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Twitter Patrol: Should David Stern Regulate NBA Players' Use of Twitter?

Matt Petersen@@TheMattPetersenCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2011

Stern isn't shy about laying down the hammer on what he deems "improper."
Stern isn't shy about laying down the hammer on what he deems "improper."Christian Petersen/Getty Images

From contract negotiations to referee relations, David Stern has never been less than...well, stern, in his efforts to control what NBA players say and how they say it.

So after two targeted Twitter attacks surfaced this week, you have to wonder if the Commish is already contemplating how to deal with this newest form of open expression.

(Remember, open expression isn't allowed in the NBA, anymore).

Following Cleveland's pathetic 112-57 loss to the Lakers Tuesday night, LeBron's tweeted the following:

"Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. It's not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"

Given that LeBron is LeBron, the refreshingly open statement made headlines everywhere, opening yet another chapter of drama between James and his former team.

James then tried to absolve himself of the sticky situation by saying, "It wasn't even a comment from me, it was someone who sent it to me and I sent it out. It wasn't toward that team."

Riiiiiight.

Tuesday must have been "Twitter Night", because Ty Lawson also felt the need to direct some viral venom, this time at a player instead of a team.

In the Nuggets' 132-98 rout over Phoenix, Lawson and Suns' point guard Goran Dragic got into a brief altercation with the game already out of hand. Following the win, Lawson posted the following on his Twitter account:

"Man... Dragic jus couldnt handle gettin cooked out there on teh court...got all in his feelings.. I love it"

The debate here isn't whether James and Lawson's comments were out of hand. Trash talk is a part of the game, whether fans want it to be or not.

The question is does, or will David Stern have a problem with this, especially if this kind of cyber insult gains steam?

It wouldn't be surprising to see Stern interfere, especially if this continues. Remember, players arguing on the court usually end up receiving double-technical fouls.

Could Stern have the audacity to award "off-the-court" technicals?

It sounds ludicrous, but this is a guy who has cracked down on players gesturing, whether in protest or celebration.

This is a guy who fines thousands of dollars to players who merely allude to a ref's poor performance.

In short, Stern is a guy who has tried his utmost to make the NBA, and its players, as squeaky-clean and professional as possible.

He is not afraid to step in when the image of his empire is threatened. Some might argue he embraces the challenge.

NBA tweeters beware.