The 2013 NBA Playoffs have been none too kind to the Los Angeles Lakers thus far, as they managed just 79 points in a Game 1 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. While the Lakers were struggling on the floor, injured shooting guard Kobe Bryant was on Twitter.
No matter how controversial it's proven to be, Bryant is more than in the right to be on Twitter during games.
During Game 1, Kobe had no shortage of comments to make about the action he was witnessing. Whether he was demanding Pau Gasol get more touches in the post or wishing for someone to step up and defend Tony Parker, we heard it all.
After the game, Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni reacted to Kobe's tweeting by calling him, "A fan."
While many were quick to take it out of context, Bryant has, in fact, become a glorified fan.
Due to his torn Achilles tendon, Bryant is not on the court with the Lakers and instead relegated to the comfort of his own home. In turn, Kobe has hit his couch, grabbed a television remote, turned on the game and taken to Twitter.
Unfortunately for those who enjoyed his commentary, that's not going to happen anymore.
Kobe Bryant @kobebryant
I see my tweeting during the game is being talked about as much as the game itself. Not my intention , just bored as I guess #notagain2013-4-21 23:18:30
Kobe continued to say:
Kobe Bryant @kobebryant
To tweet or not to tweet.. I CHOOSE not 2. Focus should be on the team not my insight. @georgelopez voice "Can't DO nothin!" #vinospeare2013-4-22 19:07:05
Geoff Ketchum of OrangeBloods.com quickly responded by claiming, "Quitting is for losers." There's no telling if that connected with Kobe or not.
As it presently stands, the Kobe on Twitter era has been cut short—temporarily.
Truth be told, this is far from an issue that should take center stage during as momentous an occasion as the 2013 NBA Playoffs. In fact, the fact that an NBA player is on Twitter shouldn't even crack the top 25 of things to know about the postseason.
Unfortunately, this is a topic of conversation—for just about no reason.
Everything that Bryant said on Twitter is what coach D'Antoni should have been saying to his players. Whether it was demanding more plays coming out of the post or telling Pau Gasol to demand the ball, Bryant was spot on with his evaluation.
After all, Gasol and Dwight Howard did combine for 36 points and 31 rebounds, while the rest of the team tallied 43 points and 13 rebounds collectively.
As for the potential for this becoming a distraction, I'm not quite clear how that can be. If the Lakers are playing while Kobe is tweeting, there should be no possible way for the players or the coaching staff to see what Bryant is saying.
Last time I checked, active players are supposed to be focused on the game, not social media.
With this in mind, there is no separation of Kobe from the average fan who takes to Twitter to voice their opinions. While Bryant may have a larger fanbase than the common user, he's also taking to Twitter to offer words of support and analysis.
The only difference between his tweets and his in-game words is that Kobe can't hit a game-winning three to prove he's right.