Glen "Big Baby" Davis of the Boston Celtics is a lovable soul. Until he doesn't get a contract.
At least that was the conclusion reached by the more than 1,600 people who followed him on Twitter at twitter.com/bigbabybball.
Despite being a popular member of the Celtics roster, the team hasn't offered him a contract. So his alleged Twitter page tweeted July 14: "Man I love Boston, this is where I started my career! But sometimes you forget that this is a business!!!!"
Which he then followed up with: "celtic have to do what best for them and you guys the fans !You guys need to facebook or myspace and tweet everybody. Keep Bigbaby in bos."
It is your remit to decide whether Big Baby really is a big baby. But he or his altered ego continued in a hurt vein on August 4: "Anybody knows what's going on with the celtics? Cause I don't !!!!!"
On August 6, he became more conciliatory: "Thanks for the love guys !! I can't blame the celtics !! They are doing what's best for the club."
As the media began picking up on Davis' discomfort, he suddenly went to Celtics management and declared that the Twitter page was not his.
Most commentators seem to believe this. Patrick Mauro of NBA blog "Protect the Paint" (Disclosure: I have been known to write there, but please don't let that stop you from clicking the link) was one. He suggested: "If it is him, you'd think he'd just pull a Brian Wilson--the San Francisco Giants' closer who tweeted about fun on the road--then quickly eliminated the account when those tweets threatened to cause an uproar."
The Big Baby account is still active, although the poster has since tweeted: "You really think this the real Bigbaby!!!! If you think so !!!your wrong..."
But isn't there something a little more disturbing here? Yes, you could imagine by inspecting closely that the likelihood was that this feed was a hoax. This Big Baby was following only nine people--all of them rather attractive women, including Solange Knowles and Kim Kardashian.
And every pulsing being is surely aware that no NBA player would risk having his ego dampened by not following Shaq and some other NBA luminaries. Following them adds to the player's own cachet--especially a fringe star such as Davis.
But the bigger issue resides with Twitter. If you are going to be the "pulse of the planet," as its leaked plans suggest, then surely planet dwellers have a right to know who and what is really out there.
Twitter has trumpeted its "Verified Account" system, whereby a nice tick is given to those whose feeds reflect their true selves. However, this system seems to be entering fruition very slowly.
It is still, therefore, perfectly reasonable to believe that Big Baby's Twitter page was, indeed, written by him or by one of his associates in order to persuade the Celtics to offer him a contract. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that he disowned it when he feared the tweets might backfire and when he saw that perhaps he wasn't quite as marketable as he had hoped.
As Mauro said: "Was he really deluded into thinking there was a robust market for a guy pushing 300 pounds coming off a season in which he averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds in 76 games?
Even if Davis had nothing to do with this Twitter page, one can see why many, including those in the Celtics front office, might believe that he did.
Do the folks in the Twitterdome not feel that perhaps they might have to accelerate the verifiability of their feeds before material damage has been done?
I wonder where Big Baby will be playing next year. And I wonder what kind of contract he might get.