Just like the NBA provides a great product on-court, the myriad of personalities that we see giving their all on a nightly basis can also provide us with entertainment off-court as well. As I mentioned in part one of this series, with social media fully sinking its teeth into the league (and vice-versa, again), it’s visibility is sky-high and with that comes a whole sub-section of the Twitter app (#NBAtwitter) that will jump on anything that happens in the league and turn it into hilarious content. The players sometimes even do it to themselves and no one is safe.
Let’s take a look at the funniest off-court moments from the 2018-19 NBA season.
Jimmy Butler explodes NBA Twitter
If there has been a peak for NBA Twitter so far, this has to be up there. The reason being, the story started there. Adrian Wojnarowski starting dropping Hiroshima sized nukes into the feeds of millions when he started detailing Jimmy Butler’s first day back at Timberwolves practice after demanding a trade. In these tweets, he described a scene where Butler took the 3rd stringers and dominated the first team. Twitter was glued to their phones as more stories came in, including Butler yelling at front-office personnel saying “You (bleeping) need me. You can’t win without me,” and basically cementing that until the Wolves traded Butler, this was going to be an awkward situation. Butler sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols a day after this practice to tell his side and immediately turned this sit down into one of the most meme-able moments of the year.
LeBron wine heat check
There is literally no one else in the NBA that could get away with this. Your injured franchise player walking into the arena with an alcoholic beverage is the biggest heat check anyone has had since pretty much any Dion Waiters shot he’s taken in crunch time. NBA players affinity for wine has reached mountainous proportions and the King walking openly with a glass of wine to watch his teammates take on their biggest rival, in the Clippers, is peak King sh&%.
Blake goes blind
This one absolutely killed me as a lifelong Clipper fan. Seeing former franchise player and “Clipper for Life” Blake Griffin jilt the owner that had signed him to a contract that will give his grandkids grandkids a comfortable living, was both hilarious and saddening. Blake trying to justify this by saying it’s part of his routine and he didn’t see him, and also to blame the media for making it bigger than it was was a pretty lame move because there’s no way he didn’t see him. Blake does have every right to be mad at the Clippers for shipping him to Detroit but the sodium levels were high on this maneuver.
Trail Blazers get claustrophobic
Claustrophobia is real (just ask famous mobster Frank Nitti). So imagine having multiple very tall and very big athletes crowded in a small elevator for 30+ minutes. Big yikes. The Blazers players are all pretty good Social Media follows (as is their team account) and what should have been a harmless elevator ride turned into social gold. Here are some quotes from the debacle and one of the funnier pictures of a stunned human i’ve ever seen:
“This is not how you treat a former number 1 team in the west”
“We’re in survival mode now”
Dwight Howard can’t catch a break
NBA Twitter had an absolute field day with this one. For a player, like Dwight, who has been seen as a huge pain in the ass for multiple years now with multiple teams, getting an injury to his buttocks is almost too good to be true. Somewhere Stan Van Gundy, Kobe, Michael Jordan and the entire Hawks and Hornets organizations was laughing in unison while watching this video.
Anything Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka did this season
In what culminated in perhaps the most mind boggling press conference since John Calipari and Don Chaney nearly came to blows in 1994, the saga of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s season as Lakers brass was a dumpster fire of inexperience, overconfidence and questionable moves. Magic and Pelinka brought in players who were over-the-hill and didn’t fit chemistry-wise, made boneheaded trades, tampered, failed to execute a trade due to their lack of cache and also failed to surround the organization with competent people (ahem, a trainer) to help the Lakers win. Every move backfired, hilariously, and I think exactly zero people feel pity.
Russ is a man of few words. He lets both his play do the talking (well, he does talk a lot on the court) and his clothing as well. Russ is known for his fashion sense and the risks he takes. He can seemingly pull off any fit known to man and is not shy in trying new looks. In October, he took fashion risks to new heights when he graced the cover of Homme Berlin. It wasn’t necessarily what he was wearing, I don’t think anyone is ever surprised by a new fit from Russ, but what is going on with these backgrounds?! Yahoo Sports hit the nail on the head with this tweet as it truly does look like some of the most questionable use of a green screen since The Room.
Paul Pierce losing his damn mind
Retirement does funny things to people. Some fill their time by pursuing other passions, some turn to a life of crime, some spend all their money, while a lot of players will hit the television booth and continue their presence in their respective leagues. There have been great success stories when doing this….and some epic failures. However, it’s always funny when a retiree gets selective memory, or tries to embolden his own legacy, post-haste. I truly think that Paul Pierce, who is undoubtedly a first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer, is pissed that he didn’t get the send-off that guys like Dirk or D-Wade are getting in their final games and is trying to skew attention away from it. What he has said the past few weeks about his own play is ludicrous and reminds me of one of my favorite tweets ever…
Paul Pierce come along 15 years later he allen crabbe at best
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) February 11, 2018
Spot the lie.
He did it Jennifer!
Let’s call a spade a spade here, the Portland Trail Blazers got flat out embarrassed last season by the New Orleans Pelicans in the playoffs. A 3 seed getting swept by a 6th is never a good look and people on Twitter let the players know. CJ McCollum is very active on social media platforms and even has his own podcast (which frankly should have its own honorable mention with the KD drama). He is also a frequent responder of those who @ him and one in particular had hilarious results. Jennifer Williams (@chocdelight1980), a self described “Huge Warriors fan,” told CJ he needed to win a playoff game in the offseason and instead of a swift block on the platform or a backhanded response, CJ, being the seemingly nice guy he is, simply responded, “I’m trying Jennifer.”
Well Jennifer, your demand was met just last week with the Blazers getting game one against the OKC Thunder. CJ tried and succeeded (now twice) and Jennifer was all the motivation he needed to get over the playoff hump.