Before tonight’s game between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA All-Star starters were announced on TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA.’ Almost immediately, “NBA All-Star Game” became a Facebook trending topic. On Twitter, “Kobe Bryant” quickly became a U.S. trending topic, but not for the usual reasons; Bryant has played a total of six games this year and the conversation largely centered on more deserving players.
Bryant’s starting backcourt teammate, Stephen Curry, was also trending on Twitter in the U.S., but the conversation surrounding Curry was positive. Curry was not selected as an All-Star last year (many thought he was snubbed), but after heroic performances in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, and a strong start to the 2013-2014 season, Curry has become a fan favorite and will start when he makes his first All-Star appearance. The Warriors guard was clearly appreciative, and posted a video via Mobli to thank fans.
The NBA has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, and it rarely repurposes existing assets when posting to the platform. Rather, it produces unique content for Instagram on a daily basis. The two images it posted immediately following the announcement, one featuring the Western Conference All-Star starters, the other featuring the Eastern Conference starters, received a total of 150,000 likes within three hours. Interestingly, the post featuring the Eastern Conference starters received 10,000 more likes than the Western Conference starters during this span.
Whereas fans vote for All-Star starters, coaches vote for the reserves. The reserves will be announced next Thursday night on TNT and will likely result in another night of social trending for the NBA. NBA All-Star 2014 will take place February 14-16 in New Orleans.