Kobe On Twitter
He would say the same in person
I really never want to hear the phrase "big boy pants" again. It jumped the shark months ago. But that's exactly what folks need to do about this issue. Or rather, non-issue. Kobe Bryant isn't tweeting anything different than what he would be saying on the bench were he with the Lakers right now. I'm sure he would be saying a lot more if he were on the bench.
Yes, I know there's a difference between tweeting messages to 2 million followers and saying things in the confines of a huddle. But Kobe would absolutely be saying those same things after the game once the cameras were on. He said a lot more even, during this season.
Mike D'Antoni is used to his candor by now. He's a gigantic presence in the room and the city. His words matter. But this is absolutely no different than him saying the same things in the huddle and in front of the cameras after the game.
It was D'Antoni's reaction to a question about Bryant's tweets that turned this into a mild controversy the other night. And it was all of our overreaction to the fact he was tweeting in the first place, that took it there. But I really do think it was the novelty of the situation that stood out, and it all would've died down in a few games once people got used to him tweeting during games.
Anyway, Kobe has made the decision not to tweet during games. It is probably a wise move, after the way D'Antoni's comments escalated the situation. But honestly, I think this all would have blown over in a couple of days, once everybody had a chance to grow up about it.
Perception matters to teammates
Kobe Bryant has decided he will no longer tweet in-game commentary, and that's probably the right call.
If it were up to me, Kobe would live tweet every game. Who am I to say don't tweet? I have 35,000 tweets to my name, so I'm not exactly in a position to tell someone not to tweet. The problem is I'm not Kobe, and Kobe's tweets do matter.
In fact, not only do Kobe's tweets matter, they become the focal point of the postgame news conference and the line of questioning his coach and teammates get after the game, depending on what he tweets.
That's a problem and Kobe is smart enough to know it. There's nothing wrong with Kobe scouting the game and telling the Lakers to get the ball in the post, stop playing matador defense, reminding them they have a foul to give, whatever. But that's all stuff he needs to keep to himself and tell his teammates and coaches.
Kobe knows everything he says and does has an impact so there's no way he was surprised his tweets would make news. He has more than 2 million followers and that number continues to rise by the second. So when he tweets comments that at least perceptually undermine Mike D'Antoni as he converses with Phil Jackson, that's a problem.
It took Kobe forever to finally get on Twitter and he's beginning to understand how addictive it can be when you're in your room, watching a game, with nothing else to do. But unlike other fans, Kobe can't just tweet whatever he wants because regardless of what D'Antoni thinks, Kobe is much more than "a fan."