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During the NBA Finals, if you can't beat 'em, tweet 'em

Lots of players whose teams are at home are giving in-game opinions about the Lakers and Celtics on Twitter. Their relatives are getting in on the action too, such as Daniel Artest, who tweeted his expectation that L.A. fans would blame the Game 2 loss on his brother, Ron.

June 07, 2010|By Lisa Dillman

Reporting from Boston -- The sentiment was one part instructional and one part frustration, coming from a hoopster critic.

"Dunk Tha ball KG"

KG would be the Celtics' Kevin Garnett, who was, generously speaking, making a fine mess of things in the fourth quarter of Game 1 against the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

One or two botched layups was one thing. Finally, one NBA player had enough and got his point across in the most democratic of all social media.

Dunk the ball, C.J. Miles of the Jazz pleaded via Twitter.

Watching the NBA Finals — one eye trained on the court and the other on the computer screen — will never be quite the same again. Because, for better or worse, a whole flock of wildly opinionated NBA players are commenting, quipping and praising the action on the court.

Forget about waiting for talk radio, the postgame show on TV or the newspaper commentary the next day.

This is almost like a Greek chorus, and a tall one at that, unfolding in real time. All in 140 characters or less.

NBA players, naturally, are going to be watching playoff games, especially once the sting of elimination subsides a bit. So if you aren't active on the glass, why not stay active on the keyboard?

Miles, who goes by the handle @CJMiles, was busy in the second half of Game 1, having missed the first:

"paul pierce shoots every shot like he's unsure its gonna get to tha rim lol (kanye shrug) he get buckets tho....just not tonight smh.

Texting translation: SMH could mean either shaking my head or scratching my head.

Which plenty of Lakers fans were doing during Game 2.

A future NBA point guard, John Wall of Kentucky (@jimmywa11), commented on the relative quiet at Staples Center in the early going of Game 2:

"Silence in the arena … anybody here?"

Wall later got off a line about Celtics Coach Doc Rivers in Game 2:

"I know y'all seen Doc Rivers with the 4.4 sprint on the court for the timeout..."

The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan voiced (@deandrejordan) what many were thinking in the fourth quarter Sunday:

"This game has too many foul calls happening!"

Then a voice from the Artest family chimed in a few times. It was none other than Ron's brother, Daniel, who had engaged in a spirited Twitter war with former Laker Trevor Ariza in the previous round:

Daniel (@Daniel_Artest) anticipated fan wrath after the Game 2 loss:

"OK. LA fans. Go ahead. Blame the game on Ron. I'm waiting in 5 … 4… 3…2…1…"

DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) on Ray Allen's threes:

"Ray letting it rain."

The Lakers' Lamar Odom was asked if he was reading what other players were writing about him and the series.

"Not too much," he said. "I have so much going on. I can't follow everybody."

He did have a good line about managing social networking during the playoffs.

"You can still tweet," Odom said, smiling. "It's not going to be the reason why you miss the free throw."

And besides, there are plenty of NBA-ers out there to tweet about that too.

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