Sunday, June 10, 2012

LeBronJames.com & Kevin Durant + @Jamal105 = Sportz Social Media in its Finest Form

By Adam Maher

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At 5:49 EST this morning, something fantastic happened. 

@Jamal105 tweeted.

It had been 831 days since his last tweet, and for those of you who don't know, @Jamal105 is quite possibly the coolest person to grace the twitter-verse with his presence.  I started following Jamal last summer when I was helping out at MLB.com as a Real Time Highlighter. Jamal was one of my many (much-needed) supervisors and regularly, when I had a sports-related fluster that required flaring, Jamal would engage in my various any-sports-topic-outside-of-baseball bantering. Not that everyone else didn't pitch in - Kristen, Andrew, Steve, Brad, Brennen, MIKE WALSH, Tom, Alex, Keith, Geo, Marta, and Rob to name a few - but time and time again, I felt like Jamal really understood what the hell I was talking about, listening intently and respecting me for saying whatever idiotic claim to fame I had on my mind that night at 3 am on the fifth floor of the Chelsea Market building in downtown Manhattan as the Padres pitching staff walked themselves into a good-for-last-place-in-the-NL West .493 win percentage.

So when I found Jamal on twitter about 14 months ago, needless to say, I was amped (Yes, I just said the word "amped." You better believe it's Summer X-Games 17 Los Angeles season, brah). But unfortunately, I hadn't seen him tweet once since I started following him over a year ago. Multiple times I would check in with Jamal's handle, and repeatedly I would be disappointed to see no activity since the last check-in.

I'm not working at MLB.com this summer, and so, I haven't had the privilege of sharing my thoughts in person with Jamal on the absolute craziness that has been this NBA season. 

Until this morning, when he broke his silence, and tweeted: "And you will know My name is @KingJames when I lay My vengeance upon thee. http://www.nba.com/video/channels/playoffs... #nba #Finalsbound #Witness"

I hadn't talked to Jamal in months. This was the first tweet he's blessed my twitter feed with since I started following him over a year ago. And he goes and tweets the most fire tweet I've ever seen. I would have retweeted it, but his account is private (rendering me impossible to retweet his tweets so as to disallow potential strangers to see his tweets), so I favorited it. And what does Jamal do?

Thanks me with his next tweet two minutes later.

After not tweeting for two and a half years, and waiting for over a year for Jamal to tweet, Jamal tweeted at me! I was ecstatic. Could there really be a sports-related event that made me happier than the Heat fulfilling my series prediction, my Devils forcing a Game 6 and Tim Bradley proving me right all in one Saturday night?

Yes. A tweet from my dude, Jamal, at 5:57 am on Sunday morning.

So why is this story important? Well, for one, I think everyone should know Jamal from MLB.com and beyond. From what I've seen, he is an excellent person and a sensational co-worker/supervisor. A few of my friends who came with me to our staff's end-of-year party at Antarctica Bar last summer got the chance to meet all 6-3 of Jamal's Harlem afro in person. Needless to say, everyone who met him that night thought he was the man, as he chilled at our table, keeping it low-key, watching sports on the TV while others socialized throughout the bar, eventually gravitating around him for what was an awesome and cherish-worthy awards ceremony amongst the 2011 RTH MLB.com crew - a crew I'm proud as hell to be a part of (by the way, guys, MLB won 2011 sports league of the year at the SBAs last week - I was volunteering/in the room when Bud Selig accepted the award. We definitely played a part in that.)

Jamal is truly a one-of-a-kind sports guy, one of the best opinionators I know. Everyone who has twitter, consider following @Jamal105. You won't be disappointed, even if we all have to wait another three years for his next master-tweet.

Jamal's tweet is also important because its subject matter reminded me of the revealing, inspiring and hilarious YouTube series I saw last night on LeBron James's website incidentally 10 minutes after the Heat won Game 7 over Boston at home.

As most of you know, LeBronJames.com distributes on a regular basis extremely fire digital content.

With a subject matter like that, how could it not? 

Its latest installment is on some Tarantino, bringing us back to the beginning of the 2011-2012 NBA season, pre, pre-season in fact. It's an exclusive three-piece web series containing rare footage of LeBron James and Kevin Durant's three-day work-out at the University of Akron in November 2011. 

This season truly has been one to remember thus far for LeBron and Kevin. The All-Star Game was straight BONKERS down in Orlando. Both the Heat and the Thunder finished the regular season second in their respective conferences, and now they face each other once again in the juiciest sports match up since the Williams sister took over tennis.

So, what will end together (starting this Tuesday night) for the two twenty-something future Hall of Famers, started together, and it's on film for us all to #witness.


So check out the @Jamal105-induced embedments below. I'll give you five bucks if you don't crack a smile the first time Kev Durant breaks fourth wall.







If it wasn't for the social media revolution, we'd never be able to see footage like this. Kids growing up when Bird and Magic were beginning to duel could never have dreamed to see Larry Legend and Magic practicing together before the season on film, just two days before the Finals would commence in this intimate a circumstance.

Thanks to twitter and its users, LeBron's awesome marketing team and Jamal, blog posts like this are now possible. This is what it's all about. This is social media in its finest form.

Oh, and by the way, I can't wait to correctly predict who is going to win the first of many NBA Finals duels between the Thunder and the Heat Tuesday night right here on thepsportzbroz.com.

Here's a hint:

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