The Complete Guide to Experiencing the NBA on Twitter
With the NBA growing in popularity every single season it only seems like a matter of time before people go out looking for some sort of guide to becoming an NBA fan. It's a great sport to follow, but it can be a bit daunting if you just jump right in.
However, it's quite simple to figure out the game. In fact it's so easy you could do it at home while sitting on your computer for a few minutes every day.
The NBA and the people involved with the league are so technology-oriented today that everybody who's anybody (save a few old-school types like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Charles Barkley) can be found on Twitter. A clueless fan can become a well-informed basketball guru extraordinaire by following just a handful of accounts.
From the league's most prolific writers, to the most entertaining player accounts, the most ridiculous bloggers, the best fantasy gurus and everything in-between, Twitter is not only an easy outlet to share ideas, but it's the perfect place for a guy to learn a thing or two.
Regardless of your level of interest in the NBA, I'm bound to have at least one or two accounts for you to follow, so check out a few of these guys and you might find your new favorite tweeter. At the very least you'll be entertained by a few dorky rants.
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Adrian Wojnarowski--Besides having fun trying to pronounce his name, Adrian Wojnarowski is the absolute top dog in terms of NBA news, rumors and whatever else he may have bouncing around his mind. Yahoo! Sports' best NBA writer seems to be working around the clock and always has news immediately.
Ric Bucher--Ric Bucher not only has the best hair of any guy on ESPN, he's also the go-to NBA guy on their network. He's always interesting and seems to have a unique take on everything going on in the league.
Marc Stein--Another ESPN man. Stein broke the news that Sean Marks is the new GM of the Austin Toros, so yea, he's pretty deep into it all.
Spurs just announced that Sean Marks, popular teammate wherever he's played, promoted to SAS director of basketball ops & GM of Austin Toros— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 9, 2012
David Aldridge--NBA.com's best writer hands down. David Aldridge not only has a reassuring mustache but he tweets only the important things in the NBA world. He won't flood your timeline or tweet meaningless dribble.
J.A. Adande--Adande is kind of a half blogger, half columnist, half television personality for ESPN at this point, so there's no reason not to follow him on Twitter. This man-and-a-half is not only immersed in the basketball world, but entertaining as well.
Chad Ford--You've got to have ESPN's Insider subscription to ready anything he writes, but you get good little tidbits from his tweets. He's dedicated enough to check out a Utah Jazz scrimmage so he's worth a follow.
Hanging out in SLC at Jazz's first scrimmage of year. Will drop a few updates over next hour.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) October 6, 2012
John Hollinger--The stats guru over at ESPN. Hollinger will roll out a lot of mathematical formulas in his articles, but he's right to the point on Twitter. Plus you don't have to pay to read his 140 characters, unlike everything else he writes.
Chris Sheridan--Chris Sheridan became my go-to guy (along with Ken Berger) during the NBA lockout. I would be up at two in the morning refreshing my account on my phone hoping for the news that the lockout was over. I've been dedicated ever since, even if he is a bit too much into Sulia.
Ken Berger--Ken Berger is CBS Sports' basketball man. Besides making the lockout entertaining he pretty much seems like an expert on labor relations after the endless hours spent in hotel lobbies waiting for a resolution. Go give him a follow and drop him a, "How U!"
Bill Simmons--Go follow Bill Simmons because he's freaking Bill Simmons. He's a basketball man first and foremost and the poster guy for the online sports world. Regardless of his Boston bias he remains entertaining.
