Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Spain And France Still Battling … On Twitter!

VIDEO: Spain and France served up an instant classic in Thursday’s EuroBasket semifinal

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Apparently, an overtime thriller in a EuroBasket semifinal wasn’t enough for certain members of the Spanish and French national teams. Hours after Pau Gasol led Spain to a rousing comeback win over Nic Batum, Tony Parker and the host nation team, members of their respective camps turned to Twitter to continue the fight after Thursday’s game.

Both Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert lobbed shots (nothing vicious) back and forth in an intense rivalry that stretches back years, highlighted in the last year by a French upset of Spain on their home soil in last year’s FIBA World Cup and now Spain’s return of serve today.

Spain locked up their spot in next summer’s Rio Olympics with the win. France will have to earn a spot in a FIBA qualifying tournament in 2016. In the meantime, we need the players on both sides to, uh … keep it classy.


Twitter reacts: The Lakers’ worst loss ever … and the Clips’ biggest win ever

VIDEO: Blake Griffin and the Clippers pounded the Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Shakespeare himself couldn’t come up with the right words to describe the scene at the Staples Center Thursday night. It was a disaster movie — for the Los Angeles Lakers — playing out before our eyes on TNT. A proud franchise falling in epic fashion at the hands of the former doormat franchise that has existed in the Lakers’ shadow all these years.

When it was over the scoreboard said it all: Clippers 142, Lakers 94

The Lakers’ largest regular loss ever is, of course, the largest win over for the Los Angeles Clippers (their largest road win, too, even though technically they were playing on a floor in their home building) and the most points the Clippers have ever scored against the Lakers.

Lakers fans are quick to remind their Clippers counterparts that Los Angeles is and will always be a “Lakers town.” But on this night, Lakers fans probably wanted to be anywhere but the Southland.

Naturally, folks on Twitter and Instagram had a field day with this one, which started out innocently enough for the home team …

— Things got out of control quickly, though, and the basketball world responded …

Q&A: Bucks’ Udoh On His Book Club


By Jonathan Hartzell,

The NBA and Twitter have a wonderful relationship.

The sport is ideally suited for live tweeting and this has allowed writers, bloggers and fans to easily join together in an increasingly large online community. Seldom mixed into this community, however, are the players themselves.

Enter Ekpe Udoh.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ fourth year big man out of Baylor University has quickly created a niche for himself within “basketball Twitter” thanks to his willingness to interact with fans. His latest online adventure is one rarely associated with professional athletes: a book club. The club started last week with the first book being The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

As a member of the book club, I talked with Udoh about his plans for the group, the value he places on fan interaction, and what he expects from the Bucks this season.

*** Let’s start with the obvious question: Why did you decide to start a book club?

Udoh: This past year I actually started reading books more. I really haven’t been the one to sit down and read. And you know? I started to like it. You learn about people’s struggles and their mindsets. It just became something I wanted to do. I never thought about being in a book club, especially as a kid when I thought it was nerdy. But now I’m starting to realize you need to read. Especially with all the down time I have. Why not grab a couple of people to do it with me? Why’d you pick the book The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch?

Udoh: One of my former assistants when I was at Golden State (Lloyd Pierce, now with the Philadelphia 76ers) recommended it to me. How are you enjoying the book so far?

Udoh: I like it, man. Somebody spoiled it and told me he really died. That’s tough. It’s actually his last lecture and his last book period. Any of your Bucks teammates reading the book?

Udoh: No. You try to get any of them?

Udoh: Not yet. I just limited the number of members to 10. But I may open it up again if I don’t get Twitter interactions on Fridays. But I’ll invite them all. They’re going to see me reading more and more and they’ll be like, “Hey, man. What you reading?” Do you plan to have this run solely through Twitter?

Udoh: I’m just going to stick to the Twitter and if it starts to gain in momentum then we’ll see. I want to get to the point when summertime comes I can set up a trip through my corporation to get everybody together in one city. We can rent out a conference room in a hotel to have a day about books and life. Sounds great. Glad I’m in the club.

Udoh: [laughs] Now you want to be my friend. [laughs] Now I’ll finish the book. How many people are in the book club?

Udoh: It’s 11. Have you though about what the second book is going to be?

