There have been two themes over the past two weeks on NBA social: subtweets and throwback pictures. Stars have unfollowed their teams on social media, the flames from an old rivalry were stoked with a simple like, and a player unintentionally dissed his own teammate.
Here are the social media moments of Weeks 4 and 5 of the playoffs (with apologies to Elfrid Payton's new hair):
Cousins, Schroder unfollow their teams on IG
New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins enters unrestricted free agency this summer and, as ESPN's Zach Lowe reported, the franchise is weighing its options as to what type of contract it wants to offer Cousins -- if it re-signs him at all.
All of the speculation and uncertainty around his future might have upset Cousins, as he unfollowed the Pelicans on Instagram. When a fan commented and asked Cousins why he unfollowed his team, Cousins commented back "cause I'm grown."
- hawktom (@thomasquires) May 16, 2018
Cousins isn't the only disgruntled player unfollowing his team.
Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder unfollowed the Hawks on Instagram and deleted all of his Instagram pictures except for one -- erasing any evidence on his social channel that he ever was associated with the Hawks.
Dennis Schroder has unfollowed the Hawks on instagram and deleted every Hawks related post. pic.twitter.com/WFpmNMbYes
- Top 3 Reddit (@ATLHawks_Reddit) May 15, 2018
Does this mean Cousins won't re-sign with the Pelicans? Or that Schroder is going to demand a trade? Are we simply looking into this too much?
Who knows? Regardless, this is fun. We'll see how things play out this offseason with these two.
Tatum's tweet asking LeBron to follow him resurfaces
Six years ago, a 14-year-old Jayson Tatum reached out to LeBron James on Twitter, reminding him that they had met -- even including a photo of their encounter from years prior -- and then asking James to follow him back. The internet found Tatum's old tweet, because the internet remains undefeated.
Now he'll be seeing him in the Eastern Conference finals. pic.twitter.com/bINf70ZREF
- ESPN (@espn) May 10, 2018
As Drake raps, your idols become your rivals. And though James is averaging 28 points, 7.3 rebounds and 11 assists against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, Tatum's team has the 2-1 lead. His younger self would be proud.
Kobe likes tweet praising him over LeBron
Kobe Bryant versus LeBron James is a never-ending debate for their fans. Listen to a Bryant fan or James fan talk about it, and it's not even close. Nike famously played off of the debate with a series of commercials featuring puppet versions of Bryant and James in 2009.
On a recent episode of his ESPN+ show "Detail," Bryant broke down James' matchup against the Celtics. After the episode debuted, a fan tweeted that Bryant is more skilled than James, and Bryant liked the tweet.
Since then, Bryant unliked the tweet, most likely to defuse the situation. This far from settles the argument between Bryant fans and James fans, but we now know where Bryant stands on the matter.
Booker takes inadvertent (?!) shot at Jackson
After it was announced that Josh Jackson would be representing the Phoenix Suns at the NBA draft lottery, Suns star Devin Booker tweeted at Jackson and told him to do better than he did at last year's draft lottery, when Booker represented the Suns and they secured the No. 4 pick, which became Jackson.
- Devin Booker (@DevinBook) May 9, 2018
While Booker could have literally meant secure a pick higher than No. 4 -- it makes sense to prefer the highest pick possible -- it's difficult not to take that as an indirect shot at Jackson, who had a somewhat up-and-down rookie season (though he did finish strong after the All-Star break).
Of course, the Suns ended up winning the No. 1 pick on Tuesday night, meaning Jackson indeed did do better than Booker. Booker tweeted the eyes emoji afterward.
- Devin Booker (@DevinBook) May 16, 2018
No hard feelings, right?
Kuzma, Hart go back and forth with throwback trolls
In what has basically become a weekly segment, the Los Angeles Lakers' young guys continue to roast one another on Twitter.
Who has the worst hairline/hair out of the group?
A.) @ZO2_ sporting the "my pops my barber bro!" Haircut.
B.) @MELOD1P with the "El debarge"
- kuz (@kylekuzma) May 10, 2018
Hart responded with a couple of jabs at old photos of Kuzma, including a mirror selfie.
Boy your big "daddy can I use your dress clothes. I got senior pics today" pic.twitter.com/90qca05uBm
- Josh Hart (@joshhart) May 10, 2018
- Josh Hart (@joshhart) May 10, 2018
Later in the week, Hart trolled the fact that Kuzma is up for the Style award at the NBA awards show on June 25.
- Josh Hart (@joshhart) May 11, 2018
LaMelo chimed in as well, claiming Kuzma hacked computers to nominate himself.
- Melo (@MELOD1P) May 11, 2018
The Lakers' ongoing beef -- which has really become Kuzma vs. Hart this offseason -- is a beautiful thing.
Timberwolves take random shot at Lakers fans
When you think of NBA rivalries, or even just teams that don't like each other, you don't typically think of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers. But when the Wolves' Twitter account saw a tweet about Twitter trying to filter out "bad tweets," the Timberwolves used the opportunity to take a shot at Lakers fan, implying that they tend to have bad tweets.
basically anything coming from lakers fans https://t.co/Zg3eXRgO05
- Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 15, 2018
Though it was certainly random, a lot of fan bases don't like Lakers fans on social media because their fans often have the confidence and entitlement of a franchise that has won 16 titles and enjoyed all-time greats, for better or worse. These types of tweets only add fuel to the fire, though. The Wolves can expect a lot more Lakers fans in their mentions after this (just check the replies to their tweet).