NBA Social Rankings: Who's Winning At Midseason?

Friday February 17th, 2017

­­We’re halfway through the NBA season, and if you’ve been following along with our social media power rankings, you’d know that each week has been dominated by Joel Embiid. The Sixers bigman has successfully mastered the art of brand-building through tweeting, Instagramming, and drinking Shirley Temples, and made us chuckle in the process.

Of course, he isn’t the only one that’s kept us entertained online. Several teams—like the Kings and Hawks—have maintained their normal pace of fire tweeting. Along the way, a few notable players have proven they can tweet, too.

Here are our composite social media rankings through the first half of the season, starting with the best.

1. Joel Embiid

As soon as the calendar turned to January, Embiid’s online presence reached legendary status. He memorably asked Chandler Parsons to hook him up with Kate Beckinsale and drank a two-liter Shirley Temple at 1 a.m. ET before dropping 26 points later that day, but his greatest work was definitely his All-Star campaign.

Embiid, whose minutes restriction didn’t allow him to play enough minutes to make the All-Star Game, actually put together such a good online campaign that he gained enough fan votes to make the starting lineup…if fan votes still decided it.

From a Triple H entrance to a postgame dance with the Sixers cheerleaders, Embiid’s campaign seemed to amaze with each passing day, and always kept us on our toes. It was legendary, in every sense of the word.

2. Sacramento Kings

The Kings are elite Twitter smack-talkers online, which is a shame, considering the team’s play on the floor hasn’t always allowed them to gloat on Twitter. They did manage to pull off a few large wins, and rub it in all the way in the process.

Sacramento memorably took down the Cavaliers in thrilling fashion, and took a 12-hour victory lap afterward.

Their win in early January over the Lakers wasn’t all that special, but this was:

Here’s to the Kings keeping it up in the second half, even though the league wants them to tone it down a bit.

3. Jahlil Okafor’s dad

One of the best moments of the season thus far—and perhaps one of the greatest moments in basketball twitter history—was Jahlil Okafor’s father calling out a witty Sixers blogger online. It had me rolling on the floor days later.

4. LeBron James

LeBron has always been one of the most prominent basketball players online, but his content this season hasn’t exactly been top-three material. Still, he had some cool moments.

For one, he brought the fire subtweets back:

He also ate RAW GARLIC:

And who could forget his Halloween costume?

 

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Other things he did: Take off his shirt during the World Series, danced like no one was watching when everyone was watching, subtweeted some more.

5. Bill Walton

Bill was responsible for one of my personal favorite moments of the first half, when someone stole his beloved bike.

Now this is a whole long story, which you can read in Nov. 17’s rankings, but basically this bike is one of the most important things in his life and somehow Hawaiian Air managed to lose it. A bike. A freaking bike. They lost a BIKE.

Walton was ticked, and sent out a tweet asking for it back. The airline came back with this:

And then, Walton’s comeback. Brace yourselves. This is incredible.

FIND THE BIKE. SEND THE BIKE. ARE YOU GOING TO EMAIL THE BIKE? NO. THIS IS BILL WALTON. YOU’RE SENDING THE BIKE TO BILL WALTON.

6. JaVale McGee

JaVale was efficient, with two really hard-hitting pieces of content to land him in these rankings. He managed to snap a photo of Draymond Green sleeping and put it on blankets. He then proceeded to hand them out to the entire team.

And how about this dude thanking this incredibly generous Chick-fil-A worker for free chicken?

All hail Squilliam.

7. C.J. McCollum

No explanation needed. Destruction. Chandler Parsons is not allowed to ever tweet again.

8. Atlanta Hawks

We’ve already detailed the Kings’ Twitter expertise, but how about the clear No. 2 in the NBA, the Hawks?

The NBA came down hard on teams that were flaming each other online, so Atlanta initiated a sarcastic exchange with Sacramento paying them nothing but compliments.

Is this what we’ll wind up seeing more of now that the NBA wants teams to be nice to each other?

9. New York Knicks

The Knicks’ social media presence is painfully vanilla, but they’ve managed to unintentionally shake the Twittersphere twice this season.

When Derrick Rose was literally missing, they managed to post THESE:

And, most savage of all, peep this petty last line:

We can only hope for more of this great content.

10. Klay Thompson

Dude, it feels like we all forgot Klay straight up drank a beer during an interview. It was amazing.

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