Alright, earlier in the week, I put up a big post about Too Much Rod Benson and his blogging. JRose, my best friend from high school, then yesterday put up a post on why I'm wrong. In the next 1,827 words (it's Saturday afternoon, what better things are there to do?), I first rebuttal JRose's fanshot, and then, after the jump, We have a little back-and-forth going on. Enjoy. Don't feel compelled to read, but I think after this back and forth, there's little to be debated about the Rod Benson Blogging Conundrum.
I think that's exactly what Twitter has been thus far - an asset. I don't think there are many downfalls, and feel, as Shaq has shown, it can really help the public perception. NBA players are just like you and me, but getting paid way more. Talking to the D-League guys, and ocassional part-time NBA guys, this is a fact. It really gives me an entire different look at players than even five years ago. Just because they're in the public eye more often, I don't see the need for them to hide their personal lives to the extent it seems most of the world would like them to.
Is Twitter really that different than blogging? While I use Twitter almost exclusively for networking and getting my blog more attention, often if there are things I have opinions on (but don't have enough to dedicate a blog to), I'll just Tweet about it -- Example: @shahs13 Haha, there's just something I hate about him. Getting T'd up in the D-League for flipping a ref off is terrible. He had to know. While most of it is random - I can't make a post about Fes being really immature and a D-Bag - I'm not opposed to Tweeting about it.
Last season, Rod had a 28 and 28 game. Nobody else in the D-League could even offer "slightly less production" than this, yet he still didn't get a look. The thing you have to remember is Rod graduated from Cal - he is intelligent. If the NBA wasn't so much into what they know rather than potential, I don't think the blogging would be a turnoff. Benson is smart enough that the blog won't mention what the team doesn't want him to mention. If nothing else, I think they could positively market his blog - put it on the team website, where they can edit as needed.
Rod went to France expecting playing time. He's not going into the NBA expecting playing time. If he can't get good minutes in France and complains about it, he's got a case - either he's not playing well or they don't like him. If he can't get minutes in the NBA, you, me or Rod won't be surprised. Making it there is a huge accomplishment and if he's able to do the right things in practice, he'll stick, make tons of money, and no doubt have fun doing it.
Watching the D-League as much as I do, there aren't that many better players than Rod when he's motivated. You brought up Sims earlier, who was just called up to the Knicks. Sims is not as great on the boards as Rod, nor is he going to provide a spark for the team off the bench, which might be the biggest contribution a D-Leaguer can provide.
Many teams have players that blog on their own site, carefully monitored by a team rep. In fact the Suns have about 1,000 bloggers on their site throughout the team.
I would agree with you if Rod had done something wrong previously. Fortunately, he hasn't. You are all too much like the NBA GM that would rather call-up the aging veteran with game experience rather than the hungry rookie that's proving he deserves a shot. It may or may not have something to do with your political preference.
JRose in normal font, mine bold/italicized.
I'm glad we agree on Twitter. The reason I view it as less of a problem than blogs is exactly what you mention - the word limit. Sure, one can be plenty critical in 140 words, but it still limits you, unlike a blog.
Can this be construed as a positive? As I mentioned, I often put on Twitter what I wouldn't put on my blog. I talk about my insomnia, I mention that I'm drunk, I hate Duke players, bitch about FSU, muse on the fact that Steve from Blue's Clues name was actually Steve (now is in a punk rock band), say I hate Utah, mention my love for Wendy Peffercorn, and all sorts of 140 character randomness. For me, it actually gives me more freedom than the blog, as I can just type something when it comes to my mind, rather than having to make an entire post about it.
I think it is a positive. Like you say, Twitter is mostly randomness and harmless. Damage can be done, but a limited amount and I don't see it truly becoming a negative thing. It makes the players seem like "real people."
Rereading this, it doesn't seem like I made my argument correctly, or you didn't take it as such. I would actually argue that Twitter could be negative, because you can type whatever you want in 140 characters, but you actually to think about writing an entire blog post - usually making you think yourself out of it.
