I have to admit that I am getting cranky waiting for the season to get started. I am getting misty for summer league at this point. I guess that I should have been paying attention to EuroBasket. It seems Hedo Turkoglu tweaked his ankle. Great another Raptor gets hurt in some game that means nothing for the Raptors. However according to Doug Smith Hedo will be ok according to the Raptors. This does bring up an issue that Raptors if they are going to be team United Nations are always going to have to deal with. If David Stern can be concerned about players on Twitter, how about being concerned about players playing internationally. I am pretty confident no player has ever been hurt tweeting but playing internationally is a growing list. Sorry to all the folks from various countries that make up the Raptors, I am only concerned about having healthy players and if Turkey, Italy or Spain suffer internationally...so be it. The Raptors paid Hedo 53 million dollars last time I checked. It is just something I am going to have to get use to doing, holding my breath each summer and praying players are safe. Mark Cuban has the odd rant about the topic but beyond that there does not seem to be many thinking this is an issue of those that matter.
Camp is just 2 weeks from tomorrow can you believe it? It is going to be a long 2 weeks I think. It has been a summer full of tweets and Ustreams and lots of change around the league. I just wonder when someone is going to stand up to David Stern? When he brought in a dress code I was convinced that some player would challenge that. An Iverson or a Ron Artest but it never happened. Now people being able to express themselves through social media is being questioned. This at the same time the league is starting to allow team to advertise on jerseys. Sure it is just practice uniforms for now but we all know it will not stop there right? How can you on the one hand turn players into billboards and on the other not allow them to express themselves. It really does not seem right. When is the NBA going to have a true rebel that challenges all of these things? The answer may be never as they all make far to much money not to play ball...to play ball if you get what I am saying.
The NBA has a good thing going with the whole Twitter craze. I was not surprised or shocked that Stern is looking to regulate it. I am actually surprised it took this long. However maybe I am being a bit hypocritical because I want to take away the choice of players playing for their country or not. However the NBA Players will just do what they have been told it seems. Unlike Alex Ovechkin who recently told the NHL that regardless of if they are going to the Olympics in 2014 he is. That takes some guts and pride in your country to do that. If the NBA is ever going to get out from under the thumb of David Stern it will take a major star like a Kobe or Lebron to do it. They are not likely to take any stands to save Twitter or anything else for that matter. In the case of Lebron it is much more of an issue that a video of some college kid dunking on you does not see the light of day. While Kobe has spent to much time restoring his image after his problems in Denver years ago. Not to mention there is no Kobe or Lebron on Twitter..at least not the real ones.
ESPN also sent out a memo about Twitter for their employees as well. Twitter is a cool thing and just like all things people are doing their best to screw up a very simple idea that has been successful. I have no idea if Twitter will be a fad, trend or it is here for good. But what I do know is when people are trying to regulate what people can and can't say that is not something I approve of. What happened to the concept of freedom of speech? Surely you don't give that away when you sign an NBA Contract do you? I watch basketball because of the personalities of these athletes just as much as I do for their jaw dropping skill and talent. I do not want to watch robots play the sport and David Stern needs to stop trying to regulate every aspect of his players. It is just putting out a corporate image that is fake.
You may think that this is a little nutty going off about Twitter. However it is just making a point that where exactly do these things end? Things have changed and thanks to the internet athletes are going to have there own say weather Stern likes that or not. I doubt Twitter will make it in the NBA's next CBA but players after all the dollars and cents are taken care of should take a stand for some of their personal rights.
I am still on Twitter @dinonationblog and happy to say nobody is telling me what I can or can't say for now. To quote Public Enemy...Fight the Power. Even if it is in 140 characters or less.