The Ridiculous Day That Was In NBA Free Agency

When I went to sleep on July 7th, all seemed normal in the world. NBA summer league was in full effect, free agency was winding down, and clear winners and losers were emerging from the maelstrom of maddening moratorium mayhem. I had no way of knowing the farcical, inconceivable, and utterly ridiculous day that awaited me on the other side.

But what went down that fateful July 8th was unlike anything I had ever seen in all my years covering the league. It forever changed me. I will never be the same, nor will I ever possess the same innocent outlook on the world.

It all began at 12:02pm CT, when Chandler Parsons tweeted out a simple emoji that, unknown to anybody at the time, would send the NBA world into a frenzy.

This seemingly innocuous tweet set into motion a set of events that could forever alter the face of NBA free agency. Exactly nine minutes later, J.J. Redick would respond with a tweet of his own.

With rumors surfacing earlier that morning about DeAndre Jordan’s potential change of heart regarding his decision to sign with the Mavericks, Twitter nation began piecing the puzzle together. Parsons was telling the world that he was flying to Houston to help convince Jordan to honor his verbal commitment to the Mavs.

Redick, who keeps a summer home in Austin, had subsequently indicated, via emoji, that he was also en route to Houston to participate in the Jordan bonanza.

What happened next could be one of the greatest things to ever happen on Twitter. Blake Griffin, who would provide several of the day’s most memorable moments, then tweeted out the following:

Chris Paul, understanding the ridiculousness that was ensuing, decided to intervene and add his own emoji sentiment into the mix.

This was clearly the tweet of the day up until that point. For those of you who may not understand what Paul was trying to get across, you would be wise to check out the picture released by TMZ the day before of Paul, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union whimsically straddling a banana boat.

But not to be outdone, Paul Pierce, the newest Clipper and apparent novice at the whole smartphone business, decided he would actually download a picture of a rocket, which had absolutely nothing to do with what was going on, and insert the image into a tweet rather than simply using the rocket emoji.

This would ultimately end what had become one of the fiercest emoji battles of all time, most likely because nobody actually had the heart to tell Pierce how smartphones work. At 7:48pm that evening, Adrian Wojnarowski hit send on a tweet that set into motion another of the most strange set of events I have ever been party to.

Speculation about this tweet rapidly picked up steam, and soon everyone on Twitter was envisioning a hostage-like situation occurring between the Clippers and Jordan. It was now becoming more and more apparent that Jordan was going to renege on his commitment to the Mavs, but now the scene was taking on a motion picture-esque quality as people began to imagine Doc Rivers, Steve Balmer, Paul and Griffin forcibly staying with Jordan until he could officially sign with them at midnight .

Blake, as he so often does, played off of the absurdity of the situation when he sent out the following tweet:

As things began to crystallize, and people realized Jordan wasn’t being held against his own accord, defeat began to set in for Mavericks’ fans everywhere. Parsons may have summed up the disappointment and betrayal best with his final tweet of the evening.

Through it all, as is so often the case, Wojnarowski provided the best reporting of the evening as he laid out the scene for his followers.

Chris Broussard on the other hand, as is so often appears the case with him, appeared to make up information, while citing anonymous sources, and labeled it news.


Mark Cuban’s brother, Brian, decided to respond to what he believed to be an absurd piece of reporting by Broussard.

The speculation about the accuracy of Broussard’s reporting continued on this morning as this exchange ensued between Mark Cuban and Broussard.

When the smoke finally cleared last night, as the Clippers officially announced Jordan’s return, most NBA fans simply sat back in amazement at what had just happened.

There may be rule changes to the moratorium on the horizon that will result from this situation, but for the day, the absurdity made it one of the most fun to cover in all my years as a journalist. It was wild, it was unpredictable, and most of all, it was top-notch entertainment, once again demonstrating why the NBA is the most fun league of all.

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