Udoh: No I haven’t. I’m just going to randomly ask somebody. What are you hoping to get out of this experience?

Udoh: I don’t know. Just reading books with other people and talking about life. They may be going through struggles and hopefully this can ease that struggle a little bit. Make the book club something to look forward to doing. Especially come summertime. You also have the Hangout Squad on Twitter (a group of Udoh’s Twitter followers who occasionally join Udoh in a Google Hangout). How important is fan interaction to you as an NBA player?

Udoh: It’s very important to me. I know growing up as a kid, we didn’t have the resources, but you wouldn’t think a kid could get on a video conference call with an NBA athlete. So I think that’s a special thing I can do and I ran with it. They enjoy it and I enjoy it as well. Have you thought about any other ways to interact with fans you’d like to start doing?

Udoh: I might make another squad. Maybe start a podcast?

Udoh: You know, that would be interesting. Call it ‘Tuesdays with Ekpe’.

Udoh: [laughs] I might have to hire you. That sounds like a good thing. You’re starting to get more active on Instagram, too.

Udoh: Oh yeah, man. When Instagram first started all I thought it was for was for stunting. Like showing off what you have and what you’re doing. And I wouldn’t get into that even though my friends always wanted me to join. But one of my good friends showed me his Instagram and it was nothing like that. So I decided to have a fun Instagram with crazy stuff or pictures of me and some of my people. Are you gunning for a few NBA TV Social Media Awards?

Udoh: I haven’t even thought about it. I don’t strive to do that. If it happens, it happens. I’m just going to be me and make people smile or laugh. Moving on to basketball, what was your offseason goal?

Udoh: Work harder than I have. I gave up drinking so it’s all natural energy now which will allow me to keep my energy up.  I just focused on getting my conditioning right. Do you feel like you could’ve tried harder the past few seasons?

Udoh: I mean conditioning is really the key to everything. I probably wasn’t as conditioned as I would have liked. But I’m pretty good now after conditioning this summer. One of the themes I just read in The Last Lecture  was about the value of “brick walls” in life and how they’re built to be conquered by those who want it badly enough. I feel like this applies well to your first few years in the league as you have, in my opinion, faced more unusual circumstances and obstacles than most sixth picks. You’re facing challenges again this year with the Bucks additions of Miroslav Raduljica and Zaza Pachulia this summer. How did these signings affect your motivation?

Udoh: I’m just going to work hard and be aggressive offensively and defensively. It’s the business side of the game and I don’t really get into that. But I did take notice to it. I’ve just got to come out and show what I’ve worked on. What would you say your role is on the Bucks right now?

Udoh: Come in and be the defensive presence that I’ve been. Be more of a communicator on defense and rebound better.  When I get the opportunity to be aggressive with the ball, I have to take that avenue. How’s the team chemistry feeling this year compared to last season?

Udoh: It’s good. I think right now it’s better. We’re just growing as a team which is most important. Has there been much difference between Scott Skiles and Larry Drew?

Udoh: For the most part. To get to this level you’re already a pretty serious coach so it’s about the same. Just some things will be done differently. What have been the major changes to the team’s style of play?

Udoh: You’ll have to wait and see. I can’t spoil it. I’ve seen the numbers Drew focused on at practice and it seems like you guys will be running.

Udoh: Running and gunning and doing all of the above. What was it 25 assists? Yep. 25.

Udoh: Yeah, I mean. That’s something special. We had a streak of about three or four games two seasons ago when we had 30-plus assists. So when you’re playing like that, unselfish and giving the ball, it’s pretty impressive. And I think that style will help us this season.

Budenholzer Says No To Twitter

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is admittedly an old school sort when it comes to many things. And that definitely includes all forms of social media.

He doesn’t do Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any of the other forms of instant interaction with friends, family or strangers. So there won’t be any updates from training camp, late-night rants after tough losses or inspirational messages for the masses. Budenholzer learned a lot as an assistant to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in nearly two decades, plenty of dos and don’ts that will aid a first-time coach.

Avoiding the social-media craze was clearly near the top of the do list. When asked about his bypassing of the social-media frenzy that has spread throughout the league, Budenholzer smiled as he explained his absence.

