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From The Courts

Today’s Fastbreak presents the #NBATwitterDraft2016

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver opens the 2016 NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

NBA Twitter is a brilliant community. Having experienced the Twittersphere’s of other sports, the good part of NBA Twitter is a welcoming and helpful place. Networking is easy, and fellow writers become friends. It is unlike any other. My journey in that world has been a wonderful experience, and I now call many of the people in that industry my friend. It’s a blessing.

Getting noticed in the NBA world is tough. It’s a competitive industry, and the amount of bloggers, writers and knowledgable fans is not small. A bit of luck is required to break through, and everyone is searching for the niche that can give them that.

The world of NBA Twitter is a great place to interact, foster relationships and connections while the discussing the game everyone is there for. Ask a simple question about anything to do with basketball and an idea can become the trending topic of the day.

To celebrate this, I wanted to do something. A few of us constantly recommend great follows that we have–often undiscovered or simply someone you want to give praise t–because they’re a reason we keep coming back to interact.

The word “draft” was inaccurate, but it was just a way of titling the idea. Ultimately, it’s just a best follow list and might be renamed down the track. That’s the beauty of the idea. We can mold it into whatever we see fit. I might have created this, but it’s NBA Twitter who allowed it to thrive.

In the first day alone there was 150 nominees and over 1,000 votes. Day two the concept took on a life of its own, with over 400 nominees (later trimmed to 268) and almost 4000 votes tallied. Day three, 315 nominees finished the day on the list, with over 5000 votes on the board. The final day finished with a stunning 353 nominees, and 6,547 votes.

The criteria and what qualified was a tricky line to draw. National writers, people who work for major networks and people of that ilk weren’t included, but it’s not a perfect science. Guys, it’s a concept drawn up and executed in less than a week. It’s not going to be perfect.

Part of this whole process is that I wanted to give praise and thanks to those guys who have helped me along the way. I’m not where I am without their support, promotion and advice as a writer and sometimes as a man. Another part of this was separating the bad part of NBA Twitter.

I’ve removed trolls–the kinds of people who target, abuse or simply quote tweets with mockery–from the process and to be honest I’ve blocked them on my account. Through this process, and even criticism of it I’ve removed negativity. That’s not what NBA Twitter is.

With that said, let’s give thanks to everyone nominated (which you can see here), and the Top 100 itself. There were some surprises, and campaigns for votes paid off for some people. For those who didn’t, it’s, even more, praiseworthy that without asking people voted for you. Either way, people believe in what you do, and that is huge.

The wait is over, though, here is the #NBATwitterDraft2016 – divided into two rounds from 1-60, just like a normal NBA Draft.

Round One

Pick One – Oliver Maroney, Basketball Insiders (@OMaroneyNBA)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Portland Trail Blazers, General NBA

Oliver is a self-made, hard-working writer and podcaster (K/O Sports Show host) from Portland. He’s developed special connections in the NBA, with an increasingly impressive body of work particularly in interviews with teams & players. A regular respondent with his followers, his built a loyal following who were quick to get behind their favorite NBA guy. Congratulations to Oliver, who won the draft by two votes. His recent promotion to Basketball Insiders was a well-deserved reward for years of grinding, working and perfecting his craft.

Pick Two – James Holas, BBallBreakdown (@SnottieDrippen)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Boston Celtics. General NBA, Topics & Debate

James is a fun, controversial (for those aware of his feelings on Kobe Bryant) and constant presence on NBA Twitter. His podcasting is some of the best in the business at the moment. His writing for BBallBreakdown is some of the most insightful content combined with a unique writing style he’s made his own. Always happy to engage and debate his followers, he’s simply one of the best all around follows there is.

Pick Three – Josh Eberley, HOOP Mag (@JoshEberley)

Specialities – Writing, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Josh might be the nicest guy on there, and certainly might be the most objective member of NBA Twitter. He stirs daily debate (across other sports also) with statistics, comparisons or simple questions, then continues to do so once the mentions start pouring in. Though he no longer has time for his own podcast, he’s a brilliant and willing guest always willing to talk hoops. His writing for Hoop Mag is something you can’t miss and is steadily more and more impressive. Not many people were more deserving of the verified blue tick he just received.

