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The NBA socialverse is petty, dramatic, and even a little bit narcissistic. And that’s what makes it the best pro-sports social media world on the internet.
It’s one of the few places where headlines are made by someone liking an Instagram comment. It’s also a place where you’ll see stars slide into random people’s DMs—not for anything like that, but just to argue about their skills. And it’s certainly the only place where grown men share pictures from Arthur, a decades-old PBS cartoon.
What makes NBA stars on Twitter and Instagram different from stars in other sports is that many of them aren’t shy about saying what they think, which can connect fans to their favorite players like never before. Whereas most postgame interviews are typically very cliché and diplomatic, NBA stars online will tell you what they think about opposing players, refs, or even teammates. And that honesty can make for some fun storylines throughout the season and certainly during the offseason.
While there are many intriguing and humorous components of NBA Twitter and Instagram, the ones that grab the most headlines are the player beefs. Knowing which players are feuding adds WWE-esque storylines that go far beyond the court to the game. Seeing two players exchange angry tweets provides for excellent public theater and gives fans a courtside view of the behind-the-scenes drama of the NBA.
There have been a lot of great beefs on NBA social over the last couple of years—here’s a look at the 12 best so far in 2018.