Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tweet Beat...Milwaukee Bucks Pushing the Limits of Twitter

From time to time I will post notable Tweets by Wisconsin athletes, coaches or commentators along with my thoughts. For the inaugural "Tweet Beat" it had to involve the Milwaukee Bucks since they have been involved in some interesting Tweets.

Former Milwaukee Buck Charlie Villanueva, while still playing for the Bucks, created a firestorm by tweeting during half time of a Bucks/Celtics game last season. Only four current Milwaukee Bucks (Andrew Bogut, Charlie Bell, Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks) and one Bucks announcer (Jim Pashke) tweet but there have been some interesting tweets lately:

Tweet Beat #1: Bogut doesn't want to get in hot water but...

AndrewMBogut tweeted this at 8:50 p.m. on December 16th, 2009: "If I am completely honest about certain things that pertain to tonight's events, someone will steal $$ from me. Honesty is not cool anymore."

AndrewMBogut tweeted this at 9:28 p.m. on December 16th, 2009: "Quick Note.The events tonight, could mean alot of things. If people assume Im talkin bout the game not my prob. :) I was talking bout CHESS"

My Thoughts:
Adrew Bogut was obviously referring to the highly questionable blocking call Kobe Bryant drew on him with 48 seconds remaining in overtime and the Bucks leading the Lakers 106-102. Kobe made the layup and the free throw to complete the 3 point play which pulled the Lakers within a point of the Bucks. Bryant hit a jumped over Charlie Bell as time expired to give the Lakers a 107-106 victory over the Bucks. The call was so questionable that it made PTI the following day. Both Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon agreed it was a no call at best but definitely not a block on Bogut.

The Bucks had a number of chances to win the game (missed free throws down the stretch) so they can't pin the loss solely on the horrible call by the referee but it is an example of "status calls" that happen in the NBA. Bryant got that call because of his reputation and last name. If that was Jodie Meeks instead of Kobe Bryant there is no way a foul is called on Bogut, especially at that crucial of a moment in overtime.

Tweet Beat #2: Stay classy Cleveland...

Paschketball tweeted this at 10:07 a.m. on December 18th, 2009: "Gadzuric patella tendon NWT. Bucks walked into Gund Arena with clocks set to 5.4 - Time left when LA inbounded to Kobe in OT. Coincidence?"

My Thoughts:
After losing a heart breaker in overtime to the Lakers on Wednesday at home as discussed above, the Bucks traveled to Cleveland for a Friday night nationally televised game against the Cavs. As Bucks play-by-play announcer explained via Twitter, when the Bucks took the court for their shoot around Friday morning the Cavs put the exact amount of time on the clock that was left when the Lakers inbounded the ball down a point in overtime. As everyone knows, Kobe Bryant knocked down a jumper as time expired to beat the Bucks 107-106. It could be a coincidence as Paschke said but I highly doubt it. The trash talking by Cleveland didn't motivate the Bucks, they lost to Cleveland 85-82 in their second nationally televised game of the season.

Tweet Beat #3: Thou shall not break David Stern's twitter rules...

flintstone14 tweeted this at 2:21 p.m. on December 18th, 2009: "Man, 7500 is a bit steep for @YUNGBUCK3 tweeting after a game. Unreal."

My Thoughts:
Charlie Bell is talking about the $7,500 fine the league imposed on Brandon Jennings for violating NBA rules. Brandon Jennings tweeted the following message in the locker room right after Milwaukee beat Portland 108-101 in double overtime: "Back to .500. Yess!!! '500' means were doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys."

Here is the NBA's "social media" rule: "During games, the use of cell phones, PDAs, other electronic communication devices and social media or networking sites by coaches, players and other team basketball personnel is prohibited. For purposes of this rule, "during games" means the period of time beginning 45 minutes before the start of the game and ending after the post-game locker room is open to the media, and coaches and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the media attending the game. "During the game" also means halftime."

According to the letter of the law Jennings broke the rule but should that result in a $7,500 fine? The Tweet was removed from Jennings' Twitter account but he is much lighter in the wallet as a result of the fine. I understand that the NBA does not want players to give away information too close to tip or during the game (might give gamblers a slight edge) but why after the game? This rule has unintended consequences and needs to be revisited.

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