- Sam Alipour
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Editor's note: This is the extended version of a story that appears in ESPN The Magazine's Feb. 4 Perfect Issue. It is part of an ongoing collaboration between Klout and ESPN to highlight athletes with surprising social media influence. Subscribe to ESPN The Magazine and check out the Playbook Tech blog for additional content driven by Klout.
Los Angeles Clippers super-sub Jamal Crawford doesn’t have the Twitter following of teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but make no mistake: The dude has big-time Klout, according to the site that measures social media influence.
Driven by his genial personality, frequent activity, quality fan engagement and a hot, big-market squad, Crawford’s Klout score of 84 is on par with Dream Teamers like Kevin Love (83) and Carmelo Anthony (86) -- and good for eighth overall in the NBA.
I’d ask you to say hello to the first subject in The Mag's new series, Who's Got Klout, but chances are you already have -- and @JCrossover said “Yo!” right back.
Your Klout score is on par with teammates Chris Paul's (86) and Blake Griffin's (85). How long before you rub that in their faces?
Oh, I’ll bring it up immediately, but they have way more followers than I do. They’ll just throw that back in my face.
But Klout says you’re just as influential. How did you choose your handle?
I got it from my friend, who’s really creative. The crossover is my move, and it fits with my initials. Now, fans at Staples call me “JCrossover.” That’s pretty cool.
What’s your primary purpose on social media?
To interact with fans who I’d never meet otherwise. Fans mean everything to me. This is our direct line of communication.
How often do you check Twitter?
Every single day. My favorite time is when I can’t sleep or I’m on the team plane. Then I’ll usually do a Q&A with my fans.
Do you merely read mentions or do you explore your timeline, too?
I’ll scroll through my timeline sometimes, but I’m about the mentions. That’s where my fans are.
How would you characterize your followers?
I don’t even consider them followers or fans. They’re family. I try to interact with every single one of them, so everybody feels a part of it.
I get a lot of: “How long do you plan on staying in L.A.?” My answer: forever.
Your policy on fans who beg for retweets?
If I see them consistently, I might retweet them. But I usually retweet the fans who don’t tag me and least expect it. They’re not doing it for attention. I love popping up and surprising them.
Fill in the blank: I’m pumped that I’m being followed by ... ?
Oh, that’s a good one. I have some really cool followers. But Floyd Mayweather is probably No. 1. He even promoted me for All-Star.
As of this interview, your last tweet was a retweet of a New York Times article titled “Still Firing Away.” Why?
It’s a good article that helps fans understand me. My next tweet is about @HoopsHype nominating me for Tweeter of the Year.
There ya go! Nothing wrong with that.
Only two kinds of people in the world: Are you a “LOL” or “Haha” guy?
[Laughs] I’m a “Haha” guy. I dunno, I think “LOL” is more for females.
Totally! That’s what I tell my boys who drop “LOL.” They don’t listen. Favorite tweet abbreviation?
I try to spell everything out, if there’s room.
What’s one tweet you regret?
Honestly, I don’t regret any. They represent how I felt at that moment. That’s what Twitter’s for. Plus, I try to think as much as possible before I hit “send.”
Fill in the blank: I’m a little embarrassed to admit I follow ... ?
Hmmm. [Long pause] I don’t think I have anybody like that.
Oh c’mon, don’t make me scroll through your follows and dig up dirt.
[Laughs] Go ahead! Look right now. Tell me who you see. They’re all cool.
Oh, believe you me, I’m looking right now.
[Laughs] Me, too. Let’s move on to the next question while we scroll.
Deal. Through Twitter, I've become friends with ... ?
Detlef Schrempf. He followed me, I followed him back and we’ve talked more since then. Also, Pete Carroll. We started by following each other on Twitter. Then we talked more at a charity event in Seattle. Now we’re friends, which is cool because the Seahawks are my team.
Your favorite follow among athletes?
Gotta go with my Clippers teammates. We’re all entertaining, and we always jump in on each other’s conversations.
Favorite follow outside of athletes?
Kevin Hart is hilarious. And Mike Epps, the actor. He’s like the funny uncle. By the way, I’m still going through my follows. Still don’t see anybody embarrassing.
Yup, ditto. You’re clean so far.
[Laughs] That’s what I’m saying! How about this: Who are you embarrassed to follow?
You follow the Kardashians?
Yeah, I know. My ex-girlfriend turned me on to them. I haven’t gotten around to unfollowing. Plus, it’s good insight into your boy, Lamar Odom.
[Laughs] I follow a reality star: Stevie J from "Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta." He’s hilarious.
Do you ever trash-talk on social media?
No, I try to use it in a positive way. I try to lift people, not bring them down.
I’m still going through your follows. Dude, you follow almost 800 people. That’s a lot for an athlete.
Yeah, that’s a lot. A lot of them are fans. Sometimes I’ll surprise-follow a fan. Makes their day.
This is pretty weird: of those 700-plus follows, I see zero females. You don’t follow ladies?
None. Well, I follow Faith Evans and Jill Scott, some of my favorite singers.
Yeah, OK: You’re squeaky clean.
[Laughs] I told you!