“I definitely don’t have a Twitter account. I actually have a nephew who works for Twitter and he’s always on me about getting it done,” Budenholzer said. “But I’m definitely going old school with that one. The Twitter account is somewhere … maybe never to be found, and certainly not this season.”

With a new program to put in place and a completely revamped roster to work with, Budenholzer doesn’t really have time to explore his social media options anyway.

Budenholzer got his first taste of being in the eye of the social-media storm after an August DUI arrest, a case that has yet to be settled. He’s well aware of the pitfalls that come with his new position and is wise not to bring any extra attention to himself before the Hawks actually start playing games.

“I never want to bring any negative attention to our organization or our players,” Budenholzer said. “Having said that, there’s a legal process that’s playing out. I think it’s important for me to respect that process. I can’t say a whole lot more than that.”

His players understand and respect his position, knowing that any one of them could slip down the same rabbit hole with one mistake.

“I think that’s a setback but I think he’ll be fine,” Al Horford said. “He’s a good guy. I support him. We believe in him. And everybody makes mistakes. I told him straight up, ‘listen man,  I still have respect for you. I know you are a hard worker and I’m looking forward to us working together.’ And that’s all I said to him.”

Gloves Off For Durant, Wade?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Their Instagram/Twitter feud won’t go down in NBA annals as one of the classic dust ups, but nice guys Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade beefing, even if it’s just temporary, adds a nice layer of pre-training camp drama for the rest of us.

It started out simple enough. Durant said publicly during a Tuesday interview with CineSport that he would choose his ex-Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, James Harden, over Wade for a spot in a top 10 players list. That’s when Durant was informed that Wade was included in the top 10 of Sports Illustrated‘s ranking of the best players in the league and Harden was not.

Wade took exception and responded via Instagram …

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… and Durant fired back via Twitter …

And that leaves us with a two guys who rank among the league’s truly elite tossing barbs back and forth with training camps set to open around the league in just days.

Wade’s Heat and Durant’s Thunder head into the season as the favorites to represent their respective conferences in The Finals, so we might not get an appropriate conclusion to this affair for quite some time, if at all. Not that there was extra hype needed, those two regular season matchups between the Heat and Thunder just got another piece of flesh for everyone to chew on.

Kobe On Retirement Rumors … Not Yet!


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Kobe Bryant‘s embrace of social media this year was one of the most interesting developments of the season. From the Facebook rant he posted after tearing his Achilles to his live-Tweeting extravaganza during the Los Angeles Lakers’ short-lived playoff run, Kobe has made his presence felt in the social media realm.

He’s been about good about setting the record straight on certain things as well. And this morning’s Twitter response to weekend rumors that a retirement announcement was imminent on Facebook should calm Kobe’s legion of fans:

Thanks for clearing that up Kobe!

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 114) Playoff Chatter!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Despite our best efforts to convince him to do so, Kobe Bryant did not live Tweet Episode 114 of the Hang Time Podcast.

Apparently, the injured Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar was serious about curbing his enthusiasm for 140 character bursts of his insights after his work in Game 1 of the Lakers-San Antonio Spurs series caused an uproar (even Phil Jackson got in on the Twitter fun).

Seriously, though, if ever there was a time for some instant analysis on what’s going on in the NBA, it’s the first round of the playoffs, when the chatter on and off the court comes in constant waves from one side of the country to the other.

Can Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks finish off the Boston Celtics as we’ve known them in their series? Can the Chicago Bulls, sans Derrick Rose, upset the Brooklyn Nets and move on to a second round date against LeBron James and the Miami Heat? How in the world did Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors shoot a mind-boggling 65 percent from the floor (57 percent from deep) in a playoff game?

And how exactly did the Cleveland Cavaliers convince Mike Brown to come back to them for a second go around as their head coach (there are $20 million reasons that forced him to say yes)?

We discuss answers for all of those questions and plenty more on Episode 114 of the Hang Time Podcast: Playoff Chatter!


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of,  Lang Whitaker of’s All-Ball Blog and Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business,  Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Kobe’s Right, Official Missed The Call

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — That Twitter beef between Kobe Bryant and his followers and Dahntay Jones and his followers can officially be put to rest now that we have a ruling from the NBA about the missed call at the end of that Wednesday night game at Philips Arena.

