Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Tweets of Thabeet: A Dissenting Voice

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Hasheem justs wants to say nighty-nighty to his peepo.
  • Hasheem justs wants to say nighty-nighty to his peepo.
The NBA is, by far, the most Twitter-friendly sports league, full of young, charismatic, funny, and sometimes seemingly slightly crazy tech-savvy athletes. Minnesota's Kevin Love has become almost as known for his wry, news-breaking tweets as for his on-court play. Shaquille O'Neal has brought his larger-than-life personality fully into cyberspace via the format.

With the Grizzlies, Rudy Gay is a reliable Twitter communicator, but rookie Hasheem Thabeet became the team's most entertaining Twitter user almost immediately after being drafted, providing his followers with excellent entertainment in the form of pronouncements on the Memphis weather, shout-outs to his native Tanzania, and loopy "Nighty nighty!" signoffs.

But is Thabeet's online act wearing thin? And does it portend bad things ahead via his on-court performance? A Beyond the Arc reader emailed me a funny and persuasive rant on this subject that I'm going to publish here with his permission:

1) If I see the word "peepo" one more time I'm going to find him and punch him in his nuts which presumably are at my eye level.

2) If he is a bust, calling himself "HasheemtheDream" is going to make him even less sympathetic. Has a more potentially lousy player ever had a more ambitious nickname (stealing from the one of the greatest ever) before playing a minute? Did Rodney Carney try to call himself "Air Carney"?

3) The one this afternoon with him saying, "Consistent hatred is proof that you are makin' it and are on the right track" is laughable on many levels. How in any way is people hating on Thabeet a sign that he is good? That phrase, while generally stupid, can only apply to things like works of art or new business ideas. There is going to be very clear evidence that he sucks by next year and it will have nothing to do with whether people are "hatin'" on him on Twitter.

4) We drafted a guy who seems comfortable having a public persona on Twitter that is akin to a 14-year-old girl.

Am I wrong for thinking that the guy's Twittering is possible evidence that he will suck? My argument would be that if he knows his audience is Grizzlies fans, he tweets almost nothing that would make us feel like he is tenaciously dedicated to self-improvement and to earning our respect on the court. He never tweets that he put up 250 on the bench press today. Or that he took 100 skyhooks. Instead, we get 35 tweets about him asking peepo where he can find a [bleeping] milkshake LOL. I can't imagine any great player tweeting like this. I can imagine Shaq being goofy with it, but in a much more self-aware way. I can imagine KG being playful with it, but that's not what this is.

Late entry — This is what he just tweeted while I was writing all this about him. "Somebody please say somethin crazy so I can RT!! Lol." I rest my case.

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