Sports Illustrated post this evening.Joining the NFL and other sports organizations in the raining-on-our-parade camp, the NBA has declared pre-, post-, and mid-game social media verboten, according to a
According to a memo sent out to teams today, no mobile or other communication devices are to be used from 45 minutes before a game starts until after the players have finished performing their athletic duties, including postgame locker room interviews. The ban affects players, coaches, and "basketball operations personnel." We are unclear whether cheerleaders are included in this perplexingly named category.
We're also not sure whether this ban applies to the official NBA Twitter account, which has more than 1.4 million followers, or to any of the myriad team Twitter accounts. What we do know is that the NBA will now be treating social media content the same way it would treat comments made to traditional media outlets.
The complete list of NBA players affected by this decision is staggering, but the ban also applies to other forms of social media, such as Facebook status updates. It would even prohibit the sending of text messages and emails during the prescribed time limits.
And although tweeting on the job is generally considered bad form, like all Twitter users who choose to make their professional lives part of their social stream, these NBA players are doing monumental things for engagement, brand ambassadorship, and real-time promotion. We consider the NBA's decision to make basketball less fun short-sighted and generally uncool.
However, the memo may be welcomed by many coaches and other team executives, who often prohibit the use of electronic communication devices at various times during team activities. Teams such as the L.A. Clippers and the Miami Heat already have guidelines in place that are much stricter than what was outlined in the NBA memo.
Many thanks to Mathew Ingram for the pointer and for inspiring our headline.
Does the NBA's call make sense to you? Or did the out-of-touch leadership go over the line? Let us know what you think in the comments.