In 2013, NBA players stick out their chests, boast and trash-talk as they always have, only they do it with tiny little hilarious tweets that we get to savor for the duration of the season.
Pro Basketball Talk's Dan Feldman spotted a brief Twitter beef that features an interesting cast of characters: J.R. Smith, his disrespected brother, a couple of guys playing ball in China and Brandon Jennings, who found out that you only need to hit the right buttons to garner a Twitter rant from the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.
UPDATE: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. ET by Gabe Zaldivar
Knicks reporter Scott Cacciola reports Smith may have to answer for some of his more severe tweets.
Once again we remind that even though you delete a tweet, the Internet may not forget.
End of Update---
It all started with a tweet from the Detroit Pistons star pondering life's great mysteries. Jennings was curious as to how Chris Smith, J.R. Smith's brother, has a job in the NBA.
While that tweet has been deleted, it's saved for posterity thanks to NBA scribe Holly MacKenzie:
As Feldman reminds us, Pooh Jeter and Bobby Brown are currently playing in China and, to Jennings' estimation, would do quite well stateside.
UPDATE: Thursday, November 14, 6:20 p.m. ET
According to Scott Cacciola of The New York Times, Smith's tweets are under some scrutiny from the NBA.
End of update---
Really, the impetus behind the tweet is Chris Smith and the heat he is taking right now for what many consider to be tenuous NBA credentials. As ESPNNewYork.com reports, Knicks coach Mike Woodson admitted that family ties played a part in the team's decision to add him to the roster.
And as Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported, one anonymous general manager offered that Smith was "maybe the worst player in the history of the [NBA] summer league."
You could see how Smith would throw a virtual arm around his brother's shoulder and defend him against any further criticism.
And that's exactly what he did:
Now, Smith did his own deleting, because the following jab no longer exists on his feed, but Feldman saved it: "Might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious—"
As previously stated, Jennings deleted his initial blast at some point. When that didn't stop the Twitter barrage, he tried some reasoning:
But Smith stops tweeting when he is done tweeting (though he has since deleted these ones as well):
So, what have we learned?
Smith is an extremely entertaining follow on Twitter, but we already knew that. What we really should take from this exchange is that, whether in volume or intensity, Smith will get the better of you on Twitter.
It's best not to engage him in any social media shenanigans—and don't even think about calling out his brother.
Hit me up on Twitter: @GabeZal