Just as Bryant said after the Lakers’ 96-92 loss, Jones did not give him the proper space on his landing from a baseline jumper attempt and, the same landing that will keep Bryant out “indefinitely” with a severely sprained left ankle.

The league’s official ruling can be found here and states that:

With 4.9 seconds remaining in the Atlanta Hawks’ 96-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 13, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant attempted a jump shot over the Hawks’ Dahntay Jones. After review at the league office, video replay confirmed that referees missed a foul call on Jones as he challenged Bryant’s shot and did not give him the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor. Bryant should have been granted two free throws.

Bryant will still have to wait a year to get his revenge, as he mentioned after the game. But he’s already been vindicated, per the official ruling that is backed up by the video evidence (above).

Everyone Wants To Be A Witness

Kobe Bryant took this shot on the practice track before Jamaica’s amazing Usain Bolt set an Olympic record in winning the 100 meters Sunday night.

LONDON — The eyes of the world were on the Olympics and Usain Bolt Sunday night, and that includes those of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team.

As star-studded a group as they are, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the only athletes competing here that could rival Bolt for global recognition right now, the need to witness history on the track in the fastest 100 meters race was a must.

“This is the biggest event of them all right here,” James told the Associated Press shortly before Bolt’s Olympic-record sprint to glory. “The whole world is going to watch this tonight.”

Pretty much.

There is a mutual admiration among so many of the world’s elite athletes that permeates this competition. They finally get a chance to interact with each other at the venues and in the Olympic Village.

From 100 meter bronze medalist Justin Gatlin and other members of the U.S. track and field team showing up in the stands to support James, Bryant and the crew when they whipped Tunisia to members of the basketball team showing up at everything from beach volleyball to swimming to women’s basketball to tennis (Bryant caused a particular stir at Wimbledon over the weekend), this is one of those rare occasions when they can all enjoy each other competing at the highest level.

“It’s just a recognition of all of the hard work, of a job well done to get here and be able to represent your country,” Bryant said of what draws these athletes from different disciplines to each other. “In Beijing we got a chance to see Michael Phelps in action live and I told all of these guys that we had to do more of that this time. When you look back years from now and tell your kids that you were at the Olympics, you want to be able to tell them you saw history being made.”

Kevin Love took Bryant’s words to heart, and has been on a mission since setting foot on British soil to document every magical moment of the team’s trip — Twitter and the popular photo-sharing app Instagram being his weapons of choice.

Working around their own practice and competition schedule, Love said they haven’t missed much. Sometimes they go in pairs, but more often in larger groups, hustling to make sure they witness as much as they can.

“I was all in from the moment we met up in Las Vegas for training camp,” Love said. “But I really think it hit me at the opening ceremonies. Once you are inside that stadium and you see the athletes from every country walking in and those flags waving. It’s hard not to get caught up in the Olympics. Obviously, our first priority here is to take care of business and win a gold medal. But you don’t get here and not take advantage of the entire experience. You have to enjoy this time in whatever ways you can.”

The U.S gets back to work on the court in the final game of pool play at the Olympic Basketball Arena tonight against Argentina (5:15 p.m. ET, NBC).

@NBA Twitter Feed Tops 5 Million

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — We’re still more than a few weeks away from some team claiming the Larry O’Brien trophy, but we can go ahead and crown the undisputed champ of professional sports leagues on Twitter.

The NBA wins in a runaway.

The NBA’s Twitter feed has a robust 5 million-plus, and counting, followers (5,011, 814 as of this morning). That dwarfs the National Football League’s 3,332,082, Major League Baseball’s 2,044,861 and the National Hockey League’s 1,166,503.

World Wrestling Entertainment also has about 1.1 million followers and the world’s soccer governing body, FIFA, has almost 800,000 followers.

It certainly can’t hurt that many of the league’s biggest stars — LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and many others — are all active on this particular social networking platform.

James, the 2011-12 KIA Most Valuable Player award winner, tops the league on Twitter as well with 4,495,705 followers. TNT’s own and recently retired future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has the largest Twitter flock with more than 5,598,557. They both rank among the top four pro athletes (active or retired) in followers.