Brandon Jennings [@YUNGBUCK3] has made headlines for his unconventional road to the NBA — after skipping college he played professional basketball in Europe before getting drafted by the Bucks in 2009 — but now he’s making headlines for his tweets.
Last weekend Jennings tweeted 15 minutes after the Bucks game against the Trailblazers ended. That’s a big no-no in the NBA, as the league’s social media policy spells out that players aren’t allowed to tweet post-game until the team has finished talking to the media. The cost for Jennings’ Twitter hiccup? A hefty $7,500.
The tweet in question is rather benign. It reads, “Back to 500. Yess!!! “500″ means where doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys.”
But that’s clearly not the point. Jennings broke an established rule, and the NBA needs to follow through with the fine in order to set a precedent and make a statement to other players who are all-a-TwitterTwitter
Of course Jennings was none-to-happy about the amount of the fine, and he turned to Twitter to voice his malcontent about the price of his preemptive tweet. “I understand I got fined, but 7500? For being happy over a win, you would of thought I said something bad. I mean it was a big win for us.”
He later apologized for the behavior, said it wouldn’t happen again, and even talked about deleting his Twitter account. Given that he deleted his original account after a YouTubeYouTube
incident earlier in the year, and then took to his Facebook Page to share with his fans that he had a new account, we have a feeling that Jennings will stick around on Twitter for awhile longer.
Now that we’ve seen a plethora of athletes penalized for their poor Twitter behavior — Antonio Cromartie, Larry Johnson, and members of the Texas Tech football team — these occurrences are starting to become commonplace. So who will be the next athlete to say too much on Twitter? Who knows, but we do expect some Twitter sparks to fly this weekend when the Chargers and the Bengals (Ochocinco’s team) face each other on the field in San Diego.
So, the NBA wants manage the flow of information and has to use a negative approach to do that. It seems this is mostly about keep the mainstream media happy and not about any kind of value creation for the league. I imagine it will go away once league officials decide that it really isn't in their interest to limit the connection between the players and fans.