Can we have a moment of silence for the NBA’s official NBA Twitter account on Sunday? First, it was confusing that the Memphis Grizzlies weren’t eligible for the WNBA draft. Then a news alert came in saying that their 26-year-old point guard/handyman/guy to get drinks for showed up to a TMZ Sports shoot in uniform.
And then the NBA Twitter account: The Official @NBA tweeter who made the idea of “if you hit a threeset … it’s dance time!” very real by pairing a Wu-Tang Clan tweet with the NBA introduction and retweet. (Although, to be fair, the hip-hop godfather’s mysterious spelling of “Wu” was actually “Twane the W”.)
The very idea that one of the most important Twitter accounts in the world would see fit to crop out the words “If you hit a twanner” and instead pose the basketball player as a doppelgänger of the popular Wu-Tang Clan member Wu-Tang Clan raised the internet’s eyebrows in 2017. But on Sunday night, after the story resurfaced, it hit a different level.
And all for a tweet that may have a LOT more to do with basketball than rap.
Memphis Grizzlies point guard shot this spot with @TMZSports ? pic.twitter.com/nfAq1zHWK0 — Rachel Donaghey (@racheldonaghey) August 6, 2017
Maybe it was just a clever joke. Maybe it was impossible to separate those two things. But the NBA was either being incredibly gracious or incredibly stupid, if you follow the social media behavior of NBA stars. On Monday, Grizzlies player Darius Miller tweeted (in quotes) “@MettaWorldPeace @BigGonzalez25 just all the shots in Memphis????”
No one could be like #pointman https://t.co/fhVmHExVyD — John Anderson (@OnThePageAP) August 7, 2017
The two players are reported to be former friends who used to date, but apparently it’s more complicated than that. People know what the tweet means, but the NBA has tried to prevent anyone talking about their decision not to draft the two-time WNBA All-Star in 2016 by saying this:
We will stay focused on our plans to build the most historic franchise in sports history https://t.co/elcNiXXhtS — NBA (@NBA) August 7, 2017
Hindsight is always 20/20, but by Sunday evening, it seemed like a third option was actually gaining traction – that the NBA might have agreed to hashtag a post. Either way, the team’s Twitter was very busy:
Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) We won’t stop Kobe, we will keep driving this deadly cargo train! https://t.co/adgkVK6ml9 pic.twitter.com/RyHxAbr8Uk
Last year, @MettaWorldPeace, who says he’s “never liked basketball,” caught flak for doing a “spit take” to the Memphis Flyer during a live Instagram stream, but this season he has been using the emoji-filled account to encourage interaction. (After anyone started poking fun, he resorted to simply laughing.)