The B/R Interview With Charlie Villanueva: The Tweet Off vs Chris Bosh
MT: What’s up CV - This thing is heating up, it looks like it’s going to end tonight.
CV31: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m trying to do; I’m trying to end this thing tonight!
MT: Okay. Let’s do this, and hopefully everyone following @bleacherreport will then follow @CV31, and then boom, you’ll be at 50K followers before Bosh, and he’ll be dancing before you know it!
CV31: [laughs] That was good.
MT: First question: who or what got you into Twitter, and what do you like about it so much? Were you influenced by Shaq?
CV31: Actually my brother was the one that told me about it. I really didn’t know too much about it. And ever since he introduced me to it, I’ve been pretty much addicted to it.
A lot of people know me from my infamous halftime tweet. And the response I got from that was more positive than negative, so that just contributed to my addiction.
It’s a way to interact with the fans, and it gives them a chance to see what goes on day-to-day in an athlete’s life.
MT: So what's behind this bet? I saw the YouTube video, but first of all, how did you choose to go up against Chris Bosh?
CV31: It was funny because I was just on Twitter, and I’ve been following Chris. And I was on his page, and I saw that our followers were about the same. So I just threw it out there, as a joke, and he responded with the idea of putting a wager on it. So I agreed, and since then we’ve been going back and forth, campaigning for this 50K.
MT: So for your part of the bet you chose The Shane Mercado Dance, which would require Chris to be dancing as a flamboyant male dancer to Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies" song.
Now, first of all, great choice. Second of all, Bosh is leaving it up to his followers should he win. Are you dreading anything in particular, or do you think Chris has anything up his sleeves about what they might make you do?
CV31: You know, given my competitive nature, I don’t think I’m going to lose, and I haven’t even thought about the possibility of me losing. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if it did, I’m ready to do whatever it takes. A deal’s a deal.
MT: Now there’s a whole charity aspect involved involving your foundation, can you talk about that?
CV31: Well, I just thought that we could use this publicity to help others in some way. I was at 46 thousand and change followers, and I decided that I would give away a pair of sneakers to a needy child for every follow until I reached 50,000. It’s something that I did last year with my program called Tenis Para Ninos. So it’s a win-win situation.
MT: Now Chris is actually giving out signed sneakers to fans. Are you doing any non-charity, purely promotional, shameless buying of followers of your own?
CV31: I decided that if I end up winning the competition I would pick five people randomly who have been following me, and whatever city that person is from, when Detroit comes and plays them, they would get two tickets to come see the game.
MT: Coaches and leagues have been down on tweeting during games. It looks like Chad Ochocinco will probably get fined at some point this year for doing it and your kind of got in trouble for it earlier this year. With all that being said, will you in-game tweet again?
CV31: That’s a good question. Obviously management in Milwaukee didn’t like it, but I’m not in Milwaukee anymore. It’s something I’ll run by the coach. I talked about it with Joe Dumars and he seemed fine with it, so I just have to talk to coach to see what his policy is.
MT: Who in your opinion is the best athlete Twitter user right now?
CV31: Beside myself?
MT: Beside yourself.
CV31: [laughs] You gotta give it to Shaq.
MT: Yeah, that’s a gimme. Last question: Why should people choose to follow you over Chris Bosh right now?
CV31: Why should people pick me? Because not only am I donating sneakers and helping other, but who wouldn’t want to see Chris Bosh do The Shane Mercado? Everybody wants to see that!
There you have it. At this time the race is tight with both Charlie and Chris approaching 49,000 followers. You can follow Charlie at twitter.com/CV31
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