Pick Four – Adam Joseph, BBallBreakdown, Today’s Fastbreak, SB Nation (Welcome To Loud City), Loaded Questions Podcast (@AdamJosephSport)

Specialities – Writing, Podcasting, Oklahoma City Thunder, General NBA

The obvious bust of the draft. Fourth pick can mainly be down to the voting starting with my circle of NBA Twitter followers. Tweets far too much, and certainly does a lot about football (soccer) and Manchester United. You’ve been warned; I’m the Darko Milicic of this whole process.

Pick Five – Coach Nick, BBallBreakdown (@bballbreakdown)

Specialties – Podcasting, Video Analysis, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Coach Nick is the reason everyone goes to BBallBreakdown. Don’t know much about sets that teams run, little wrinkles in team systems and want to notice things in games your friends and other fans won’t? Coach Nick is your guy. His YouTube Channel is a must if you haven’t subscribed to it, and if you’re a budding writer, his input and teachings on the deeper side of the game is a great way to add to what you do.

Pick Six – Nick Sciria, BBallBreakdown (@Nick_Sciria)

Specialties – Writing, Video Analysis, General NBA

Nick is a new addition to the BBallBreakdown team and an excellent one at that. His Twitter feed is an excellent insight into the analytical side of the game, and a good way to learn about what good basketball should look like. With fewer than 3k followers, he’s the winner of the underrated section of this draft. Congratulations!

Pick Seven – Duncan Smith, FanSided (Piston Powered) (@DuncanSmithNBA)

Specialties – Writing, Detroit Pistons, Topics & Debate

Duncan, as voting has shown, is one of NBA Twitter’s most underrated guys. He enjoyed a late rush of votes, as Pistons Twitter got behind their guy. Both he and Nick raced up the draft board, and it’s a credit to them both frankly that people were so keen to see them recognized. Duncan is a great podcast guest, a very good writer and the demigod of all things Detroit Pistons. He also loves Ben Wallace as much as I do.

Pick Eight – Shane Young, BBallBreakdown, Today’s Fastbreak, The Cauldron (@YoungNBA)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers

I’ve been saying I believe Shane is the rising star of NBA Twitter, and I feel this validates that belief. He’s a deep dive, long-form columnist with a huge future and will likely be one of the first on this list to secure a big job in the industry. His writing is some of the most hard working, well thought stuff you can find, and although he isn’t a high volume tweeter compared to others on this list, it’s always quality when he does.

Pick Nine – Danny Leroux, Sporting News, Athletic Nor Cal, Locked On Warriors, Real GM Radio, Dunc’d On (@DannyLeroux)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Golden State Warriors, General NBA, Salary Cap/CBA

Do you think Danny will read this then give it to Nate on the Podcast that he finished higher in the draft? I hope so; that’d be cool as hell. Danny is becoming one of the most knowledgable and smart guys in the NBA Community. Recently took charge of the Locked On Warriors Podcast, and all his shows are a must listen. If you haven’t subscribed, do it now.

Pick Ten – Nate Duncan, The Cauldron, Dunc’d On Podcast (@NateDuncanNBA)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Salary Cap/CBA

Although Nate has just started writing profiles on ESPN Insider, his work to build himself up through brilliant podcasting and analytical writing cannot be ignored. It’s very likely that he will be next to follow the likes of Seth Partnow and Kirk Goldsberry into working for a team. It would be a surprise if he didn’t.

Pick Eleven – Kelly Scaletta, Fan Rag Sports, BBallBreakdown, Bleacher Report (@KellyScaletta)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Chicago Bulls

Kelly is the king of puns on Twitter, I’m convinced it’s the biggest reason he was deservedly verified. He’s also a brilliant deep form columnist, and his incredible profile in the #BBBD50 on Kevin Durant is one of my favorite pieces of writing I’ve read in a long time.

Pick Twelve – Justin Rowan, SB Nation (Fear The Sword) (@Cavsanada)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers, Topics & Debate

Justin is one of the most fun follows on NBA Twitter, and certainly one of the funniest. 3-1 jokes may have gotten old for some, but his creativity with them is impressive. His writing and Cavaliers knowledge is amongst the best you’ll find; he’s a nice guy. Why wouldn’t you follow him?

