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Ranking the ‘hashflag’ for every NBA team

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Yesterday, the NBA released a list of every NBA team’s new “hashflag” for the 2016-17 season. Now beyond “hashflag” being a ridiculously stupid term, what is even more ludicrous is how little effort some of these marketing departments put in to create these hashtag phrases.

So I did what every normal NBA blogger would do when something like this is released. I ranked them and put together incredibly tough and overly harsh criticisms about some of these team’s horrible choices. My goal was basically to get at least one person in every NBA city to hate me for saying their hashflag stinks.

Tier 1: Hire some freakin’ marketing interns

T-30th: Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks

Hashtags: #Celtics, #Pelicans, #Knicks

There’s no way Adam Silver just sprung this idea on all the teams a couple of days ago; these teams have had plenty of time to think of something vaguely clever to promote. This is like your teacher assigning homework, and you just saying “Nah, I didn’t wanna do it.”

If someone asks me to create a hashtag I could unquestionably come up with something half-decent within minutes. These teams who have all the resources and money in the world to enlist help in this department, just either failed to do so or didn’t care enough to participate.

The NBA was asking for an ounce of creativity and these teams threw it back in the league offices face. To me, this is egregious enough to take away future draft picks, but that’s just me.

I could see Danny Ainge offering James Young, Kelly Olynyk, and protected second-round pick to the Blazers for the #RipCity hashtag AND Damian Lillard, and then leaking to the press like the deal was actually close to being done. But when Neil Olshey laughed him off of the phone the Celtics were left with no backup hashtag.

As for the Pelicans not creating a hashtag, that is the most excusable team out of the bunch purely because they have no hope this season, so why pretend like you’re going to rally and have a hashtag.

When someone in the Knicks front office approached Phil Jackson over Skype about this hashtag issue, he was not concerned, which really played into this off-season’s theme of not being concerned about anything, including Derrick Rose’s rape trial. I mean if the guy said he wasn’t concerned about a rape investigation there’s no way he’s thinking twice about a damn hashtag.

Tier 2: You need to fire your damn marketing interns

T-27th: Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs

Hashtags: #GoPacers, #LetsGoMagic, #GoSpursGo

While the Celtics, Pelicans, and Knicks put absolutely zero effort into creating a hashtag, this group of savages actually spent time on developing something and even with all the available brain power settled on the simplest and idiot proof phrase.

Tier 1 is the guy in your class who signed up for the SAT’s but slept through the exam; Tier 2 is the guy who showed up for the SAT’s but only got points for signing their name at the top. I’m assuming these teams just watched half of a cheerleading practice and thought they struck gold.

The Spurs are really not starting the post-Duncan era in a great way, and this Magic hashtag is surely indicative that they will continue their playoff drought this year.

Tier 3: The basket of deplorables

24th-18th: Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Wizards

Hashtags: #BullsNation, #Rockets50, #SacramentoProud, #MFFL, #WeArePHX, #ThunderUp, #DCFamily

There’s nothing terribly wrong with the Bulls going with #BullsNation, but there is also zero appeal to this hashtag. No nod to the city with some signature thing, just #BullsNation. And I realize this is hypocritical because the Warriors are #DubNation and not in this tier, but you get special treatment, and the benefit of the doubt when you win 72 games the previous season. Sorry, I’m not sorry, Chicago.

So #Rocket50 is clearly because of the Rockets 50th anniversary, and honestly, I could be wrong because I don’t even care to look this up. Rockets, no ones cares that your team is 50 years old. If I’m a Rockets fan, how is that supposed to get me to rally the team on social media? Please do us all a favor and re-hire that social media guy you canned for shooting a horse on twitter.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The #SacramentoProud hashtag is probably the most ironic one of the bunch, purely because I’m pretty sure no one in Sacramento is proud of the Kings. I’m not sure another team in the league has been as cruel to their fanbase as the Kings have over the last several years. And that includes the Sixers who have intentionally tanked three straight seasons.

At first glance, I literally thought Dallas’ #MFFL hashtag stood for Mavs Fantasy Football League. It turned out to be an acronym for “Mavs Fans For Life” which is way, way worse than a Mavs fantasy football league.

The Suns pulled the trigger on #WeArePHX. Which inevitably begs the questions, who else would you be? I don’t want to get all existential on you Phoenix, but if you’re not Phoenix, who are you? Just stating the obvious doesn’t make it a great hashtag.

