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The NBA thinks things have become a little too savage between players and team accounts on Twitter. After Portland Trailblazers guard C.J. McCollum and Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons recently got a little too heated for their taste, the NBA decided to squash the beef, and handed down new social media rules in a memo sent to all 30 teams.
Mark Tatum, the NBA's deputy commissioner, said the following about the new expectations:
We want teams to be aware of the NBA's rules with respect to the use of social media by teams. As with in-game entertainment, teams are prohibited from mocking and/or ridiculing opponents (including teams, players, team personnel (including owners) and opponents' home cities) and game officials on social media in any form, including through statements, pictures or videos.
Trash talk is an integral part of the game and a feature that distinguishes the world of sports from other entertainment industries, so this news was met with almost universal disappointment. Most dust-ups haven't crossed the line of good taste, and some of the league's more colorful personalities (and team accounts) help improve the experience of keeping up with a game through social media.
In a form of not-so-silent protest, the Kings and Hawks decided to mock the new initiative during their matchup on Friday night. After the initial pleasant message about a shot by Hawks forward Paul Millsap, Sacramento and Atlanta exchanged niceties back and forth in an attempt to one-up each other with kindness.
This is a fun, creative way to get around the league's new stance on social media, but it's not a replacement for the spirited back-and-forths most fans have become accustomed to seeing during games. You wouldn't trust a friend if they only ever said nice things to you, and it's hard to take a competitor serious if they're showering you with compliments during the game.
So please, Adam Silver, stop the madness and let people talk junk. Some patronizing GIFs aren't going to hurt anybody.