Kendrick Perkins has gained some national attention recently thanks to his strong words about LeBron James’ twitter reaction to Blake Griffin’s play-of-the-year dunk on Perkins, and his feelings towards “elite” NBA players on twitter in general. Perkins deletehavd his twitter shortly before he made his statements, and recently there have been some insinuations that Perkins deleted his twitter because of Griffin’s earth-shattering throwdown.
Today, Daily Thunder’s Royce Young took to twitter to set the record straight:
Perk deleted his Twitter on Dec. 29. I talked to him about it on Dec. 30 and he explained why: http://www.dailythunder.com/2011/12/oklahoma-city-throttles-phoenix-107-97/
Griffin’s dunk on Perkins, and James’ tweet, both happened on January 30th, so it looks like Perkins’ deletion of his twitter wasn’t a reaction to anything Griffin did or James tweeted. From the Daily Thunder article linked in Mr. Young’s tweet, here’s Perkins’ explanation of why he deleted his twitter:
I talked to [Perkins] about his Twitter and he said he deleted it because there was just too much negativity. He also said he didn’t think he could keep his mouth shut. “I don’t think Sam Presti liked me on there too much,” he said. “I’m serious.”
Kendrick Perkins didn’t like LeBron James tweeting about how Blake Griffin dunked all over Perk. Not in the least. Perkins said that you don’t see Kobe Bryant tweeting, or Jordan, or guys that play the game “for the right reasons” who want to win not get hung up on one play.
In response, our man Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel asked LeBron if he’s sorry about the tweet.
“For me, social media and Twitter is all about connecting with your fans,” James said. “From day one, that’s why I got to Twitter, to connect to my fans. I would never apologize for anything like that when I’m connecting with my fans…
“I can see why he may have felt embarrassed,” he said. “I don’t think I was the only one that reacted to that unbelievable play by Blake, and that’s what it was all about, me acknowledging how great of a play it was. If Kendrick Perkins had dunked on somebody else on the other end, I would have done the same thing.
“I’m an easy target, let’s leave it at that.”
LeBron is right about this — a whole lot of NBA players were tweeting about the dunk. It blew up twitter and went viral almost instantly, before the game was over. If Perkins is going to be mad at guys for tweeting about that dunk, it’s going to be a long list.
But LeBron doesn’t touch the larger issue — that the tweet was about LeBron co-opting a big moment to make it about himself. That his use of twitter is about his need for attention. That LeBron cares about himself first and winning second. Those are the big knocks, the big issues LeBron did not try to refute. He probably doesn’t even see it that way, but a lot of others do.
The NBA announced on Sunday night they would take questions from people on Twitter and David Stern and Adam Silver would answer them. What followed was a series of refutations from players and repetition of talking points they’ve been spewing for months. It was neither productive, insightful, nor revealing. It did not harness the power of social media, and only served to push the one-sided agenda they’ve been pursuant to for months.
So, no, it didn’t go great.
- They started out by saying contraction had been discussed but that it wasn’t a “complete solution,” a nice way of keeping it on the table to scare some fans.
- They did point out that the stretch exception can’t be used on contracts signed before the new CBA. Hedo Turkoglu signs a sigh of relief as Magic fans burn copies of the proposal.
- They got into a brief spat with Spencer Hawes, with both sides saying “Nuh-uh, season starts if you agree to the deal!”
- They backed off of calling the players greedy, instead just saying the system is “broken.” Instead, they’re just calling the agents greedy.
- They joined the massive chorus of people shooting down the D-League proposal report.
- They responded to a question about the players giving up 7% of BRI and the system changes with this: “We want a system where all 30 teams regardless of market size can compete for a championship.” That’s like me saying, “I turned off the power to my house and blew up my car because I wanted a unicorn.”
- The argument was made that the MLE is about competitive balance, not money. So a player salary level is not about money.
- Someone asked about replacement players. The league responded the “goal” is for a season with current players. Note how they don’t rule it out. Vague threats are the best!
- They had the gall to argue that competitive balance and spending are related, despite all of the comprehensive assaults on that line of thinking over the past three months by media outlets. Specifically, they argued it by saying “is so,” essentially.
- Pulling out the big guns, the league said that if the players decertified, their contracts would become null. That’s a big gun to waive (the league would have to pursue it through the courts for it to be binding). Just something to put a pause in the star players’ thought process.
- Their one productive message on the night was to say that all the executives for the NBA had taken a paycut. Doesn’t help the 300 people they laid off, but it’s something.
And that was it.
It was a noble idea. Reach the fans directly, communicate the league’s position, leverage social media. It just came across as more baseless rhetoric, more noise in a white sea of context-less nonsense. The league could have elaborated more on the specifics of the deal, shown how it isn’t as bad as the players have made it out to be. Instead they just said “No, it’s not!” and that was all.
The rhetoric continues as tomorrow’s doomsday clock ticks shorter.