The NBA is currently putting the "off" in its "offseason," which means it is time to recalibrate. Take the Windex to the TV, run your beer helmet through the dishwasher twice, send those retro jerseys to the dry cleaners, and check up on the correct spelling of "haterrrrz." Also, perhaps, update your Twitter follows, in order to make sure you've got everything in place that's needed to stay in touch with the NBA as training camp approaches.
Inspired by Sports Illustrated's initial "Twitter 100" (which will be updated on Wednesday), we've put together a collection of indispensable Twitter NBA must-follows — from Internet types to newspaper giants, cranks and rooters, people with brains bigger than ours, and the slicked-back on-camera folk. In the interest of fair play we've excluded all Yahoo! Sports Twitter accounts from the proceedings; but let's face it, you're definitely already following Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears. How would you have known about any trade or signing from the last four years if you weren't?
Following the jump, take a look at our list, as lovingly compiled by the Ball Don't Lie team of Kelly Dwyer, Dan Devine and Eric Freeman. We're sure we've overlooked a few, unintentionally, so we welcome your feedback in the comments or in 140 characters or less. Fly onward, blue birdies …
In Part 4 of our five-part series, here are some People You Can Learn From, as you pull out your composition book. All follower counts as of Sept. 16, 2012:
BBallBreakdown — There's plenty of YouTube-based visual goodness from Coach Nick, as he details the ins and out of the league we love. Fascinating transaction history, a spot-on blog, insight, instruction, and a funny Twitter account. Also, you'll learn who isn't rotating well on defense and find a new way to dislike Carlos Boozer. What's not to love?
Clarence Gaines — To one generation, Clarence is the son of legendary Winston-Salem State coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines. To another, he's known as the longtime scout and second in command of the Chicago Bulls front office during the Jordan-era championship years. To an entirely new generation, though, Gaines is that go-to well for several decade's worth of hoop knowledge, and a lively debater who will make you think before you tweet. Gaines' old scouting reports, transcribed and tweeted, are just about the only reason to ever click a Sulia or TwitLonger link.
Curtis Harris — Seemingly designed in a lab just to satisfy the desperate urges of hoop junkies, Harris' various Twitter feeds and relatively newish Pro Hoops History account are the perfect vehicle for those that just can't get enough Twyman, Hillman, or Bridgeman. And if you can't place the first names of any of those players, then you're well past due to follow Curtis' exemplary feed.
David Thorpe — Thorpe doesn't tweet as often as he used to, but once the season begins and the coach pries himself out of the gymnasium you can be sure the TrueHoop contributor will be all over whatever schmuck just tried to force an entry pass over a fronting post defender instead of reversing the ball to the top of the key.
Haralabos Voulgaris — Pro Tip: This man may know more about the NBA than anyone you will ever follow on Twitter. Voulgaris is a professional gambler and NBA obsessive who's still around to keep tweeting about the NBA several years after setting up his Twitter account, so he must be doing something right.
Ian Levy -- Dedicated to the numerical and videographic minutiae of the game, with specific focus on the Pacers and Mavericks, Levy knows how to probe and teach and teach and probe and question and teach and write. Let's kick that follower count up a bit.
John Hollinger — Take away the statistics and Hollinger remains one of the more entertaining and informative writers in the game, be it in Twitter or column form. Throw in the numbers and then ask how many dozens of NBA scribes how Hollinger's work forced them happily into completely re-looking at how they cover and understand the NBA nearly a decade ago. He also tweets about beer.
John Schuhmann — They're not "stats," so much as they're "things that happened." John understands this and merges the world of advanced metrics into an accessible and informative brand of writing for NBA.com that is reeling in readers by the thousands. His power rankings, alongside SI.com's Britt Robson's, are the only ones that have ever been worth reading. EV-AH.
Kevin Arnovitz — There is such a patient tone to Arnovitz's writing that you can't help but feel like, upon finishing, that you've just read something completely new and not typical of the sportswriting realm. It's not an exacting or drawn-out style of writing, just confident and thoughtful. He does fantastic work at ESPN, and his Twitter feed is an extension of that.
Kevin Pelton — Smart, smart, smart, S-M-R-T smart. Like quite a few people on this list, Pelton's writing touch makes it so the mounds of advanced data that he combs through is ably utilized and not wasted on the lunkheads that dot your trusted BDL staff. Away from the analysis, Pelton's Twitter presence is an avuncular one, but he'll still teach 'ya. Oh, he'll teach 'ya real good.
Larry Coon — Coon was a must-follow on Usenet boards even during our dial-up days, his collective bargaining agreement FAQ has remained required reading through three different agreements, and his Twitter account is a much-appreciated one. Coon will give impromptu question and answer sessions over his account to readers that you absolutely have to follow if you're around and online at that particular moment. He also boasts a sly, dry sense of humor that is desperately needed when dealing with the NBA's endless monetary machinations.
Mark Deeks — The brain behind ShamSports could have been featured in a number of these Twitter lists, but because his website often spends our entire working day lodged in one of our browser tabs we decided to take the boring route and place Mark amongst the professors. Deeks might be the funniest man you've never met, he does exhaustive work with the NBA's salary minutiae and transaction follow-ups, and he's a stone-cold must-follow. Stone-cold fox, too, ladies. Or, some gentlemen.
NBPA — The official Twitter account of the league's players took some rightful heat in the wake of allegations against NBPA executive director Billy Hunter last spring, but the account itself is a necessary follow for hoops fans because of the great work the account often re-tweets. Player-driven stories that genuinely aren't gathered with an obvious agenda, even though that's sort of the point of the account.
Neil Paine — The former maestro behind Basketball-Reference's blog is a continually enlightening presence on Twitter. Always with the gems, this guy, and by the looks of his follower count many, many more of you should be following Neil.
Scott Schroeder — The D-League has been around for over a decade, and frankly we know precious little about the NBA's minor league. Thank goodness we have Scott, who maintains a crisp Twitter persona and is constantly informing us about … wait, he runs his own D-League team now? But who will teach us?
Tom Haberstroh — A beat reporter with an unending work ethic and significant knowledge about advanced stats? Stuck with the most closely scrutinized team of our generation? Stuck with the defending champs? And he's really good with his Twitter account? Works for us, and his tweets will work for you. (Thumbs up.)
Zach Lowe — If you don't push your computer chair back after reading a Zach Lowe column and consider this cat the finest pro basketball analyst in the universe, then there's something wrong with you. We're not saying Zach is the finest pro basketball analyst in the universe, but at the very least these are the thoughts that should be racing through your head after you finish one of his columns. He's on Twitter, too. Go follow him.
Congrats to Sebastian Pruiti, but RIP his Twitter account. :(
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