Swish Swish but no Tweet Tweet

On January 13, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Mo Williams reminded NBA fans that he is still in the league after scoring an impressive 52 points against the Indiana Pacers. Twitter was soon flooded with tweets about Mo and how many people had forgot that he still played professional basketball. Many of these tweets came from fans and fellow NBA players. The tones of these tweets were very different between the two groups. Many fans posted memes or made jokes about Williams. Some of the posts included clips from the video sharing app, Vine. Other fan tweets made references to the movie Space Jam, asking “Which MonStar took over Mo Williams’ body” and alluding to “Michael’s Secret Stuff.” On the other hand, fellow players congratulated Williams and began using the hashtag #50pointclub.
What caught my attention most about the social media coverage of this record-setting performance was that the bulk of information about the game did not come from popular sports outlets such as ESPN or NBA.com. Many informational tweets came from independent sports writers and smaller websites. While ESPN and NBA.com did have a few posts they were for the most part lacking in information. The best article to be posted on twitter came from CBS sports
ESPN and NBA.com gave more Twitter coverage to sporting news that felt were less newsworthy than Mo’s performance. NBA.com posted tweets about the scores of ongoing games at a faster rate than any commentary on the 52 point outing. ESPN dedicated most of their Tweets to Duke losing to Miami, which is an impressive defeat but still doesn’t compare to when an athlete, especially one who has all but disappeared from the league makes a statement like Mo did that night. I feel that these bigger outlets should have dedicated more time into this story. It was something no one would have expected and from some of the first tweets about it, almost seemed to be a joke. Nevertheless, congrats Mo Williams, you made a statement to reaffirm you are still a member of the NBA and apparently still have some fuel left in the tank. Hopefully the next time an athlete who isn’t considered a superstar puts on a performance like that, the large sports news outlets will dedicate more time and share the news over social media.