Twitter can be a fun way to get news, interact with glitterati and waste time. Where else could you send a message in real time and possibly (but probably not) get a response from LeBron James?
But the people who are "superstars" on social media are not always, or rarely, the same as the superstars in real life.
This is especially the case with sports stars. For example, Stephen Curry is one of the superstars of Twitter. He's constantly promoting fan contests, interacting with his followers and even taking trips out to see them (see his "Making the Shot" segment on his website).
But he's hardly a superstar in the NBA. Despite his very strong season thus far for the Golden State Warriors—21.0 points, 45.2 percent three-point shooting, 6.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game—he was not selected for the All-Star team.
And he's only got 436,000 followers on Twitter.
So, for our present purposes, an NBA superstar will be taken to mean one of the All-Star starters as voted by the fans. Some of them (like Kevin Garnett) do not deserve to be on the team, but that's the way the Internet cookie crumbles sometimes.
Not everyone has Twitter either (like Kevin Garnett), but 90 percent of the All-Star starters do.
Now, let's see which of them is worth following and who should be unfollowed. And naturally, we'll consider them in order of how many followers they have.
Rajon Rondo is nothing if not mercurial. The would-be All-Star may be injured, but hopefully that will increase the frequency of his tweets. He has over 903,000 followers but just 800 tweets. None have come since January 17.
But even some of his rare tweets can be pretty amusing. For example, who knew that Rondo makes his own tacos:
Making shrimp tacos twitter.com/RajonRondo/sta…— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) January 16, 2013
When one follower asked him if he used Cajun seasoning or taco seasoning, he promptly gave the answer (Cajun, by the way). Still, he's really not active enough or sufficiently amusing to be worth following.
Kobe Bryant is an interesting case. He's been in the NBA for 16 years, but he's only been on Twitter for less than a month. Nevertheless, his 170 tweets have garnered him over 1,158,000 followers.
And it has to be said, he's getting pretty good at it, at least for an old guy who's a Twitter newbie.
Surely he has a PR person to inform him of how best to use the account, but he's still been pretty entertaining so far. He tweets out photos, replies to fans, sends out inspirational messages about the struggling Lakers and rarely promotes sneakers (unlike Carmelo Anthony).
Recently, Kobe also live tweeted during the telecast of his 81-point game on the seventh anniversary of it. He claimed he had never watched it before, and also early in the game "realized their rotations weren't sharp or early."
But easily the best tweet of the session had to be this (#sotrue):
Down 14, I'm heating up...at this point I wouldn't pass a kidney stone #countonkobe— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 22, 2013
Blake Griffin has over 1,352,000 followers. He's clearly a funny guy, as you can tell by his profile photo or his TV commercials, but he sends his tweets about as consistently as he sinks his free throws.
He's another vigorous promoter of his Instagram account on his Twitter, which is kind of boring (although this one is worth a view).
But every now and then, a swimsuit model tweets him and he retweets his reply to her:
I know right?!?! RT @chrissyteigen: athletes doing commercials are like gods little love notes to the public— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin) October 30, 2012
But if you wanted to see what Chrissy Teigen was tweeting, you could just follow her.
Chris Paul has over 1,714,000 followers. He tweets a lot, he's pretty entertaining and he doesn't promote his Instagram incessantly (just occasionally).
After the New Orleans Hornets announced their name change, CP3 had this to say: "Pelicans??? #ImNotRollin."
And he seems like a genuinely good guy:
Toughest thing about road trips is never the next opponent...its leaving the house and my lil man crying that he doesn't want me to leave...— Chris Paul (@CP3) December 2, 2012
I can't wait for Paul's book on parenting in 10 years' time. Maybe Dwyane Wade can ghostwrite it for him (see slide 8).
Carmelo Anthony has over 2,861,000 followers. But most of what he does is promote sneakers.
Some of his tweets are entertaining...and promotional too. For example:
He does conduct some fan contests and also promotes charity events, but there's very few glimpses of what's behind the curtain.
And after all, that's what Twitter is all about.
Kevin Durant is a micro-blogging machine. This guy has sent out over 21,000 tweets!
He's also something of a philosopher. His profile summary simply states: "IM ME, I DO ME, AND I CHILL." Indeed.
Durant has over 3,558,000 followers, and they seem to get the real deal from his account. Sometimes he just sends random music lyrics, such as, "Ain't have no pot to piss in, now my kitchen full of dishesss."
And sometimes, he gives us insight into who the real Durantula is, like this:
Allure is my favorite jayZ song..do y'all understand what he was saying?? smh...sheesh
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 19, 2013
OK, a lot of tweets are actually just song lyrics, but at least you know what's kicking through his Beats headphones. He also shakes his head a lot, apparently. Just follow him.
It's funny that so many people think Dwight Howard is a jerk (what, because of that spoiled-brat-wants-out-of-Orlando thing?) because he actually seems like a funny guy.
If you were one of his 3,792,000 followers, you'd know that he saw Haunted House in theaters and thought it was a "FUNNY MOVIE!"
He really doesn't tweet often enough to be worthwhile, but every now and then, something amusing comes along. Like this:
Save The Centersyoutube.com/watch?v=_WxjuP…— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) December 18, 2012
Dwyane Wade is an interesting chap. He's so humble. He's got over 3,905,000 followers, but his profile description also states, "I'm a father First and everything else after that."
That's a striking coincidence because he has also "written" a book titled A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball.
Wade's another one who, like LeBron James, frequently promotes his Instagram account. In fact, it's mostly promoting his Instagram pictures, but he still tweets out some interesting observations and sage advice.
One recent tweet gave advice to the young bucks who got passed over for the All-Star Game:
It's always some1 who gets the All-Star snub and it sucks..but congrats to all the first timers who made it. Well deserved as individuals..— Way of WADE (@DwyaneWade) January 25, 2013
Still, it's kind of boring. The pictures are all you need.
LeBron James is clearly the King of Twitter with over 7,144,000 followers. He probably has one of his childhood entourage manage the account for him or in tandem with him. But he keeps it real.
He gives some insight into who he is as a person and also shoots his mouth off a little bit. He also reps his old high school in his profile description, "ST.V-M Class of 03."
He discusses many subjects too. One recent tweet merely read, "Sunglasses and Advil."
But the ultimate are his rightfully arrogant tweets that only he can send out, like this:
Just keep throwing rocks at the throne, don't matter cause nothing can break my zone
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 30, 2013