As the majority of human interaction has shifted to taking place on the internet, and with the guarantee of a self-esteem bump that comes with every post, social media has become a haven for NBA players to flaunt their blue checkmarks and private-jet lifestyles.
But we common folk reap the benefits. This cultural change presents a litter of Easter eggs dropped every night by the league’s players—a trail of clues that can lead to an uncovering of players’ futures, their personal lives or even the firing of a general manager. And because the players know we’re looking, the context of their tweets after a loss, their interactions in the comments of their teammate’s IG post or their decision to like or not like (that is the question) their teammate’s fit pic become that much more curious.
Like a lot of information around the NBA, a team’s chemistry used to be private. Beat reporters with locker-room access would have a better idea than most, but the rest of us just had to look at reactions of the bench, study the frequency of high-fives and analyze the occasional postgame interview that wasn’t just filled with athlete clichés.
But now there’s a glass door in between the fans and the players. And as we enter a generation of the NBA in which all players are fully acquainted with social media, the Ted Cruz excuse doesn’t really fly—everything they do is intentional. And by nature of the permanence of the internet, we now have a surge of evidence to look at in comparison to years prior.
The same way your ex-significant other can stalk your interactions, we can evaluate the chemistry of NBA teams. So here’s a proprietary rubric ONE37pm has developed in order to best categorize your favorite players’ social media interactions.