All-NBA Social Media Team
The absolute greatest thing about the Internet—and there are a lot of great things about the Internet—is that it gives us an outlet to live vicariously through our favorite sports stars. While athletes are enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and the famous, we get to be there right alongside them for every photo, video and 140-character description of the awesome things we'll never get to experience firsthand.
For whatever reason, out of all professional athletes, NBA stars tend to be the ones whose online presences are the most consistently entertaining, engaging and eccentric.
Maybe it's because NBA players just happen to have the most eclectic personalities in the whole sports world.
Maybe it's because they simply have nothing better to do during the ever-riveting 82-game preseason.
Regardless, we can all agree that without Nick Young's ridiculous proclamations, Mark Cuban's bizarre selfies and Metta World Peace's outlandish poetry, the NBA would just be a bunch of drawn-out playoff series and self-absorbed stars. But with them, it's a masterpiece.
And so, the best of the best need to be recognized for their achievements. In a nod to last week's All-MLB Social Media Team, we present to you its dynamic NBA counterpart: One team's worth of NBA social media powerhouses that must not go unnoticed by the public eye.
If nothing else, these guys should help keep you entertained as you wait for the annual Heat vs. Spurs championship to finally roll around.
*Note: Any player who played in at least one game in the 2013-2014 NBA season is eligible for the All-NBA Social Media Team.
Player: Nick Young
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
While Nick Young will never come close to filling the shoes of Kobe Bryant on a basketball court, he makes up for it, and then some, on the Internet.
Always opinionated and never modest, "Swaggy P" has captivated fans of basketball and Twitter since his first missed shot of the season. From his proclamation that he was the best shooting guard in the league to his bold suggestion that he should be the new Lakers coach, Young seems to be on a mission from the heavens to spread his trademark swag throughout the world, 140 characters at a time. In fact, Young claims that his very nickname itself was passed down from above:
Whether or not there is a divine presence tweeting through the thumbs of Swaggy P, his place on this team is indisputable. Finally, with our criteria, he truly is the best shooting guard in the league.
Player: Stephen Curry
Team: Golden State Warriors
While Nick Young has the entire world waiting on the edges of their seats for whatever outrageous thing he is going to say next, Stephen Curry has captured the hearts of NBA fans by displaying how big and wonderful his own heart really is.
According to his regular Vine posts, Curry loves his wife, loves his daughter and loves his life. In one painfully adorable example, Curry and his wife got matching tattoos that say "Love Never Fails," and shared the whole experience online. Call the man cheesy, but what he lacks in swag, he easily makes up for in virtue.
To summarize our choices for the two guards on our All-NBA Social Media squad:
Follow Nick Young to inspire you to have more swag than Stephen Curry. Follow Stephen Curry to inspire you to be a better person than Nick Young.
Player: Kevin Love
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Soon-to-be-former Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love is a master of wit, a renowned funnyman and the mastermind behind one of the most entertaining Twitter accounts in the NBA. But above all else, Love scratches and claws his way onto this elite team because of his powerful presence as the token white guy, a role he has openly embraced throughout his career.
He once told Jimmy Kimmel on his live talk show that because of his token white guy status, he'd likely get to forgo tryouts for the U.S. Olympic team. In addition, he shared this gem on Twitter after being referred to as the player who makes the most out of limited natural ability:
Don't worry, Kevin. If nothing else, we think you've got plenty of natural ability on Twitter.
Player: Metta World Peace
Team: Free Agent
While all the men on this elite team stand tall in the world of social media, World Peace stands the tallest.
A true czar of social media, Zen master of the Twitter art form and king of all things Internet, every word this man posts on social media is more awe inspiring than the one that came before it.
He's a poet.
my eggs look so helpless the little chickens are so cute i decide to live off the earth instead of animals dude breakfast poetry by MWP— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) January 15, 2014
He's a lover.
as i stand forthright but unbalanced, i can not help to think that im fallin in love Written by Metta— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) January 15, 2014
He's a scholar.
i only use 17 of the 26 alphabets— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) February 21, 2014
And above all else, he just doesn't make any sense.
Wow, I never sharks racially profile other sharks.— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) August 12, 2013
On a social media All-Star team, Metta World Peace is without a doubt the MVP.
Player: JaVale McGee
Team: Denver Nuggets
JaVale McGee is a true master of his craft—and no, by no stretch of the imagination am I referring to basketball as his craft.
Average at best with a ball in his hands, McGee is unstoppable with a keyboard at his fingertips.
He has an alter ego named Pierre Squilliam M. He refers to the Denver Nuggets as the "Thuggets" even though no one else on Earth does. On his Twitter page, he describes himself as an "innovator of the self RT and of the finger stache."
My friends, JaVale McGee does not simply tweet when he turns on his phone every morning. McGee pushes boundaries. He breaks down barriers. He innovates, creates and explores in a way that none before him have ever done.
Just as William Shakespeare took a stale English language and made it his own to create something beautiful, so did JaVale McGee with wide world of Twitter.
Long Live Pierre Squilliam M.
Name: Mark Cuban
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Two words: Selfie. King.
If you enjoy following famous sports figures in their ordinary lives and witnessing literally every step they take via Instagram photographs, Mark Cuban is your man.
Selfies at a basketball game.
Selfies at dinner.
Selfies on a date.
Selfies on the toilet.
Okay, maybe not literally, but it's sadly not that far off. Last month, Cuban posted a selfie from a hospital bed on Instagram, with the caption: "The joy of an epidural. No I'm not pregnant. At least I hope not. But I will be back on the court soon."
People tend to use social media to share with the world the most perfect versions of themselves. Cuban simply seems interested in sharing the most entertaining version of himself.
For us sports fans, that's precisely what we need.
Name: Fake Greg Popovich
Team: Fake San Antonio Spurs
No, Fake Greg Popovich is not the same as Real Greg Popovich. Not even close.
But someone needs to coach this team, and frankly, real live NBA coaches have not lived up to the high social media standards set by their eccentric players.
Fake Coach Pop, however, comes through in a big way, and demonstrates all the elements of an outstanding basketball coach.
It’s okay Dallas, I’m sure your football team won’t let you down this year either.— Gregory Popovich (@FakeCoachPop) May 4, 2014
Look at the bright side Thunder fans. Now you won't have waste your money on Game 6 tickets.— Gregory Popovich (@FakeCoachPop) May 16, 2014
And he's always appreciative of his well-deserved accolades:
Winning Coach of the Year in April is as valuable as slightly used toilet paper.— Gregory Popovich (@FakeCoachPop) April 22, 2014
While he may not have the physical capacity to hold his own on an actual court, Fake Coach Pop is a shining star on a team that exists entirely on the screens of laptops and iPhones.
Name: James Harden's Beard
Team: James Harden's Face
Despite having no official mascot experience, James Harden's Beard earns the coveted final spot on this roster thanks to a commanding presence on Twitter. Long considered a work of art and a masterpiece of the face, the Beard has proven that it's much more than just a chin accessory.
In fact, based on the following tweet, it seems that the Beard is partially responsible for the very existence of the stars that populate the rest of this list:
When me and god touch beards… that's how stars are born.— James Harden's Beard (@HardenBeard) May 17, 2014
The beginning has been bright, but for this Beard—this beloved mascot—the future could be even brighter.
As a wise man probably said once: Beard today. Legend tomorrow.
Check out the self-proclaimed MVP of the All-Bleacher Report Social Media Team by following me on Twitter.