Want to know the greatest gift to sports journalism in the last 100 years?
No, not the laptop, digital recorder or cell phone. Those are nice and make the job easier. But the greatest gift of all is Twitter.
I've said this before and I'll repeat it: Twitter allows the athletes to embarrass themselves so we journalist don't have to. All we need is to follow them in the social media. Of course that might mean sorting through a lot of other knuckleheads we don't want to read, but still.
On Sunday night after James Harden of Oklahoma City committed an ill-advised foul, Metta World Peace of the Lakers tweeted No brain All beard.
This from the guy who got suspended several games last spring for an intentional and vicious foul on Harden. Same guy who once got suspended for fighting with fans in the stands.
Anyway, moments later MWP tweeted: Harden will hit a big shot right now Watch out.
So he's an equal opportunity tweeter.
The strange thing is that athletes will say dumb things on Twitter that they'd be unlikely to say in a post-game press conference. The NBA has training sessions for its players, urging them to avoid saying controversial things. The league teaches them how to answer with non-answers, deflect praise to the team, avoid criticism of opponents, etc.
Then players do the opposite in the social media.
For some reason they figure it's better if they send the message themselves.
Anyway, it sort of makes you wonder what all those dedicate p.r. handlers are going to do for a living once the athletes cut out the middleman.
As for journalists, we can still do commentary on the comments.