Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome to Twitter, Kendall Marshall

The winner of basketball Twitter. (
When the Phoenix Suns drafted North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall in the first round of the NBA draft back in June, the front office knew the team was getting a pass-first player who would happily facilitate for teammates. What Suns brass probably didn't know is that the No. 13 pick would be a revolutionary.

OK, "revolutionary" may be a bit much, but whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry about Marshall using the acronym "BTB" on Twitter used the word "groundbreaking."

For those not in the know about "BTB" — a group led by us all, at one time or another — it stands for "Been there, bro." The shortened term has been embraced by the basketball community on Twitter, where numerous bloggers and armchair pundits use it as a response to the thoughts of others. That sentence cannot do justice to the entertainment that BTB can bring, but the appropriate digging on the subject is not hard to do, and the discovery is a fun part of the journey.

As TrueHoop's Sean Highkin tweeted, "We have entered the twilight zone." By virtue of being the first to ask for a definition, Marshall became the first professional basketball player known to engage in BTB bandying. It is another example of how engrained social media is becoming in the world of pro sports and the increased interactivity of the celebrity/everyman dynamic in the new age of media.

Marshall's on-court performances during his rookie season, and perhaps several years into his career, will receive leeway from those in the BTB circle. He's part of the club now. One of his self-admitted detriments is trying too often to make The Big Play, but Marshall's already endeared himself to a swath of his new, pro-level audience.

As for that risky pass? btb.

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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