Image courtesy of Stereogum
One of the best aspects of Twitter and in a sense Facebook is that it allows you to decide who to allow into your online life. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to connect with people who have similar interests around the world. You can discuss your hobby and interests and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process.
Before Twitter became very popular, the primary means of connecting with other NBA fans was to do so on message boards. I still believe that forums have a place in the online world and that they serve a purpose, but I have become much more interested in discussing the NBA with people on Twitter. The great thing about Twitter is that if you say idiotic things, people will stop following you. There is an incentive to be an informed fan and you are liable for your actions. If you are a troll, you will essentially be on an island YELLING ABOUT EVERYTHING to nobody. Forums give these people a voice and give them exactly what they desire, and that is a reaction from other people.
Ever since I primarily switched from discussing the NBA on forums and to Twitter, I have seen a lot less misinformed discussions. Sure, there are a lot of dumb Gloria James and Delonte West jokes. I also see a lot of nonsense about LeBron James quitting in the playoffs. You’ll have that. Sometimes it is easier to ignore something than it is to get into a debate with someone who has their mind made up and is not open to hearing the other side’s opinion. Overall, I am very happy with the majority of NBA bloggers and fans that I interact with and I hope they feel the same way about me.
Which brings me to Ryan Hollins.
On March 29th, 2011, Ryan Hollins played the game of his life. He put up 13 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, had 2 steals and 3 blocks in 36 minutes. He out-played Chris Bosh, who is a perennial all star. To put it into perspective, the Cavs were +33 with Hollins on the court and the Heat were -24 when Bosh played. Even more impressive, it was a relatively close game with the Cavs coming up on top by a score of 102-90. For one player to have a +/- of +33 in a 12 point game is something that deserves kudos.
Ryan Hollins is a pretty terrible player. I do not want to look like I am relying on superlatives, but I sincerely believe that he is one of the worst rotation players in the NBA. Because of how impressed I was with Hollins’ performance in Cleveland’s biggest win last season, I made a Youtube mix of all of the positive things he did in that particular game. It is now the first video that appears when someone searches for “Ryan Hollins” on Youtube. I have been hard on Hollins for being such a bad basketball player, but I always give credit when it is due. Hollins was great against the Heat and I wanted the basketball world to see it.
Chris Grant and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed with my take on Ryan Hollins and decided to buy out his contract. He became a free agent and is reportedly going to sign with the Boston Celtics to try and help them with their playoff run.
His free agency brought back bad memories of having to read misinformed opinions of NBA fans on forums. Because I created the aforementioned Youtube video, I get an email every time a user comments on it. Ever since Hollins became a free agent, I have received the following comments:
“Welcome to the Celtics my friend!”
“@Rtpas11 I hope so man we could use him”
“Come to the Celtics!”
“nope celtics fans he comin to south beach baby”
“take your talents to south beach!!!!!”
“looks like he is on his way to Celtics… why be on a lame bandwagon franchise in Miami when you can be part of the greatest franchise in NBA history in Boston…. no brainier there.”
“Dude your ficking stupid he says “get that weak stuff outta here” not “get that rich the da out of here” are you fucking reatarted? wow!”
“WElcome to BOSTON!!!”
“Welcome to Boston homie! If we can get him to play like this all the time in Boston?!?! He could be special”
“I hope KG can help to grab rebounds but on the break with rondo should be fun”
“I mean I hope kg could help him on rebounds”
“the new celtic. destroy the heat.”
I enjoy not being surrounded by these types of NBA fans anymore, but at the same time it is pretty amusing to see people refer to Hollins’ “talents.” This video and the ensuing comments that have come into my mailbox are a great reminder of how hopeful people are despite being routinely disappointed by players who are free agents after making it through the waiver wire. Hopefully they will learn, but I am not holding my breath.