Is Twitter Bad For The Celtics?

This is a sponsored post but I get to pick the topic, so I'm going to talk about twitter.

This whole Villanueva issue has brought the social media platform back to the forefront of NBA news.  Danny Ainge, for one, isn't a fan. (via Chris Forsberg)

"And the other point I'd like to make, before we move on to real basketball, is ... tweeting is about self-promotion in most cases. He's [Villanueva] not trying to be a public servant by telling everybody. As a matter of fact he's the one who brings light to this attention, and if anybody is offended it's Charlie Villanueva who has brought that to attention, not KG.

While he isn't much of a fan of it either, Doc isn't going to pull the plug on the players.

"I can't go in and say 'Hey guys let's make a rule that there's no Tweeting.' That's nothing I'm going to do. The Tweeting thing doesn't bother me, it's what we're Tweeting about and when.

He's probably wise not to stop the tweets.  Back in August I pointed out that there are a whopping 10 Cetlics on twitter.  Here's the list:

Follow Friday: Celtics Twitter Guide - CelticsBlog

Shaquille O'Neal - @THE_REAL_SHAQ
Paul Pierce - @paulpierce34 (good for the occasional trash talk)
Glen Davis - @iambigbaby11 (he'll teach you how to Dougie)
Rajon Rondo - @RajonRondo (usually just promotional stuff)
Ray Allen - @greenRAYn20 (appears to be shut down)
Marquis Daniels - @Marquis_Daniels (sorry, but I don't understand 99% of what he writes)
Nate Robinson - @nate_robinson (signs every post with #wordaapp - its a Seattle thing, I guess)
Jermaine O'Neal - @jermaineoneal (needs a new background)
Avery Bradley - @Aabradley11 (rookie has the right idea)
Von Wafer - @vonwafer13 (get to know the new guy)

That's 10 players (out of 15 roster spots) tweeting. I'm not sure if it is the most in the NBA but it has to be up there.

Clearly the players can have a lot of fun with twitter.  Shaq can act like a statue, Ray Allen once gave away free shoes, and Big Baby taught us how to Dougie.  That's all in good fun.  The problem is that all this immediate access and exposure isn't always a good thing.  

Off the top of my head, here are some negative things that happened in the last year or two that are related to twitter in one way or another.

  • An account claiming to be run by Big Baby complained about the lack of a contract extension a couple of offseasons ago.  Baby claims it was a fake.
  • Ray Allen's twitter account posted some rather ...um, personal messages of a sexual nature to an unnamed person.  Ray claims his account was hacked.
  • Marquis Daniels was accused of writing in gang language on his twitter account.
  • Paul Pierce had to cancel a ticket giveaway because he was afraid of too much interest and was worried about people's safety.
  • The now former Celtic Stephon Marbury had an epic meltdown on ustream and twitter.
  • After a few playoff wins over the Magic, Paul Pierce's twitter posted the message "Anybody got a BROOM?"  You guessed it, Paul claims it was hacked.
  • Von Wafer recently chided Chris Forsberg for a report published about his initial tiff with Delonte West.
  • And of course Charlie Villenueva tweeted some accusations about Kevin Garnett's trash talking this week.

I'm sure I'm missing some, but that's a pretty long list already.  So is twitter in and of itself a bad thing?  Of course not.  It can be a wonderful way to connect with fans and to build their personal brands.  The problem is that they open themselves up to misinterpretation, hackers, and simply saying something stupid that gets broadcast to the world instantly.  And like Ainge said, sometimes it is usually more about self promotion than anything that would actually be beneficial to the team.

So if I were to advise the Celtics on how to use twitter (that would be a fun job wouldn't it?) I would tell them to think through their tweets before hitting send, don't tweet from the same phone that they use for personal messages (see Simmons, Bill), and of course change their passwords often.

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