NBA Social Recap: Free Agency Edition
The NBA’s free agency period has been every bit as crazy as predicted, and then some. The opening day saw upwards of $3 billion in contracts handed out as new powers emerged and old ones reshuffled. And that was before Kawhi Leonard stunned the basketball world with his own stealthy surprise. Catch up on the five best announcements and reactions from Instagram and Twitter, starting with No. 5.
5) Kyrie Irving Says Hello to Brooklyn
It already feels like a lifetime ago that Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan shifted the NBA’s landscape towards the Big Apple by all signing with the Brooklyn Nets. While KD used the social media accounts for his ESPN+ show (The Boardroom) and his personal business (35 Ventures) to announce his move and jersey number change, respectively, Kyrie posted a slick video on Instagram to share his decision with the world. As the All-Star point guard explained, it was the Nets’ runs to the NBA Finals in the early 2000s—not the New York Knicks’ decades of mediocrity—that inspired a kid from New Jersey to become one of the league’s preeminent point guards.
4) Tobi Wishes Bobi Good Luck in Big D
With every new beginning in free agency comes the end of another chapter. In the case of Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic, the league’s annual game of musical chairs split one of basketball’s best bromances. While Tobi re-signed with the Philadelphia 76ers for $180 million over five years, Bobi took his talents to the Dallas Mavericks for $7 million over two years. Fans of the “Bobi + Tobi" show can only hope that their favorite buddies will get a chance to reconnect whenever the Sixers and Mavs meet this coming season.
3) Patrick Beverley Quiets the Clippers Haters
Patrick Beverley was living it up in Las Vegas with Lou Williams and some other Clippers teammates when the news broke that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would both be headed to LA. But rather than crow about the Clippers’ free-agency coup throughout Sin City, Pat insisted that silence would be his response to any and all reactions that came his way. The approach seems somewhat out of character for Pat, who’s never been afraid to speak his mind, but given the championship chase in which his squad will soon be embroiled, he has every reason to let his game do the talking.
2) Danny Green Makes His Announcement
Danny Green didn’t exactly break the Kawhi news, though he did his part to confirm the move while announcing his own decision. The two-time NBA champion hopped on the Twitter account for his Inside the Green Room podcast to share that he, too, would be heading to LA—to join the Lakers, that is. As a result, a partnership that began in San Antonio and reached another crescendo in Toronto will now become a rivalry of sorts at Staples Center.
1) It’s All Love Between Paul George and Russell Westbrook
Paul George’s part in the Kawhi Leonard saga caught seemingly everyone flat-footed—including, per reports, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rather than let the outside world speculate on the nature of his relationship with Russell Westbrook (and whether that contributed to his departure), Paul hopped on Instagram to set the record straight: that it’s all love between him and Brodie. Russ, in turn, confirmed the bond between the LA area natives with a comment featuring a subtle nod to the late Nipsey Hussle.
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.