Sorry, Charlie. Don't be wack, Shaq. The NBA has instituted a new policy on the use of Twitter and other social media sites on game days. It applies to coaches, players and "other team basketball operations personnel," and states that cell phones and other such devices cannot be used from 45 minutes before game time until after players are "finished their responsibilities" after games -- including halftime.
It was Charlie Villanueva, you may remember, who tweeted from his cell phone at halftime of a game back in March. In response to the requisite media stir Shaquille O'Neal, a heavy Twitter user, did the same thing a few days later.
The memo outlining the new policy doesn't specify any punishment for violations, and leaves it up to the individual teams to establish their own rules for practices and other team functions. O'Neal, you'll be happy to know, approves of the new rules, although some of his view doesn't apply to the situations the rules cover:
"I think that rule was applied to those who use it irresponsibly, but I don't really tweet during games anyway," O'Neal said. "There were a lot of uncalled-for situations this summer, guys doing things that really aren't good for themselves or the NBA brand. I think that rule was more suited toward them. I've always done things above board."
Meanwhile, a Washington Redskins rookie linebacker got in hot water after the team's extremely lackluster 9-7 win over the awful St. Louis Rams in Week 2. Robert Henson, a 6th-round draft pick who didn't even play in the team's first two games, was unhappy with the fans' booing...
Following the victory, Henson tweeted: "All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won't go there but I dislike you very strongly, don't come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!"
As Twitter followers fired back, Henson kept tweeting. "No I didn't play but I still made more than you in a year and you'd [gladly] switch spots with me in a second ... The question is who are you to say you know what's best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds [sic]. You don't wanna follow me anymore then fine but we play for you and win lose or draw we represent you!! My guy on the Rams said they never got booed even when they didn't win a game."
Needless to say, all of this didn't go over well -- with his teammates, with head coach Jim Zorn, with Redskins fans taken offense at being called dimwits -- and Henson apologized the next day. I can't help but wonder, though: are the real dimwits the fans? Or the Redskins, who promptly came up with an even worse performance in Week 3, losing to a Detroit Lions team that hadn't won a game since 2007?