Antonio Brown created his own narrative while forcing himself out of Pittsburgh.
1. I can't recall a player using social media to simultaneously orchestrate a trade and control his own narrative the way Antonio Brown has the past few weeks.
The cat-and-mouse game ended Tusday when Brown—using Twitter, of course—announced that he met with Steelers owner Art Rooney II and that the duo agreed Brown's time as a Steeler will come to an end.
Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin pic.twitter.com/DEgURchvhW— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 19, 2019
This comes on the heels of Brown using Instagram live to reveal what teams he wants to be traded to and what he expects in his next contract—all while jogging on an ellipitcal machine.
And Brown used Twitter over the weekend to confirm and reveal his issues with Ben Roethlisberger.
No conflict just a matter of respect! Mutual respect! He has a owner mentality like he can call out anybody including coaches. Players know but they can’t say anything about it otherwise they meal ticket gone. It’s a dirty game within a game. #truth https://t.co/MsSyBVd3Ny— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 16, 2019
Yes, the same Ben Roethlisberger who targeted Brown 168 times this past season, 163 in 2017, 154 times in 2016, 193 times in 2015, 181 times in 2014 and 167 times in 2013.
But that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle, as well as the fact that Brown was benched for the Steelers' final game of the regular season, with a playoff berth still on the line.
Brown was able to make some people forget about that because he was providing so much material on social media and pulling back the curtain on his deteriorating relationship with the Steelers' organization.
Fans loved getting a look at the trainwreck, the media loved getting free content that would do good traffic, and Brown was able to control the information that he released.
Whether a team considering a trade for Brown will be turned off by his social media use has yet to be seen, but you'd have to think, even with all the talent and ability, his next organization will strongly emphasize that he cools it with Twitter and Instagram.
2. You gotta love the fact that Dirk Nowitzki "liked" this tweet.
3. The former head video coordinator of the Wizards got himself into a social media kerfuffle when he tweeted that a male high school basketball team would beat a WNBA team. He then attemped to apologize, but ended up saying that any male Top 500 player would beat Serena Williams. I don't think that apology is going to get back anyone on his side.
CORRECTION: Bryan Oringher did not say a high school basketball team would beat a WNBA team. He said, "A high-school level basketball player could competently play in games with WNBA role players." My apology for the error.
4. Steph Curry came through for Jimmy Fallon over NBA All-Star weekend and inserted random phrases given to him by the late-night host into his interviews.
5. ESPN has a very long and very detailed story about how former NBA ref Tim Donaghy fixed games.
6. The vast majority of you have seen this already and probably watched it a bunch of times. But in case you haven't, this, from last night's Lightning-Blue Jackets game is easily one of hte best sports GIFs you'll ever see.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: HBO has released the trailer for the upcoming season of the funniest show on TV, Veep, and it looks like the series will go out with a bang.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustarted Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina. You can also follow on Twitter and Instagram.
IN CLOSING: I'll give it one and one-half years before the Padres regret that Manny Machado contract.