The most exciting time on Twitter is nearly upon us.
No, while exciting, it’s not the World Cup.
Nope, it’s not some celebrity preparing to make a big announcement.
It’s NBA Free Agency.
Now, I know what you might be thinking, “How can NBA Free Agency be the most exciting time on Twitter?”
And I get it, to a casual fan it may seem boring.
But, can I interest you in a story of emoji wars, kidnappings, and WOJ bombs?
Sounds like the plot to a Michael Bay film.
It all started back in 2015 when teams were clamoring for the services of center DeAndre Jordan. Jordan had just finished the best season of his career with the LA Clippers and the rest of the league had taken notice.
The first emoji came from a Dallas Maverick, Chandler Parsons.
Seems innocent enough, right? On the contrary.
This plane emoji implying Parsons was making a trip to visit Jordan set off a wild string of events.
Current Clippers chimed in to counter the efforts of Parsons.
For those who don’t speak fluent emoji, all these guys are sending the message that they’re on their way to get in Jordan’s ear and counter Parson’s efforts.
Except for Chris Paul, who was alluding to his infamous banana boat ride with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
So, what do you do when an outsider is trying to steal one of your best players?
You kidnap him of course.
Current Clippers players stormed Jordan’s house refusing to leave until he signed his contract at midnight.
That’s absolutely no exaggeration. His teammates literally barricaded themselves inside his house until he put pen to paper.
Jordan has been a Clipper ever since.
Flash forward to NBA Free Agency 2017 and the emojis are back.
This time it’s Gordon Hayward looking for his next team. Current Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert tweets his emoji wishes while current Celtic and hopeful future teammate Isaiah Thomas counters.
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) July 2, 2017
But this hadn’t been the first shots fired in the Hayward sweepstakes. Oh no. A few weeks before free agency started, his wife dropped an Instagram hint that started the following spree.
Forgive them for they know not what they do to the internet pic.twitter.com/PhPgOrFTfk
— Angie Treasure (@snark_tank) June 12, 2017
As others have noted, the games have begun. pic.twitter.com/8LCUJTBn6Y
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) June 14, 2017
Well, looks like it's 👀 season again. pic.twitter.com/PxAs6emuIr
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) June 13, 2017
When you read the tea leaves it was easy to see that Hayward was going to end up a Celtic.
Which brings us to Free Agency 2018. There’s a much bigger fish this time around.
Twitter is going to break. It’s inevitable. It cannot be stopped.
And the recruiting has already started. Players like Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and others have courted the King on Instagram.
These social media recruiting techniques lead to an unbelievable statistic on Twitter usage.
According to Twitter, average tweets per day during the regular season are 652,000 and that number jumps to 800,000 NBA related tweets during free agency.
Those numbers are unheard of. The sport almost becomes more popular during the offseason than when games are being played.
That’s what happens when your stars are active on social, you have a savage fanbase with memes at the ready, and a reporter that is constantly dropping bombs.
So sit back, relax, and get your popcorn ready because another season of NBA Free Agency is on its way.