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Why Did NBA Superstar Chris Bosh Diss His Own Fans On Twitter?

Submitted by on May 5, 2010 – 3:04 pm7 Comments
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Can you imagine what it would feel like to find out that your significant other was thinking about dating someone else…through a tweet? Not a conversation or a phone call or even a text. A tweet. One minute you’re all “I think I’m in love!” and the next you’re frantically sending direct messages after you log on to your Twitter account to see that your guy or girl’s last tweet reads: “Been wanting to ask. Who should I go out on a date with next weekend and why?”

I say all of this because that’s how fans of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors must feel right now. While the rest of the hoops fans around the country were watching the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, Raptors fans were glued to their Twitter accounts as Chris Bosh, a superstar for the Raptors and a free-agent-to-be in July, dropped a bomb that had the tweets on fire: “Been wanting to ask. Where should I go next season and why?”

Now, an athlete saying something stupid on Twitter? That’s become a weekly occurrence. NBA player Michael Beasley once put up a TwitPic of himself—and forgot to remove a plastic baggie from a nearby table that looked an awful lot like…well, take a guess. So it’s not a huge surprise to see an athlete make a comment on a social networking site that gets a whole lot of people up in arms.

But Chris Bosh’s case is different. For starters, I need to point out that Bosh is one of just a few athletes that used the Internet way back when to try and increase his accessibility off the court. As a fan, I appreciate all he’s done to stay in touch with the people that pay to see him play. Twitter and Facebook and MySpace (I know, I know, who the hell is still on MySpace?) have helped connect sports fans and athletes in a whole new way over the course of the last few years.

Bosh’s latest tweet marks a new low for athletes on social networking sites, though. In hindsight, I have to believe he regrets it, because he posted another tweet almost immediately asking, “Ok…let me rephrase the question. Should I stay or should I go?” But, at this point, Raptors fans have to figure that he’s on his way out. And he doesn’t sound particularly upset about it, either.

Clearly, Bosh just wanted to use the topic of his free agency to get a few @ responses on Twitter and generate a little buzz around his name. I’m hard-pressed to believe that he actually needed any sincere advice on where he’ll sign a contract in the future. But the ploy backfired and actually made Bosh look like a guy who didn’t just walk out on his former team—but danced out the door as he did it.

I’m not saying Bosh owes anyone an apology. He said what he said and, for all intents and purposes, there’s no reason to doubt that he meant it. But athletes like Bosh do need to keep in mind that if they’re going to use Twitter, there are certain ground rules. Like no tweeting just before, during or right after a game (hear that, Brandon Jennings?). No criticizing officials (ahemMark Cuban?). No making any slanderous remarks that could get you fined, suspended or worse (come on down, Larry Johnson!).

And above all, respect your fans. Because if you’re thinking about leaving their favorite team, they shouldn’t have to turn to Twitter to hear about it. And you can retweet that.

Photo Courtesy of The Last Angry Fan

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