With great power comes great responsibility. That’s what makes the NBA’s Twitter crossover so troublesome. Afterall, ballers aren’t the most responsible players on social media (see Knicks guard J. R. Smith and his 9/11-themed post, which began, “Celebrate the deaths. . .” Of all the platforms, Twitter has been the most troublesome: the game’s biggest names have all been active since ’09, particularly during halftime. (Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva was the first.) And while league officials continue to crack down on posts both harmful and harmless, things have only gotten nuttier since.
Brandon Jennings (@BrandonJennings)
Talk about #BadTiming: On March 10, 2011, Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings was fined $7,500 for this tame tweet. The reason? League rules require players to speak to the media before interacting with fans.
Gilbert Arenas (@Agentzeroshow)
Journeyman guard Gilbert Arenas infamously live-Tweeted a date on June 8, 2011. The three-time All-Star compared his companion to Simba of The Lion King fame, saying “this dragon can eat” before trashing her “thunder cat”-inspired blouse. David Stern and Co. fined him an unspecified amount.
J. R. Smith (@TheRealJRSmith)
On a road trip to Milwaukee last March, the Knicks guard posted this photo of. . . his guest for the night? His follow-up (One of those days I wish I would have went to college!) at least showed some awareness.
Cappie Pondexter (@cappa23)
On March 14, 2011, the WNBA star reacted to the tsunami in Japan with ignorance and insensitivity: What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes. She attracted the wrath of Anti-Defamation League with her next dispatch: u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so u can’t expect anything less.
Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt)
On March 19, 2012, two days after his Kings were felled by the Lakers, 113-102, the former first round draft pick complained about the officiating, a no-no for even the most established and well-respected players. The big-man was fined $25,000.
Amare Stoudemire (@Amareisreal)
This homophobic direct message is as offensive as they come – case closed.
Stephen Jackson (@DaTrillStak5)
The Spurs swingman posted this cryptic message about Serge Ibaka after the Thunder center got physical on the court with Metta World Peace, Jackson’s former teammate. Jackson, who was waived by San Antonio on April 12, paid a $25,000 fine.
Unknown Jazz Employee (@utahjazz)
Utah Jazz taking a shot at Deron Williams? pic.twitter.com/M9otgnQc
— Nets Take Over (@NetsTakeOver) December 28, 2012
An unidentified member of the Jazz front office was repremanded – but not fired! – for posting this Tweet after the Nets fired head coach Avery Johnson on December 27, 2012.
Mark Cuban (@mcuban)
Im sorry NBA fans. Ive tried for 13 yrs to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any Suggestions ? I need help
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 6, 2013
Back in ’09, after the Mavericks owner was fined $25,000 for a Tweet, he posted, “can’t say no one makes money from twitter now. The nba does.” Four year later, on January 5, 2013, the billionaire couldn’t hold back his frustrations with referees. The repeat offender was relieved of $50,000 by NBA commissioner David Stern.
Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22)
You can INTENTIONALLY grab or hit someone in the balls & not get suspended, but you push someone & get suspended. #ImConfused
— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) March 5, 2013
The Clippers forward was responding to the league’s decision to fine – but not suspend – Thunder forward Serge Ibaka for punching Barnes’ teammate Blake Griffin in the groin. In a subsequent post, Barnes opined that had he been in Ibaka’s shoes, a five-game suspension would have come his way. He later recieved a social co-sign of sorts from LeBron James.
Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11)
11 champ;ipnsikp[ ringhs
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) March 27, 2013
The future Hall of Famer’s first typo-ridden Tweet pointed straight at his accomplishments – six championships with the Bulls and five more with the Lakers. Hubris anyone?