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A year later, NBA players are all logged on

Giving the fans what they want

It only seems that players have embarrassed themselves on Twitter since the invention of mobile phones.

Actually, as noted by Jessica Camerato, blogging for WEEI in Boston, it was just one year ago that Milwaukee’s Charlie Villanueva posted the Tweet Heard ‘Round the NBA at halftime of a game:

"@CV31: In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.”

Da, er, the whole league has since plunged into the social-networking revolution.

“What the fans want to see is you being straight up and interacting with them as well,” Villanueva recently told Camerato.

“Showing pictures as well, they want to see what’s going on, what an NBA player does on a day-to-day basis.”

That’s a good thing?

The Be-Careful-What-You-Wish-For Prize goes to Portland’s Greg Oden, San Antonio’s George Hill and Miami’s Dorrell Wright, who took naked pictures of themselves that surfaced on the Internet.

The Way-More-Than-We-Wanted-to-Know Prize goes to Orlando’s Matt Barnes for his diaper joke about Lamar Odom, one more incident in Barnes’ audition for psychiatric evaluation, or a career as a rapper, prompting TNT’s Reggie Miller, a fellow UCLA alum, to ask:

“What’s in the water with these Bruins?”

Villanueva, a bust as a $7.5-million free agent in Detroit — imagine that — just missed a flight, was fined, and, of course, tweeted his frustration before posting a contrite:

“I respect Joe D [Dumars, Piston GM] so much, that I will keep my mouth shut, just needed to vent a little.”

For David Stern, whose job it is to present this circus as family entertainment, just be thankful there was no Twitter in Dennis Rodman’s day.

Now that the Madness is over

Last thoughts on NCAA Tournament performances of:

John Wall, Kentucky — Derrick Rose may have been the most athletic point guard ever before Wall, who’s even more athletic.

If Rose is like a young Dwyane Wade, Wall is like a young Kobe Bryant.

I ran that notion past three NBA GMs and personnel guys. All agreed.

Epke Udoh, Baylor — Could crash top 10. Smaller than higher-rated DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors and Greg Monroe but, aside from being a great shot-blocker, comes with unusual playmaking ability for a big man, especially a late-blooming big man.

Ed Davis, North Carolina — Getting hurt and not getting in the tourney preserved his place. Still considered top 10, high for a lightweight power forward who’s smaller than slender-lefty-Tar-Heel prototype Brandan Wright.

Kyle Singler, Duke — Key to the least-gifted by far of Mike Krzyzewski’s championship teams.

Went from 33% on three-pointers at mid-season to Stephen Curry-level knock-down shooter, making 51 of 110 threes in his last 19 games.

Pros were way off him but are coming back, if at varying paces.

ESPN’s Chad Ford still has him at No. 42, noting a number of GMs question his toughness — what game are they watching? — and doubt he’s athletic enough, “but were impressed with his whole body of work” and now have him “between the late first round to the second.”

The three GMS I talked to last week all have Singler in the low 20s, with a shot at the teens.


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