I really don’t feel like going in to a long-worded explanation about how the internet has changed how athletes relate to their fans, the advantages and disadvantages of social media, or any of that stuff. You know all about that, so let’s just move on to the part where I tell you Iman Shumpert may have made the most important teammate move of the Social Media Era, or at the very least the most noteworthy internet policing in the league since Chris Bosh won all those domain names.
Here is what I’m talking about, courtesy of Alan Hahn:
Shumpert has been traveling in Asia for Adidas and the NBA, but has maintained close contact with goings on in New York, especially with the recent signing of Metta World Peace. As he usually is, Shumpert has been very active on Twitter and reacted angrily to a follower with a handle that disparaged Amar’e Stoudemire (We won’t promote the handle here because we don’t want any copycats looking to flex).
Upon noticing the follower’s handle, Shumpert on Monday sent the person a direct message that said, “This ain’t funny. It’s disrespectful to a man. A father. A warrior. A role model. And one of my good friends. Delete this page.”
The person, of course, posted the DM proudly to show off how Shumpert contacted him. Shumpert replied publicly, saying again, “Delete ur profile and do the right thing.”
Shortly thereafter, the account was gone.
Shumpert tweeted, “#shotout to the fans for getting that account suspended.”
If you want the full tweet-by-tweet breakdown, head over to Dime to check out everything that Hahn summarized above. But isn’t that nice of Iman Shumpert? It’s basically the internet equivalent of having your bro’s back in a fight. And come to think of it, Iman and Amar’e sounds like a great tag team. I imagine they’d dress like something from “The Warriors,” only with brighter colors and better haircuts.
But while I applaud Shumpert for having STAT’s internet back, I hope this doesn’t lead to him becoming Amar’e Stoudemire’s unofficial Twitter bodyguard. Because between the diminished output, penchant for wearing silly hats and untimely fire extinguisher punching, there are many opportunities for Amar’e parody accounts. Sure @AmarKnee is down, but what of @WhereAreAmaresSleeves, @IsAmareHurt and @StoudemiredInMediocrity, which are all probably available and laden with potential jokes. Iman Shumpert may have just bitten off more than he can chew. Best of luck, FlatTop.