Watching Celts on NBA TV right now. Trying not to tweet something gushy about Sullinger that could haunt me. So... um... how's it going?— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) October 9, 2012
NBA's Beat Writers
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Atlanta Hawks - Chris Vivlamore
Boston Celtics - Gary Washburn
Brooklyn Nets - Rod Boone
Charlotte Bobcats - Rick Bonnell
Chicago Bulls - K.C. Johnson
Cleveland Cavaliers - M.S. Boyer and Jodie Valade
Dallas Mavericks - Dwain Price
Denver Nuggets - Benjamin Hochman
Detroit Pistons - Vincent Goodwill
Golden State Warriors - Marcus Thompson
Houston Rockets - Jonathan Feigen
Indiana Pacers - Mike Wells
Los Angeles Clippers - Brad Turner
Los Angeles Lakers - Mike Bresnahan
Memphis Grizzlies - Chris Herrington
Miami Heat - Ira Winderman
Milwaukee Bucks - C.F. Gardner
Minnesota Timberwolves - Jerry Zgoda
New Orleans Hornets - John Reid
New York Knicks - Marc Berman
Oklahoma City Thunder - Darnell Mayberry
Orlando Magic - Josh Robbins
Philadelphia 76ers - Bob Cooney
Phoenix Suns - Paul Coro
Portland Trail Blazers - Jason Quick
Sacramento Kings - Jason Jones
San Antonio Spurs - Jeff McDonald
Toronto Raptors - Doug Smith
Utah Jazz - Bill Oram
Washington Wizards - Michael Lee
These are the guys we couldn't survive without. Not as renown on a national scale, they are the beat writers that get into the nooks and the crannies that national writers just can't get into. They're the guys who know their audience better than anyone else and always have interesting content.
I'll admit that I don't follow them all, but the ones that really stand out are guys like Doug Smith, Darnell Mayberry, K.C. Johnson and Ira Winderman. I like Winderman especially because he seems to do a better job than any other Heat beat writer at taking a level-headed stance.
You don't have to go follow all the guys above, but pick out your favorite team's beat writer and take a look at the other accounts to see if anything interests you.
All Your Fantasy Needs
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Fantasy basketball is lagging far behind fantasy football and even behind fantasy baseball, but there are some guys out there who do their best to push it along. Whether it's just straight stats, injury news or just little tidbits about match-ups, these guys know their statistical stuff.
My Synergy Sports--This is easily the best NBA related statistical account to follow. My Synergy Sports is a subscription-based website that gives you insanely in-depth statistical analysis of players and teams. Their Twitter account is just a taste of the glory that lies behind those few dollars.
Howard shot 49.9% in the post last season, Bynum 47.5%, but shooting at line gave Bynum a slight edge in points per-possession 0.89 to 0.88— mySynergySports (@mySynergySports) August 10, 2012
Matthew Berry--ESPN's guru on all things fantasy. Basically if you're a sports fan who enjoys playing any kind of fantasy game then you should be following Matthew Berry.
Matt Buser--Buser was a fantasy basketball writer for Yahoo! Sports for a time, but he's teamed up with Ken Slight at basketballmonster.com. Everything from in-depth stats to musings about player pairings and teams can be found from Buser.
AST leading to FGM at rim (11-12): Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson 5.2 combined; Steve Nash 4.7 (per Hoopdata)— Matt Buser (@busersports) October 9, 2012
Michael Gallagher--An NFL and NBA fantasy writer, Gallagher writes for rotoworld.com as one of their fantasy leaders. Any time somebody tries to convince me that Byron Mullens is a useful basketball player I'm down to follow them.
14p, 6rb, 2 bk & 4 3s in 28 mins so far RT @hornets247 Byron Mullens appears to have rolled his ankle. He's up, but they've stopped play.— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) October 10, 2012
Rotoworld Basketball--Another rather all-encompassing sports website, Rotoworld is a basic need for any fantasy fiend. Their basketball branch has a twitter account that basically just links to their own stuff right now, but as the season rolls along it gets more interesting.
NBA.com Stats--It seems like the NBA's official stats department is way too into things like offensive and defensive ratings of players, which can shift dramatically from year-to-year, but they're a good follow nonetheless. They don't go crazy in depth, but it's enough to be useful without hurting your brain.
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Matt Moore—The lead writer for what is quite possibly the quintessential basketball blog in the entire world, Moore scribbles about everything basketball on Hardwood Paroxysm. His Twitter account is like a super short blog post with every tweet. Sometimes insightful, sometimes hilarious, sometimes pointless, always entertaining.