Pick Thirteen – Adam Howes, Bulls On Parade, Chi Bulls Life (@Howsito)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks

Adam charged up the draft board on the final day of voting, and the amount of support he had from his followers was impressive, to say the least. It was also a testament to his quietly impressive rise through Bulls Twitter. He’s also all in on Derrick Rose in New York, so follow him and ask him why so he can convince you why you should be too!

Pick Fourteen – Adam Mares, SB Nation (Denver Stiffs), Nylon Calculus, Hardwood Paroxysm, Vice Sports, Pickaxe Podcast (@Adam_Mares)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Denver Nuggets

The creator of the NBA Ph.D. Program (in it’s third year) was a partial inspiration for this. It’s such a cool idea, I just wanted to do something of a similar ilk. Every Denver Nuggets question I have goes through him, and I really enjoy his writing at SB Nation. His Twitter lists are also something you should be subscribing to, by the way. Another brilliant source of follows.

Pick Fifteen – Ian Pierno, FanSided (Beale Street Bears), News Observer (@IanPierno)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Memphis Grizzlies

Apologies to Ian, as I didn’t know him before the Draft started! That’s the beauty of this project; everyone gets to expand their NBA Twitter community. Apologies to Ian for the short write up, but I’ll be following closely from here on out!

Pick Sixteen – Andrew Bailey, Bleacher Report, Today’s Fastbreak, Hardwood Knocks Podcast (@AndrewDBailey)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Utah Jazz, Topics & Debate

Andy is without a doubt one of my favorite NBA Follows. Like Josh and Snottie, he comes up with great analysis, comparisons and he rarely has an opinion I disagree with. And he’s always interacting with people and responding to questions. His writing is some of the best out there, and his Jazz knowledge is one of the reasons I like them so much.

Pick Seventeen – KJ (@KJ_NBA)

Specialties – General NBA, Topics & Debate

I feel embarrassed writing this because I don’t know KJ’s full name, perhaps he likes it that way as some do? Either way, his NBA discussion is the reason he was voted here. Considering he’s not a writer or podcaster (that I’ve seen, apologies if so), it’s amazing how high he’s polled. It’s a testament to how great he is at it. Follow him, now.

Pick Eighteen – David Ramil, Various Websites, Locked On Heat Podcast (@dramil13)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic

One of my longest, most genuine friends in the industry and someone I consider a mentor, his interviews/player pieces and columns are a thing of gold. Quite a few people who voted for David said he was one of the most underrated writers around, and I couldn’t agree more. I love his writing. I’ll never forget his Aaron Gordon piece. If you don’t already, you will too soon.

Pick Nineteen – Sam Esfandiari, warriorsworld (@samesfandiari)

Specialties – General NBA, Golden State Warriors, Topics & Debate

Warriors fans get a bad rap, as we all know. Sam, though? One of the most objective, fair and keen to discuss basketball guys out there. He always has a unique and balanced take on the game that’ll make you think, and for a stubborn mind like mine that is great because it changes the way you think. C0-chief of #ARROGANTSZN with another of the follows on this list, @AndyKHLiu

Pick Twenty – Brandon Anderson, The Cauldron (@wheatonbrando)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Minnesota Timberwolves, Topics & Debate

The amount of support Brandon had almost took me by surprise, but when I thought about it that actually made a lot of sense. He has a variety of smart sporting takes, and covers a variety of different categories. His takes a different and very objective, and he’s an extremely underrated follow.

Pick Twenty One – Keith Smith, Real GM, Today’s Fastbreak, Celtics Blog (@KeithSmithNBA)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Boston Celtics, Salary Cap/CBA

I wish I had Keith’s CBA knowledge. It’s a tricky part of the NBA and a niche that not many have because it’s complicated as hell. His writing is excellent, and I love his Celtics takes and knowledge. With the Celtics on the rise, you’d be silly not to follow him going into 2016-17.

Pick Twenty Two – Colby Giacubeno, Hoops Habit, Today’s Fastbreak (@ColbyGiacubeno)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards

Colby’s the man for the Southeast Division. He’s a great podcast guest and has such an in-depth knowledge of the players that he covers. Tendencies, skills, you name it he will know it. He’s all in on John Wall and Dennis Schroeder, just ask him why and he’ll convince you too.

