As a crazed, horny fan of many an NBA player, I think it’s time we talk about something very important to the mechanics of the sport: their tweets from a decade ago. I can tell you every intrusive thought these once dorky teens felt the need to share in the early days of Twitter, years before they were running the league and displaying their very expensively furnished mansions in Architectural Digest. I’m something of a historian myself, and some of these posts are a time capsule into how wholesome social media once was—before FaceTuning, filters, and all the implicit, stupid rules dictating that you can’t just tweet that you’re at #Applebees for the third time this week, or beg to drink Scarlett Johansson’s bath water.
These posts harken back to a simpler, better time; they’re a reminder of how charmingly ordinary some current NBA All-Stars once were. And they also put one important truth in stark relief, as only the internet can: When our favorite players are not defying physics, jamming things in baskets, sassing reporters at press conferences, or otherwise being tall and beautiful, they are ultimately just a bunch of little weirdos like the rest of us.
Which brings me to the current, pleasantly and predictably weird first two weeks of the NBA playoffs: On Thursday, mere hours before facing elimination from the first round of the playoffs, Utah Jazz Center and noted microphone-licker Rudy Gobert was stung in the face by a swarm of bees. As if that weren’t bad enough on its own, the player who defeated him is Luca Doncic, a 23-year-old man-child who once posted a grainy Instagram selfie with the caption, “#chilling in the hotel #with new haircut” (see below). He could have hashtagged “hotel,” or “haircut,” or heck, even “new”—he chose, instead, to hashtag the word “with.” As of Thursday, Doncic reached 500 playoff points in just 16 games—the best ratio since Michael Jordan.
Shortly before the Jazz were eliminated by Doncic’s Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans were put away by the Phoenix Suns. The Suns were padded by the triumphant return of their fearless leader Devin Booker, arguably an MVP contender and Kris Jenner’s least problematic, possible future son-in-law, following a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the previous three games. Suffice to say, I think I know how the team celebrated afterward: a post-game feast at Applebee’s. My man loooooves an Applebee’s. It’s also possible that they landed at Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings, but in any case, “the fellas” were certainly present.
One can only hope they were mindful of some of the more frugal players this time:
And of course, we owe a toast to the fallen greats: Eleven-time All-Star Kevin Durant, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, was shockingly swept and eliminated from the first round this week. This defeat came after a dramatic season of dealing with anti-vax clownery, a coach who wasn’t too keen on coaching, a new teammate who wasn’t too keen on playing, and a whole lot of “astonishment.”
Nevertheless, what can I say about Mr. Durant’s 10-year-old tweets that they don’t say for themselves? He was asking the important questions:
He wasn’t afraid to get thirsty as all hell on main:
Was he sometimes at the club? Yes...
But he’d much rather be on Twitter, and same, honestly:
Who defeated Durant, you ask? Literally just some guy who was once very proud to attend Durant’s basketball camp...
...and posted random, earnest thirst traps like this from unflattering-to-the-neck angles:
The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum is now increasingly seen as one of the top five players currently in the league.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, a particular smoothie-enthusiast who is also, coincidentally, a two-time MVP and reigning champion has advanced to the second round of the playoffs, too. Giannis Antetokounmpo, I wish you all the fruity, refreshing beverages in the world!
So, there you have it. The 10-year-old tweets and ‘grams of the players who are currently dominating this league are pure, earnest, and centered around either insatiable hunger for chain restaurants or equally insatiable thirst for Scarlett Johansson. If they hadn’t made it in basketball, I’m fairly confident they would all be viral TikTok stars right now; maybe James Harden would be the most insightful weatherman on local news. But they did make it, and we now have only their old posts to remember that they were once, not so long ago, entirely ordinary.
In conclusion, let us never forget this tweet: