While it seems like Twitter has invaded every corner of our everyday lives, there was at least one notable exception in the NBA world. Kobe Bryant, the superstar Laker of 17 years, had bucked the trend of athletes who have Twitter.
With the NBA having around 90% of it’s players on Twitter, Kobe was the biggest name in the game yet to commit to Twitter. Until Christmas Day of 2012, that is. He has been active on Facebook for a decent period, but it wasn’t until he took over Nike Basketball’s account Christmas Day that Kobe entered the Twittersphere.
He controlled the account for just three days, but was quite active, tweeting out plenty of pictures and engaging with fans around the world.
— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) December 25, 2012
Shortly after, the Black Mamba fired up his own personal account.
The antisocial has become social #mambatweets
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 4, 2013
As expected, the much-anticipated arrival of the Black Mamba on Twitter generated plenty of traction, as he picked up nearly a quarter of a million followers in the first day, including 100,000 in the first 75 minutes. His follower count currently sits in the high 800,000 mark, but he only follows 42 people so far.
There have been bigger follower rushes in Twitter history, with Charlie Sheen getting some eye popping numbers, but the manner in which Kobe joined Twitter, by taking over Nike’s basketball handle to spark will-he-or-won’t-he rumours about a personal account, was a stroke of genius. The hype surrounding his take over assisted him perfectly, set the stage for a dramatic entrance to Twitter. An entrance that he nailed.
So far, Kobe has been a good communicator on Twitter, engaging with fans, posting pictures and giving fans an inside look into the life of Kobe Bryant. What's especially pleasing about Kobe on Twitter is he is starting to share his personality beyound the basketball court and TV commercials. For a player who many view negatively due to his prickly on-court demeanour, Twitter has, so far, proven to be a great tool for him to develop a more personable public voice.
Hi feed is full of photos of him in ice baths, the Lakers' training facility and even a photo with former POTUS Bill Clinton. He even had some fun with the Dwight Howard fight rumour, posting this photo:
The mamba vs d12 !! It's on lol twitter.com/kobebryant/sta…
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 7, 2013
Overall, it's been a successful beginning to the Kobe Bryant Twitter Era. That being said, it will be interesting to keep an eye on his account, with the Lakers struggling on the court this season and a Twitter account in the hands of one of the most opinionated players in the game.