Pick Twenty Three – Ti Windisch, Behind The Bucks, Timeout With Ti Podcast (@TiWindisch)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Milwaukee Bucks

Firstly, Ti’s podcast is outstanding and incredibly underrated. Subscribe to it. His recent appearance on the That Guy Podcast was brilliant. With the Bucks soon to be one of everyone’s League Pass darlings, now is the time to get on board with Ti.

Pick Twenty Four – Clevis Murray, FanSided (Sir Charles In Charge), Boston Globe Sports (@ClevisMurray)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA

Another guy I didn’t know a lot about, voters turned out in droves. Considering his ranking and the amount of people who advocated for him, I’ll be following him, and he’ll be a must read from now on.

Pick Twenty Five – Tom West, FanSided (Clipperholics), Today’s Fastbreak, The Cauldron (@TomWestNBA)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Los Angeles Clippers

I hate the Clippers, but I love Tom’s coverage of them. Videos, discussion, writing, and by the time you read this we’ll be recording a podcast about it. Once you follow him, you’re going to feel the same as me.

Pick Twenty Six – Alexis Morgan, Memphis Grizzlies (@alexiskmorgan)

Specialties – General NBA, Memphis Grizzlies, Topics & Debate

While both serious and fun, Alexis is one of the funniest follows on NBA Twitter and an excellent user of GIF’s (something I particularly like). There has to be a light side to what we do, and Alexis is part of that.

Pick Twenty Seven – Austin Hutchinson, Free Hand BBall, Hoops Critic, Almighty Ballin’, FanSided (King James Gospel), BBall Podcast (@AE_Hutchinson)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers, Topics & Debate

Using statistics is difficult to do within context, and Austin is one of the rising stars of NBA Twitter who is learning to do exactly that. His follower count is rising fast, so you should be getting in on the ground floor while you can.

Pick Twenty Eight – Nekias Duncan, Today’s Fastbreak (@NekiasNBA)

Specialties – Writing, Miami Heat, Topics & Debate

I’ve been on the Nekias bandwagon since his NBAtalk days, and we both like pizza, so that’s a huge plus. He is both a fun and serious NBA follow, and his Miami Heat coverage is always something I make a note to read, even if Heat Twitter disdains his indifference to Dwyane Wade.

Pick Twenty Nine – Josh Lloyd, Basketball Monster, Locked On Fantasy, Hardwood Paroxysm (@redrock_bball)

Specialties – Podcasting, General NBA, Fantasy/DFS

Josh is one of the hardest workers that I have encountered in my time within our community. He publishes a fantasy podcast every single day, with guests from around the league. His knowledge of players and the league is second to none, and of course, if you’re into DFS, you’d be silly not to use his expertise.

Pick Thirty – Patrick Fenelon (@Patrick_Fenelon)

Specialties – Podcasting, Minnesota Timberwolves, General NBA, Topics & Debate

One of my favorite ever Podcast guests, Patrick is the perfect combination of fun and serious basketball analysis. He rarely writes anymore, but his Timberwolves opinions are enlightening, funny and teach you something at the same time. That’s rare.

Round Two

Pick Thirty One – Dakota Schmidt, SB Nation (Ridiculous Upside) (@Dakota_Schmidt)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Milwaukee Bucks, Topics & Debate

Pick Thirty Two – Troy Tauscher, FanRag Sports, BBallBreakdown, Pace & Space Podcast (@tt_sports)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Phoenix Suns, Topics & Debate

Pick Thirty Three – Dave DuFour, RealGM, BBallBreakdown, That Guy Podcast (@CoachDaveDuFour)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Video Analysis, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Thirty Four – Chris De Silva, FanSided (King James Gospel), Believe The Hype (@cdesilva23)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Cleveland Cavaliers, Topics & Debate

Pick Thirty Five – Laieke Abebe, FanSided (Swarm ‘n Sting) (@StrikaNation24_)

Specialties – Writing, Charlotte Hornets

Pick Thirty Six – Adithya Pugazhendhi, SB Nation (Clips Nation SBN) (@brownasthenight)

