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NBA Lockout Watch, Day 104: Is Twitter Strategy Working For Players?
Published October 12, 2011
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WILL STRATEGY GAIN SYMPATHY? In Boston, Gary Washburn writes the CBA negotiations tend to "make the players sympathetic figures, and the Players Association decided to play up that role with their Twitter campaign." But fans "fully realize that the players have a sizable responsibility for this work stoppage, too" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/12). In Memphis, Ronald Tillery notes the "growing anti-player sentiment among fans doesn't sit well with Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, who unleashed his grit and grind" yesterday on Twitter. Allen wrote: "If I see 1 more person on my timeline thinkn! The players want more money -im gone go crazy!!" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/12). In Cleveland, Bud Shaw writes, “Blaming locked-out players in a work stoppage? Sounds like a plan, just one that defies logic.” Shaw: “Commissioner Bully made the call, doing the bidding of an ownership whose strategy is to watch players squirm when they start missing checks and wait for the inevitable wave of public resentment to crash down on their heads.” Shaw adds, “In communicating with an unsympathetic public, the players are best served sending condolences to fans and arena workers as [Heat F LeBron] James and [Suns G Steve] Nash did this week. Even if they, as yet, have nothing for which to apologize in a lockout that is sole property of NBA owners” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/12). CNN.com’s Doug Gross writes under the header, “Can NBA Players Really Win The Lockout War On Twitter?” Gross notes this may be the first time Twitter has “been an integral part of a plan to sway public opinion.” Univ. of Pennsylvania’s Eric Rabe, who studies social media use as Senior Advisor of the Fels Institute of Gov’t, said, “It’s logical for players to take this approach. They’ve got a resource there to exploit and an issue they want to get on the table in front of the fans. I’m sure they’ll have some success with it” (CNN.com, 10/12).
HUNTER'S CALL ON DECERTIFICATION: Priority Sports Founder & CEO Mark Bartelstein said, “Whether the NBPA gets decertified or not, it's Billy's decision to make. My position and other agents want to support Billy." Bartelstein: "The player's association has made some gigantic leaps here. ... They have not been met with that same effort by the league, and for David, with all due respect, to say the league has made some concessions is characterizing it in an unfair way when the players are the ones that made the concessions and tried to make a deal” ("GameTime," NBA TV, 10/11).