Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Twitter & B-Ball Legends: Kevin Durant at Rucker Park

The first notices went out yesterday evening on twitter.

"If you are in New York today be sure to check Kevin Durant making his debut at Rucker Park. Anybody else loving all these nba appearances," tweeted BIL. Rucker Park is located in Harlem and is viewed as one of the most revered streetball courts in the country.

A few hours later InsideHoops tweeted "Kevin Durant is playing #streetball in the EBC at #RuckerPark tonight!" It didn't take long for more than 30 people to retweet.

Later in the night, Hoopmixtape put out the early, though vague at this point note: "Hearing reports that Kevin Durant dropped 60, 63, 66, or 70 points at the Rucker tonight lol Either way thats murder." More than 70 people retweeted.

InsideHoops tweeted to confirm and solidify the reports: "Kevin Durant (@KDtrey5) went BONKERS in Rucker Park tonight! Scored 38 after 3 quarters, finished with 66 POINTS!"

Somewhere around this time, Jessie Sapp (@YoungSapp6) tweeted a shoutout (S/O) to Durant for his performance: "S/O to my brotha @KDTrey5 for killin at Rucker.. I appreciate u showin love to my city bro..'"

Within the hour, Durant responded: "No lie, jus had one of the best times of my life at Rucker park..wow! I love NY...Harlem waddup..S/O my brotha @YoungSapp6." Over 100 people retweeted Durant's reply.

Eventually, attendees at the game began uploading their videos to youtube. The twitter account for the popular magazine Slam tweeted about the game and provided a link to its page, which include youtube videos: "SLAMonline.com: Video: Kevin Durant Plays at Rucker, Scores 66 http://bit.ly/ok4Dt6 @kdtrey5 #SLAMtv"

Over the next several hours, twitter was buzzing with comments and links to video related to Durant's 66 point feat at Rucker Park. Earlier this morning, ESPN, the expansive sports and media network, tweeted: "Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5 ) went OFF last night at Rucker Park. Here's a taste-> http://bit.ly/oXUFY8"

By 11:45 a.m., the network had provided a brief video report on their website under the title Durant Drops 66 At Rucker. The story contained the note "Thunder forward Kevin Durant plays at legendary Rucker Park in New York" and also included Durant's tweet to Sapp about having "one of the best times of my life at Rucker park."

The quick chain of events or tweets that led to ESPN covering Durant's display at Rucker Park are another example of how twitter helps break and shape a news story. Of course, Durant showed up in a big way to make the news and Rucker Park's status as a fabled b-ball location had been picking up steam for about 50 or so years already.

Still, the role twitter plays in helping accelerate the rate at which something notable, in this case an NBA player scoring 66 points on a legendary court, is noteworthy. I'm not yet prepared to give twitter credit for "revolutionizing" things, but I do acknowledge its tremendous power to accelerate what we end up learning about taking place in the world.

It's also worth noting that in order for something to become big or a trending topic on twitter, it seems necessary for many actors to, well, act in a specific location, for twitter to have various solid links such as uploads to youtube, and for multiple digital devices to used (i,e. cell phones for tweets and hand-held video cameras). Then, eventually different major outlets get involved such as Slam and ESPN to give the story visibility and a certain degree of authority.

Twitter, therefore, is a vital ingredient, but not the only one when it comes to producing a story like this one. 

Still, in this case, twitter was a key player in building the legendary status and certainly the street cred of Kevin Durant.

Related Content:
How Major Writers Become Legendary on Twitter: The Case of Colson Whitehead

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