Specialties – Writing, Los Angeles Clippers, Topics & Debate

Pick Thirty Seven – Jesse Blanchard, BBallBreakdown (@BlanchardJRB)

Specialties – Writing, San Antonio Spurs, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Thirty Eight – Sean Highkin, The Athletic Chicago, Sports On Earth, Locked On Bulls (@highkin)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Chicago Bulls

Pick Thirty Nine – Chris Axmann, Almighty Ballin’ (@AlmightyBallin)

Specialties – Podcasting, General NBA

Pick Forty – Beat of Brooklyn, BeatofBrooklyn.com (@beatofbrooklyn)

Specialties – Brooklyn Nets

Pick Forty One – Kofie Yeboah, The Undefeated (@KofieYeboah)

Specialties – General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Forty Two – Marc Griffin, PRESS Basketball, Sole Shift (@montrealmarc)

Specialties – Podcasting, General NBA

Pick Forty Three – Chris Reichert, Upside Motor (@Chris_Reichert)

Specialties – General NBA, D-League

Pick Forty Four – Kacy Sager, BBallBreakdown (@THESagerbomb)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Forty Five – Anthony Irwin, Lakers Outsiders, Lakers SBN, Locked On Lakers, Forum Blue Gold (@AnthonyIrwinLA)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Los Angeles Lakers, Topics & Debate

Pick Forty Six – Liam Devin, The Last Timeout, BBall Podcast (@KDsIntellect)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Forty Seven – Dan Carson, Fox Sports (@TheDoctorCarson)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA

Pick Forty Eight – Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders (@Ben_Dowsett)

Specialties – Writing, Utah Jazz, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Forty Nine – James Delia/Tim Delia, The Waiver Wire Podcast, Almighty Ballin’ (@jamesdeliaaa, @tdelia96, @thewaiverwire1)

Specialties – Podcasting, General NBA, Fantasy/DFS

Pick Fifty – David Scott, SB Nation (Welcome To Loud City, Ridiculous Upside) (@DavidScottNBA)

Specialties – Writing, Oklahoma City Thunder, D-League

Pick Fifty One – Aaron Ferguson, FanSided (King James Gospel) (@Sports_Aaron)

Specialties – Writing, General NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers

Pick Fifty Two – Ian Levy, FanSided, The Step Back (@HickoryHigh)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, General NBA, Topics & Debate

Pick Fifty Three – Kevin Ferrigan, Nylon Calculus, Nothing But Nylon Podcast (@NBAcouchside)

Specialties – Podcasting, General NBA, Chicago Bulls, Topics & Debate

Pick Fifty Four – Amara Baptist, Memphis Grizzlies (@AmaraBaptist)

Specialties – General NBA, Memphis Grizzlies, Topics & Debate

Pick Fifty Five – Advith Sarikonda, BBallBreakdown, The Cauldron, The Lake Show Life (@darintellect)

Specialties – Writing, Los Angeles Lakers, General NBA

Pick Fifty Six – Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder)

Specialties – Writing, Oklahoma City Thunder, Topics & Debate

Pick Fifty Seven – Aaron Johnson, Def Pen Hoops, Palace of Pistons (@AJohnsonSports)

Specialties – Writing, Detroit Pistons

Pick Fifty Eight – Harrison Faigen, SB Nation (Lakers SBN, Ridiculous Upside), Lakers Outsiders, Locked On Lakers (@hmfaigen)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Los Angeles Lakers

Pick Fifty Nine – Conrad Kaczmarek, SB Nation (Fear The Sword) (@ConradKaz)

Specialties – Writing, Cleveland Cavaliers, Topics & Debate

Pick Sixty – Orlando Magic Daily, FanSided, Locked On Magic (@OMagicDaily)

Specialties – Writing, Podcasting, Orlando Magic

Obviously, the other forty remaining nominees from the top 100 fill out the rest of the list, but there can only be 60 drafted! It was a pleasure to conduct this, and with the popularity, it looks like it’ll return once again in 2017! I’ll put together a list of both the entire nominees and the top 100 for everyone to follow. Thank you again to everyone involved in one capacity or another. Till next year…

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