February 2nd, 2013. Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Cousins vs. Sheed. Should be on pay-per-view.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) October 9, 2012
Zach Harper—A master blogger both in real time and unreal time Harper is the host of ESPN's Daily Dime Live. Tweet him about bacon, complain that he hates your team and enjoy Twitter rants that come on the reg.
Kelly Dwyer—For many people Dwyer's basketball blog is the first they tend to see. It's super accessible, crazy entertaining and has the best name possible for a basketball blog. As Yahoo! Sports' main contributor to their "Ball Don't Lie" blog, Dwyer is a classic Twitter follow.
Even Vlade Divac is sick of NBA players flopping | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball…— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) October 8, 2012
The Basketball Jones—J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas and Trey Kerby host what is the best NBA podcast out there. It's often immature jokes, drawn-out puns and Twitter shout-outs, but there's plenty of basketball knowledge and ideas to be had between laughs. If you don't go follow them now at least check out a podcast or two; you won't regret it.
Pictured Adam Silver feeding David Stern grapes while naked for Stern's 70th birthday today, and I'm struggling to shake the image.— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) September 22, 2012
Ethan Strauss—A blogger extraordinaire and member of our very own B/R crew. Strauss tends to be a Twitter contrarian at times, but his tweets will keep you coming back for more, I promise it.
Mark Deeks—For some reason the thought of a British dude taking an interest in the NBA has me tickled. Regardless, there are few guys out there who seem to know the ins and outs of the NBA salary structure coming from the most recent collective bargaining agreement. He makes math fun!
Jonathan Givoney—He's the guy that bridges the gap for us. Givoney is the brains behind Draftexpress.com, the absolute best source for college, international and intergalactic players trying to break into the NBA. If you don't believe that he doesn't know his stuff just let his tweets speak for him:
Fun to see draft prospects Alex Abrines, Marko Todorovic and Mario Hezonja all getting minutes against a NBA team. Barcelona beating Dallas.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) October 9, 2012
Henry Abbott—As the lead blogger for ESPN's True Hoop, Abbott is both entertaining and insightful. He regularly breaks down the goings on of the day while sprinkling in some covert humor.
Ben Golliver—You may know him better as the guy who would pump out post after post after post for Blazersedge.com, the greatest team-oriented website out there. Golliver is moving over to Sports Illustrated in the coming weeks, so it should be interesting to see the transition.
The Players and the Rest
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JaVale McGee—JaVale McGee tweets like he plays, which naturally makes him the most entertaining basketball player on Twitter. One minute he's crazy insightful (whether it's on purpose or not I have no idea) and the next he's gone off the deep end.
Mark Cuban—What would your NBA experience be without following at least one NBA owner. Whether you love him or hate him, Cuban is easily the most interactive owner on Twitter, plus he's not afraid to speak his mind (surprising, I know).
Getting up some jumpers.Got to make some in every arena instagr.am/p/Qki9GZO24J/— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 9, 2012
Kevin Love—He was always a good tweeter, but Kevin Love really broke away to the head of the pack over the summer as he was tweeting during the Olympics. Always quick with a picture of what was the team was doing, he did a great job of giving insight into what was going on on a day-to-day basis.
Blake Griffin—A healthy mix of goofy wit and deadpan comedy, Blake Griffin is probably the funniest NBA player on purpose, and it shows in his Twitter account.
Steve Nash—It seems necessary to follow at least one guy on the Lakers this season. Kobe Bryant doesn't have an account, Dwight Howard's is too geared toward promoting whatever he's endorsing and Metta World Peace's is incoherent at times. Follow Nash and you've got a line into L.A. from an entertaining tweeter.
Daryl Morey—I was surprised to find out that Daryl Morey is probably one of the most interesting basketball people to follow, but it really makes sense when you think about it. Morey is trying to be a step ahead of the rest of the league, and deep down he really does seem like a nerd, so him opening up on Twitter isn't that surprising. What is surprising is the fact that he's searching for an intern via Twitter.