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The NBA could decide to ruin Twitter

RedsArmyAdmin September 4, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off

There was never a chance in hell for me to have any interaction at all with people like Paul Pierce (@PaulPierce34) Ray Allen (@SugarRay20) SheldenWilliams (@SheldenWilliams) or Marquis Daniels (@lambo6) until Twitter came along.  These guys have all taken time to interact with fans at some level.

But the NBA is about to come out with a set of Twitter standards and guidelinesAnd on the surface, it looks innocent enough.

“We just need to make sure when it’s OK to Tweet and when it’s not
OK to Tweet so it at least focuses around the game,” he said. “It would
look unusual for a guy sitting on the bench to pick up his cell phone,
and I think we can agree that he probably shouldn’t be writing e-mails.
It’s not about Twitter; it’s about the line of communication. That’s
what we’re focusing on.

“We’re happy to let it play out to see if it merits all the attention that it’s getting. We don’t want to overreact.”

And that's what I'm afraid of. 

I understand Twitter isn't for everyone… but it has proven to be a connection between NBA players and their fans that few people could have anticipated.  David Stern seems to realize the appeal of that and how it can be used to grow his product.  The worst thing a league can do is alienate a fan base who has latched on to this technology and now demands this level of access.  I think Stern understands where the line should be drawn.

“People are going to do unwise things. You might not like what you see,
but that doesn’t mean you can go around telling people they can’t
engage in the activities that yield [those posts]. Players do videos,
players are on YouTube, players are instant messaging, players are
tweeting, players are on Facebook. They are just like everyone else.
They are allowed to do that. The question is judgment and discretion.
You can’t legislate that.”

Stern has a history of seeing where player expression goes… and then dialing it back as necessary.  Take a look at the dress code.  Only when guys were getting a little TOO out of control did he finally step in and say "ok… time to rein this in."  I hope that's as far as it goes with Twitter.

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