We’ve already all heard the Nets organization declare “It’s All New” this year, and so far, despite striking out on the “big” free agents, that slogan has been true to form: a new owner, head coach, GM, arena (albeit temporary), and new scouts and assistant coaches. But what may be the most exciting “new” thing about this upcoming season – especially for those who thrive for communication in 140 characters or less – is the beefed up Twitter presence the Nets will bring to the social networking stratosphere.
With the additions of Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro and Sean May (if his non guaranteed contract makes the cut), the Nets have more than doubled their presence on Twitter in the off-season. While this isn’t going to result in more wins or losses in the standings, this added presence does give fans more access to players, as well as more insights into their personalities – so at the bare minimum it should hopefully make this season a little more fun than last year.
While NJNETS.com superstar Ben Couch was fantastic working the Twitter account for the organization last year, the amount of social networking taken on by the players was about as disappointing as the team’s play on the court. In Devin Harris and later Kris Humphries, the Nets had two guys, who like Oprah Winfrey, seem to have a Twitter account in name only, infrequently updating and providing very little entertainment or flair when they occasionally did take to their accounts. The other two Nets on Twitter brought controversy on themselves at different points in the season with their tweets: Terrence Williams when he famously “wondered” how life would be if he was drafted by another team, and Chris Douglas-Roberts, whose tweets often focused on haters, women who stalked him, and the number of people who bought his jersey that day. This season, TWill is back and seemingly more mature with his tweets now, while the last tweet I (thankfully) read from CDR dealt with fearing the deer and how happy he was to be out of New Jersey. Good luck in Milwaukee Chris, yes yes.
I still think Brook Lopez and his quirky personality and pop culture sensibilities would be a perfect match for Twitter, but alas, Brook still seems to be focused more on other activities. Could you imagine Brook sitting at home with mono updating his Twitter page 30 times a day? It’s one of the bigger disappointments I have in my sports fandom life (outside of the Mets, every single year), but with this new cast of characters, maybe Petro or Morrow will just sign Brook up one of these days and get him online. Meanwhile, let’s take a closer look at the tweeting habits of the team’s newcomers:
Johan Petro (Frenchi27) – The first thing I noticed about the team’s new backup big man is the number of followers he has – a whopping 326,000+. Not quite Dwight Howard or Shaq territory, but damn impressive for a career backup whose average 5.1 points for his career. Then again, that’s probably a result of him being one of the few French players in the NBA, so with the entire country of France watching him (or not), that has to add followers. As for the actual content – can’t say I’m blown away thus far. There’s some frequency with it. He was very active when he was signing his contract with the Nets, but since early July, most of his tweets have been used primarily to attract new followers. However, he does tweet in French, so points for that.
Anthony Morrow (BlackBoiPachino) – I’m absolutely endeared by Morrow after clicking on his home Twitter page and seeing a Nets-themed wall paper. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t even suited up yet. Morrow is very active, having a full page of tweets in less than 24 hours. He also does a lot of retweeting and lot of communicating with other Twitter users. He looks like the kind of player who totally utilizes the social end of social networking and I’m looking forward to what he brings in the regular season.
Travis Outlaw (Travis25Outlaw) – Outlaw, like Petro, uses Twitter considerably more than Kris Humphries or Devin Harris ever did last year, but he’s certainly not an avid tweeter in the vein of Anthony Morrow. There’s some interaction with fans, but a lot of his tweets are primarily random musings and thoughts of the day. So let’s categorize him in the “could be better” column.
Sean May (BigMay42) – May, if he’s on the team come the end of October, is very active with Twitter, utilizing most of his tweets to talk @ other users. He seemed very appreciative to both Nets and Kings fans when news broke that he had signed his contract with New Jersey. In fact, based strictly on his Twitter feed, May comes across as an all-around nice guy. Hopefully he brings it during training camp giving Nets fans something to follow on and off the court.