The NBA is looking to scale back ‘mocking and ridiculing’ by teams and players on official social media accounts, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports.
The league sent a memo to all 30 teams discussing rules of conduct pertaining to opponents and game officials, citing some recent behavior that “crossed the line between appropriate and inappropriate.” Deputy commissioner Mark Tatum sent the note advising teams and players to avoid “Twitter wars” and suggested discipline could come down from the NBA.
The memo cited three specific examples of material that would be inappropriate for posts on official team accounts: Disparage, belittle or embarrass an individual opponent or game official; Mimic or impersonate an opponent or game official in a negative manner; or Criticize officiating or the NBA officiating program.
The NBA has long been known for its embrace of social media and a forward-thinking, free-handed approach to governing players and teams on Twitter in particular. A recent exchange between C.J. McCollum of the Trail Blazers and Chandler Parsons of the Grizzlies may be part of what the league is referring to, with McCollum’s response to Parsons (after the Blazers poked fun at him on Twitter for a bad miss) expressing that he was happy the Blazers didn’t sign him in free agency.
Team accounts including the Sacramento Kings have had fun with opponents on Twitter as well, which has generally been good-natured but has spawned some extended exchanges in the past.
The league has a rule in place preventing players from tweeting from 45 minutes before scheduled tip-off through when their media availability ends after games.