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NBA free agency shows Twitter has put athletes in control of daily narrative

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It’s free agency season in the NBA, and the only people who are more excited than the fans are the nation’s sports reporters. How easy it is to be a sports reporter in 2010! Thanks to Twitter, you’ve got guys like Chris Bosh dropping morsels of information all day long. For example, Bosh tweeted the following last night, sending the sports world into a tizzy:

.bbpBox17553214058 {background:url(http://a3.twimg.com/profile_background_images/56846241/firstink.jpg) #9AE4E8;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

Just had dinner w @dwadeofficial. Great way to end day 1 of #freeagency although it feels like someone is missing…… http://say.ly/FrP2L8less than a minute ago via WhoSay

Of course, Dwayne Wade is another star free agent. He, too, is on Twitter, and he, too, is constantly dropping little hints:

.bbpBox17552388978 {background:url(http://a3.twimg.com/profile_background_images/116018201/DWade2.jpg) #1A1B1F;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

I’m in the mood to break my twitter silence….l2msless than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

What does he mean? You can guarantee Sports Illustrated and ESPN has interns who sole job it is to check their Twitter accounts for any and all information.

I fully expect to see either Bosh or Wade tweet: “Man, it’s a windy day here today!” and then see stories like, “WADE TO CHICAGO ALL BUT OFFICIAL.”

These two players, Bosh and Wade, along with LeBron James, are constantly being linked with teams all over the NBA. While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg basically begged LeBron to join the Knicks, perhaps LeBron understands what all New Yorkers know: the Knicks, now and forever, are a joke. You could have all five players be LeBron and the sports gods would still conspire to make them lose.

A few days ago word on the street was that Miami was in pole position to nab all three players, a move that would basically ensure the creation of a Heat Dynasty for the next several years. It probably shouldn’t take too much convincing if you’re Heat management: “Guys, listen, we have the money to build a team around you three. You want to win rings, you sign with us. Oh, and bonus: there’s no state income tax here in Florida—why not buy an extra Audi with your money?”

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that Twitter has transformed free agency. Whereas before the players had no way to communicate with their fans, and in many ways control the narrative, they’re now in complete control. All they need to do is tweet a few words and the nation’s sports departments will be set… all-a-twitter.

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