BY PETER HAILEY
Much has been made about how the Wizards offseason additions will help the team on the floor. But while all that talk about whether the new faces will improve the Wizards on the court is fine and dandy, we're overlooking a crucial aspect of how Kelly Oubre Jr., Gary Neal, Alan Anderson and Jared Dudley will affect Washington: in the arena of social media.
Do these guys help or hurt the team on Twitter? It's time to find out.
To come up with a conclusion of whether the Wizards have gotten better or worse on social media, we'll first look at who they lost. Then, we'll evaluate what the new additions bring to the table. Finally, we'll deliver our verdict.
First up, recapping the players who departed from D.C., and how much they'll be missed on social media's favorite platform.
(Note: Free agency is still going on, so the team's roster can still change. But this post is based on who's projected to be on the team's 2015 roster as of now).
- 1) Paul Pierce
This one hurts. Oh man, this one really hurts.
Paul Pierce will definitely be missed in the Wizards starting lineup, but he may be missed more in the world of Twitter; he didn't use it often, but when he did, it was truly magical.
He would do ridiculous things like create Throwback Thursdays out of Google Image searches:
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) December 19, 2014
Or make hilarious references to Drake after his team swept the Raptors in the playoffs:
Drake a fool lol pic.twitter.com/h5qrj1a28i
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 27, 2015
And even inform the world of his spectacular Halloween costumes:
Captain America reporting for duty pic.twitter.com/QNQ3lAx27G
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) October 31, 2014
Since leaving the Wizards for the Clippers, Pierce has already dropped a couple of classic tweets, quickly reminding Wiz fans what they'll miss: during the great Emoji War of 2015, he chose to use ClipArt, and then, he taunted the Mavericks once DeAndre Jordan decided to stay in L.A.
The Truth is a Hall-of-Famer on the court, but on Twitter, he's one of the best to ever do it. Replacing his talents is going to be nearly impossible.
- 2) Rasual Butler
Rasual Butler's social media game is a lot like his real game: On the court, he was mostly used in one way (as a three-point specialist), and on Twitter, he mostly used the site in one way (to send out positive, happy tweets like this one):
Every experience in life is a lesson. No such thing as mistakes only lessons for you to remember and use for you or pass on to someone else
— Rasual Butler (@RasualButler45) June 18, 2015
Butler's followers were treated to inspirational messages like that one quite often, but the 36-year-old only has about one percent of the followers that Pierce has (75,000 compared to 3.1 million), meaning he won't be missed much.
- 3) Kevin Seraphin
Randy Wittman and Wizards fans alike are probably frustrated that Kevin Seraphin didn't pan out more during his time with Washington, but as a Twitter user, he was incredibly underrated.
He was arguably the team's most versatile tweeter: he would tweet in English and in French, retweet absurd Vines, ask his followers to play him in various PlayStation 4 games, and provide humorous commentary about everyday struggles. Here are two particularly memorable Seraphin tweets:
How l feel when my wifi isn't working. pic.twitter.com/9wtinaUBX7
— kslife (@kevin_seraphin) May 18, 2015
— kslife (@kevin_seraphin) April 19, 2015
It's a shame that more people weren't aware of the 25-year-old's talents on Twitter (he only has 92,000 followers) because he was a really entertaining guy. His new fan base would be wise to hit the 'Follow' button as soon as he arrives in town.
- 4) Will Bynum
The energetic point guard who had a brief stint with the Wizards during the end of last year is a lot like Butler but with way less followers (3,671 as of this post): It's all positive messages and #MakeADifference hashtags. His absence won't be felt much.
- 1) Kelly Oubre Jr.
Many people are curious to see how Oubre Jr. will fit in with his new NBA team; his game is still very much a question mark. So too, is his Twitter game.
The former Kansas forward is a bit all over the place when it comes to his 140 character messages. The only thing that's clear after doing a brief review of his page is that he has a particular affinity for a certain hashtag:
— Kelly Paul Oubre Jr. (@KELLYOUBREJR) June 26, 2015
It's 4 in the morning and I just want to get in the gym right now... #Shhhh
— Kelly Paul Oubre Jr. (@KELLYOUBREJR) June 25, 2015
— Kelly Paul Oubre Jr. (@KELLYOUBREJR) May 17, 2015
It remains to be seen why Oubre Jr. wants everyone to be so quiet. Right now, he's a wild card both on and off the court.
- 2) Jared Dudley
The NBA veteran who is now with his sixth different organization seems like a pretty cool tweeter. He's very generous with his retweets, and likes to get his followers involved by asking questions about all sorts of things:
San Diego where can I find some Washington Wizards Snapbacks?!!!!! Please!!!!
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) July 15, 2015
Wizard fans!! Can anyway tweet me a photoshop pic of me in a wizards jersey lol.. I need a new avatar!!! Best one gets 2 tixs to a game
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) July 3, 2015
This is a good way for him to endear himself to his new fans, and he's off to a strong start.
- 3) Gary Neal
It appears that Neal doesn't have a Twitter account, which will damage the team's overall social media rating. There is an account named "Did Gary Neal Pass?" however, which is a bit funny.
- 4) Alan Anderson
Anderson is better than Neal because he at least has an account, but it's not the most interesting. If you're a Michigan State fan, you'll find it enjoyable...
Another great wknd, 4wins down and 2 to go baby....lets do it!!!! Great job fellas....SPARTANS!!!!! (300 voice) pic.twitter.com/vVxVtAYKYy
— Alan Anderson (@ASqared06) March 29, 2015
— Alan Anderson (@ASqared06) September 7, 2014
…But for people who went to any other college in the entire world that's not Michigan State, Anderson's addition isn't going to get you very excited.
Now, it's time to deliver the final ruling.
There's really no debate here: The 2015 Wizards are significantly worse on Twitter than the 2014 Wizards.
Pierce is to Twitter as Denzel Washington is to acting; losing him is a blow that's going to be too much to handle. Seraphin's subtraction will also hurt Washington on Twitter, as he was very under appreciated while wearing the red, white and blue.
Yes, Oubre Jr. has a chance to become a solid Twitter user, but it's hit or miss right now. And Dudley is fine to follow, but Neal not having one at all, and Anderson choosing to use it simply to talk about his alma mater, are both big negatives.
It's not a stretch to say that basketball wise, the Wizards are in better shape than they were a year ago. But on Twitter, they just went from playoff-caliber to future lottery team.