans.
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Man, it really is late-August. I like people who have something to say beyond the typical. (“Shoutout to Insert Name Here for his big game tonight!!!” “Puttin in work to get better!!!”) Steve Nash. Nick Collison. Blake Griffin. Tony Allen, Spencer Hawes, Jared Dudley, Kevin Love and a few others could make the list. Kobe Bryant. Insight with a healthy dose of humor always connects.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Shane Battier is self-deprecating and smart. Blake Griffin is as funny as his commercials. LeBron James is pretty down to earth for a four-time MVP. And none of the three ever flood my timeline with retweets of fans saying they’re their favorite player.
Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I must admit that I’m cool without a daily dose of the corporate/agenda-driven tweets we get from many of the professional athletes who have adopted this medium as their very own marketing machine. I understand that need to promote your brand and all, but I can do without some of the shameless product promoting that goes on. That said, Metta World Peace is No. 1 on my list because … well, who doesn’t need a 140 characters of World Peace in their life on a daily basis. Who cares that I don’t understand 90 percent of what he’s saying? Jared Dudley is busy and good for a two or three tweets a day that either make me laugh or stop and think for a minute. He’s prolific (14,541 tweets and counting) and cares about his followers. And he should be extremely interesting in a competitive twitter environment like the one he’ll be in now alongside Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and others with the Los Angeles Clippers. The great JaVale McGee (and his alter ego Pierre) completes my top three. He’s as confusing on twitter as he is on the court sometimes (Shaqtin’ A Fool anyone?), which is not necessarily a bad thing. He’s always entertaining and has no problem making a little fun of himself. I appreciate the fact that he understands that not everything shared on twitter needs to be so serious.
Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: 1) JR Smith, because nobody is as honest and transparent and funny. 2) Metta World Peace, because his Twitter account is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get. 3) Kevin Durant, because he interacts with fans and isn’t afraid to admit his feelings when he’s upset or vulnerable. It’s cool to see such a huge superstar be so open.
Karan Madhok, NBA India: There are two types of talented basketball players: the one who dominate on court and the ones who dominate Twitter. Luckily for us, a certain @KobeBryant is the perfect combination of both. When he’s not busy cementing his legacy one of the greatest players of all time, Kobe’s tweets help make Twitter a more real, more honest, and hilarious place. Kobe’s teammate @PauGasol is the exact opposite personality on Twitter, but in his way, spreads good will and positivity on a daily basis. And my favourite is another Laker, or now, an ex-Laker, the one and only @MettaWorldPeace. Tread lightly if you’re going to follow Metta’s random, unpredictable, and sometimes incomprehensible tweets, but for me, he’s one of the funniest people – NBA or otherwise – to follow on twitter.
Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: First of all, let’s salute Shaquille O’Neal, because he was a Twitter (among other things) pioneer. After that being said I have to pick Kobe Bryant, Jarred Dudley and LeBron James. “The antisocial has become social” — that was Kobe’s first tweet, which sums up the enigmatic figure of “Black Mamba”. Dudley is funny, retweets a lot and is really involved in Twitter. Well, LeBron is LeBron.