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NBA Star Creates Buzz With His Popular Twitter Scavenger Hunts

Golden State’s social media-savvy Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors


Specs
Who Harrison Barnes
Age 21
Accomplishments NBA player (small forward with the Golden State Warriors); former UNC Tar Heel; 2011 ACC Rookie of Year
Base Oakland, Calif.

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
The first thing I do after I turn off my alarm is look at my text messages, then check my Twitter feed. I mainly check it to see what my friends are up to, but obviously I follow news outlets as well. CNN, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch—those are my big three.

You’re really active on social media. When did you start building your social media presence?
Honestly, I wasn’t even on social media until after my sophomore year of college when I went into the NBA and my agent told me I should join Twitter. I wasn’t really savvy with that stuff. When I sent out my first tweet, I didn’t even know how to reply. But over time, I started to have fun with it. I put as much time into it as I want to. I try not to make it a job.

You’ve hosted scavenger hunts where you hid prizes around the Bay Area and posted clues about their locations on Twitter and Facebook. Where did you get the idea for that?
Tony Hawk used to do scavenger hunts a long time ago. I was going to a Dave Chappelle show with a friend, and I started wondering, if we had our own scavenger hunt in the Bay Area and put jerseys in different places, would people go look for them? We initially thought that no one was going to find them or even be interested, but the response was huge. We had a blast. It’s one thing to interact with fans via social media, but to actually meet them, shake their hands and talk to them a little bit about life—it was humbling.

Who are your favorite athletes on Twitter?
Probably the funniest player in the NBA is Roy Hibbert. His Twitter feed is pure comedy. I don’t know him personally, but I love reading what he says.

What do you watch on TV?
I’m a big TV guy. Breaking Bad was my favorite of all time. I just finished this season of Homeland—tragic ending—and I like Boardwalk Empire, Modern Family, Suits, Shark Tank. I watch ESPN every morning. It’s on when we come into practice.

Tell us about your favorite app.
Right now, it’s Clash of Clans. It’s like World of Warcraft meets the Sims. I saw a TV commercial for it on Christmas Day, and I thought it looked really corny. But my sister was like, “You should get it! It’s a great game!” I tried it out, thought it was stupid, and here we are a couple weeks later, and I’m hooked. I check it every day.

How do you wind down before bed?
During the season, I try to wind down by watching some tape on my iPad, whether it’s one of my games or a classic like [Michael] Jordan or vintage Kobe [Bryant].

What’s on your reading list?
The last good book I read was The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I’m a big GQ fan, and when I can, I try to grab Inc. magazine.

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