It definitely could be, I just see the potential for it to be harmful to be limited, as is the word count. An athlete may vent a little bit, but he can't ramble on trashing his (former) organization. Most things being Tweeted will also be completely random and be of no consequence to anyone. Hopefully someone as smart as Rod would actually think before posting something on Twitter, as I'm sure he thinks about his blog posts.
I agree with you, I'm just saying it's much easier to make a mistake tweeting than it is to dedicate an entire blog post about it. Tweeting, in my opinion, could be worse than blogging.
Yes, Rod had a 28-28 game, but were his averages last year that much better than everyone else's? You know I'm a Rod fan, so I'm not trying to personally attack him or his abilities, but I think you make an excellent point when you say "when he's motivated." From my small exposure to Rod, he seems pretty inconsistent. I have also heard that he is not the greatest practice-player, being referred to as "Knucklehead" by a coach. These are also possible factors in his not being called up. I have no idea if those are still true or if that's even the perception of him around the league, it's just a possibility that I'm throwing out there. The sentiments I expressed were meant to show how NBA general managers think, on which you seem to agree with me.
Yes, Rod led the league in rebounding last year. His rebounding numbers were great. NBA GM's may think like that, but why would you, as a fan, choose to take that side? It's that antiquated thinking that can set the league back, in my opinion.
I think you should read what I'm trying to say here. You original question was if blogging was a downfall, I'm trying to point out how it could be considered that way. I want Rod to make it, and I really doubt he would ever do anything to harm his chances. However, my goal is to point outwhy it could be his downfall, because, ultimately, my opinion doesn't matter. An NBA GM's does. That is why I present that argument.
It could be considered a downfall, yes, but the original issue is do you think it should inhibit his chances at the NBA, not do you think there's a possibility that it may.
No, I do not think it should inhibit his chances at all. He has no history of attacking, or complaining about, his team. My goal was to point out that this could be (is?) a potential problem in his achieving an NBA call-up. My simply saying, "I like him, I think he should be called up!" doesn't present any relevant facts or sides of the argument.
It does represent the fact that he has in fact done the things needed to be noticed by you, a non-D-League fan, not living in North Dakota, where he's played the majority of his career.
My point about Shirley (who was also smart, mechanical engineering degree from Iowa State) was that even if a team did let Rod blog on the team site, he would still have his own site, and what would prevent him from writing a book? I DO NOT think Rod would write anything at all negative about his prospective team, but there is the possibility that he could. Of course, any player could do this, but Rod already has his medium and following established. I think we can agree that Rod is not going to be an All-Star, or even a starter in the NBA. Because of this, GMs don't feel the need to take a risk on him. This is my theory. And how dare you connect it to my political preferences!
What's it matter if Benson pens a post-career book about his playing career? During his career, it could be a problem, but if they can put clauses in contracts about not being able to ride moped's, I'm sure they can make sure players don't write books without the teams consent. I also think that Rod could just as easily post something on TMRB that says, "hey fans, check me out at my new spot, the official Knicks blog!" I apologize for bringing your political preferences into my rebuttal, but I do feel that it does at least make sense in our differences in opinions. Correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe not directly, but if there was a way to poll that, I believe it would even out.
It matters because teams think it matters. They don't want to be cast in a negative light. Ever. Now or in the future. I don't know whether or not they could put something like not writing a book in a contract. The reason they can have the thing about riding mopeds is because there is an inherent physical risk in doing so. This risk is deemed "unnecessary" and thus banned.
Paul Shirley was writing his blog while he was in the NBA, just so you know. I'm under the assumption, if a team is willing to pay someone $30k for 10-days of work, they could work in a no book writing clause.
I know he was. I am saying I never read it, now or when he was in the league. As such I do not know if he ever "attacked" his team/teammates in it. I do know that he did so in his book. As for the book clause, I would guess they can't include that type of language in a contract. It would be different than a non-compete clause and I would guess the CBA contains language preventing teams from be too controlling of players non-playing lives. Yes, I know, moped riding is non-playing, but an accident does directly affect a player's ability to perform. (Jay Williams? Motorcycle, but same thing.)
I don't know who I'd ask about this, but the way you're talking, a blog can be just as harmful as a motorcycle accident.