How Instagram, Twitter and Emojis help shape NBA free agency

 Sub-tweets, follow-backs, and emoji battles: a quick rundown of how Twitter and Instagram have fueled this year's NBA free agency.
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The NBA season has metastasized from its traditional October-June running time to a non-stop, 24/7, round-the-clock event. From LeBron using sub-tweets to strong arm his front office into draft picks to the entire NBA exploding into the now legendary, emoji-fueled courtship of Deandre Jordan, Twitter and Instagram have been a crucial part of the NBA offfseason the past few years. 2017 is no exception, as fans search for deeper meaning behind every "like" and "follow." Here are a few examples: 

The Gordon Hayward saga

Hayward's wife, Robyn, unwittingly posted a photo of their daughter in a green shirt with a clover that read “Go Green”, sending Celtics fans into a frenzy over the possible signing implications of the young girl’s wardrobe choice.

If that wasn’t enough to stir the pot, Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford tossed Hayward a follow to seal the deal.

No word, yet, from Hayward himself, but if you ask Celtics fans, he’s as good as green.

Big KAT and PorzinGOD?

Karl-Anthony Towns tossed Kristaps Porzingis a follow on IG, triggering speculation around the league that Porzingis might be Minnesota-bound.

Andre Drummond Boston-bound?

Andre Drummond stirred things up when he liked a tweet that pictured him in a Celtics jersey...

Then quickly assumed damage control once fans began to take notice...

J.R. Smith-Melo reunion in Cleveland?

J.R. Smith got some attention after liking a post on Instagram of Melo pictured in a Cavs jersey.


The off-season hasn't always been exciting, but social media has provided us with enough kindling to stoke the fires of the NBA for an eternity—or at least long enough to outlast the sports wasteland that is the summer. What will happen come July 1 when the free agency period officially begins? Follow your favorite teams and players on social media to find out.