Oklahoma City went with the #ThunderUp hashtag for this year, and now we finally know the true reason Kevin Durant left OKC: He clearly wanted no part of this hashtag. Smart move, KD.

When there is a supposed beef between your two best players and backcourt mates, maybe #DCFamily isn’t the best hashtag, Wizards. This family is more than likely heading for an ugly divorce at some point.

Tier 4: Right in that meaty part of the curve

17th-11th: Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves

Hashtags: #OwnTheFuture, #BrooklynGrit, #ItTakesEverything, #HEATIsOn, #MADEinPHILA, #TrueToAtlanta, #PowerOfThePack

The Bucks have now had this #OwnTheFuture hashtag for a couple of years now, and at first, I’ll admit I did really like it. But they have gotten progressively worst over the last two years stemming from that MCW trade. Sorry, Milwaukee it doesn’t seem like you’ll be owning any of the future of the NBA so it may be time to retire this.

The Nets are going to be really bad this year. Like, really bad. But a great hashtag is an opportunity to set the tone for the season, and they landed on #BrooklynGrit. I’m not sure the current landscape and hipster infested area of Brooklyn really have the same type of grit as decades past, though.

The Clippers hashtag #ItTakesEverything is the kind of thing a football color guy who used to play the game in the 70’s but clearly had way too many concussions would say when you ask him what the key to the game is.

“So Jim, what do the Steelers have to do to win the game today?”

“It’s gonna take everything.”

*awkward silence*

The Heat decided to go the pop-culture route and chose #HEATIsOn because anytime you can quote an iconic Glenn Frey song from the 80’s you got to do it. Oh-wo-ho, Oh-wo-ho! The heat is on!

Sixers get the win for having the most capital letters in their hashtag, also #MADEInPHILA is just pandering to everyone paying attention to this election cycle. So much talk about sending jobs overseas and we have to bring them back. Guess what? Sixers basketball is made in Philadelphia on American soil! Take that, terrorists!

Real Hawks fans are #TrueToAtlanta; they don’t want no fake fans. So when you go to Phillips Arena for Tinder Night to hookup, don’t bring any friends who aren’t true to Atlanta.

Honestly, I think Minnesota’s #PowerToThePack is kind of clever and makes sense. But personally, I don’t love it. A little too corny for my taste. As you can see, it’s relatively hard to hate on the rest of these. Let’s get to the top-10.

Tier 5: “Crème de la crème

10. Golden State Warriors-#DubNation

Shortening the letter ‘W’ into ‘Dub’ automatically gets you into the top-10. Those are the rules.

9. Memphis Grizzlies-#GrindCity

Nobody grinds like the Memphis Grizzlies, having a theme-appropriate hashtag gets you in the top-10

T-8. Charlotte Hornets-#BuzzCity + Portland Trail Blazers-#RipCity

If you can put your hashtag on an alternate jersey that automatically gets you into the top-10. Those are the rules.

6. Detroit Pistons-#DetroitBasketball

If you read that hashtag, not in the Pistons PA announcers voice, then you clearly don’t understand why they are checking in at #6.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers-#DefendTheLand

This is a good one, champs.

4. Denver Nuggets-#MileHighBasketball

In case you missed it Denver is at mile high altitude, so at first glance, this isn’t that clever. But I decided to assume that using the word “high” also was a double-entendre because Colorado has legalized marijuana.

3. Los Angeles Lakers-#LakeShow

This is justifiably at #3, its an oldie but a goodie. Maybe not recently, but basketball in LA is a show and typically good entertainment.

2. Toronto Raptors-#WeTheNorth

Not only is this hashtag geographically accurate it is the fanbases image and persona. Not sure any other hashtag on this list can do that.

1.Utah Jazz-#TakeNote

I am surprised at you that the Jazz made it to the top of this list. But the more and more I looked at this hashtag the more I began to fall in love with it. I mean you have the obvious connection between Jazz and ‘note’. So we got the clever pun, and the other thing is that the Jazz are on the precipice of becoming an elite team in the West so ‘taking note’ of this team plays in both ways. It really encapsulates this Jazz season and that’s why they take home the completely arbitrary #1 rank.

Congrats, Utah.

By the way everyone these are the definitive rankings so whatever you think it doesn’t matter. You’re just going to have to accept these.

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