NBA rookie class more sensitive this year, many players on Reddit
Fifteen years ago, sports stars didn’t hear a ton of criticism on a daily basis. Someone might see them on the streets and tell them they suck or they might get yelled at during a game, but when they went home and in their place, the negativity seemed to stop.
Times have changed with social media and what players hear yelled at them from the stands might be the least of their worry because after a game when they log into Twitter or Reddit, it’s a whole different animal.
There a lot of keyboard warriors who hide behind their computer or phone and say a lot of terrible things to players that someone would never say face to face. According to Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype who talked to an NBA agent, social media is really having an effect on this year’s rookie class.
An agent recently told me that this year's rookies are very affected by online negativity. His players get REALLY upset if they read criticism on Twitter or a mean post on Reddit (and A LOT of young players are on Reddit). These guys grew up on social media, so it hits them hard.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 14, 2018
A lot of the veteran players also become frustrated with what is said about them on social media, but they know better how to deal with it.
Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers thinks a big problem is actually with daily fantasy sports. He has gotten a lot of hate after he struggles in one game from people who put them in their lineups. Via Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype:
“That stuff is really annoying because most of it is because of fantasy [basketball], not true fans or people who truly love the game. Like, I understand if I play bad and then a basketball purist is upset, but it’s mostly kids who are trying to use us to win money in fantasy games. You’re tempted to fire back and I do at times, depending on the severity [of the other person’s tweet], but you’re better off just leaving it alone because firing back gives them satisfaction and they can say, ‘He responded to me!’ to their friends.”
For now, all players must take the old adage of “don’t read the local paper” and extend it to social media.