What the National Basketball Association (NBA) enjoys right now in fanaticism, it owes in large part to the myth-making powers of social media. If you’ve ever spent more than a minute on Twitter, you’ve likely skimmed past many a thread discussing a cager’s unlikely ascent to stardom. But this being the internet, things typically take ridiculous turns—and often to the league’s benefit. Call it preying on the mundane if you must—it’s the sports sector’s fixation on burner accounts, Dennis Rodman’s invisible Instagram replies, and trade deadline hoopla that decidedly secures a fascination in this already popular league.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden in Manila
Ensuing conversations stoke the flames; platforms such as #NBATwitter and Reddit’s r/NBA give way for fans to mull over the goings-on in the NBA. But it can be tricky having to wade through this much information, especially during an off-season replete with blockbuster acquisitions. There are as many reliable sources as there are empty cans. This is still the internet after all, and we all need to be extremely critical.
By the time you read this, there will have been numerous trades and signings made. You will have seen the one that sent erstwhile Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets. Prior to the announcement, there had been speculation of him signing with the lowly New York Knicks or the budding superteam in the Los Angeles Lakers. The talking heads had been yammering to within an inch of their lives. A lot of them, of course, were wrong.
With outlets trawling for content over the NBA off-season, guesswork will run rampant in online circles.
Keeping cool on the sidelines
In a bid to keep our hoop-loving heads, we should listen to reputable sources. Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) is a sterling example. The ESPN insider is relied on across the NBA as a prime “scooper,” particularly in calling picks and trades during the NBA Draft. So revered is his reporting that his breaking stories have earned the nickname “Woj Bombs.” Count on him to be precise and direct—reporting tailor-made for the Twitter platform.
Additionally, if you want to stay on top of the rumor mill, there is HoopsHype.com. It aggregates news across different platforms and presents a clear timeline to all its stories. You can, for instance, track the timeline of a trade—from the first murmurs of existence to the actual signing.
If you are on-the-go, you can always download the Bleacher Report app and turn on its news notifications. With this feature, you can get real-time updates from across reliable sources fed to your phone. Everything from trades, signings, and cryptic tweets—the whole nine yards. You can personalize your settings to see only favorite teams, too.
Lastly, it never hurts to actively tune out those who talk for only talking’s sake. A lot of commentators out there could go down the flamboyant route, making hasty and unfounded declarations for, well, traction. If you must, mute, unfollow, and maximize content settings by phasing out certain stress-inducing words from your feed!
It’s going to be a journey laden with speculation ‘til the 2019-2020 regular season tips off in October. Let’s try to arrive with all of our faculties intact.