Jimmy Kimmel has had quite a bit of success getting celebrities to read mean tweets written about them on his ABC late-night program, striking a comedic nerve by having famous people confront and react to some of the awful things that we awful Internet people have to say about them at any given time. On Sunday, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" applied the bit to the NBA as part of ABC's NBA Finals coverage, having a slew of NBA players and related folks read some of the insulting stuff their adoring public is all-too happy to share in (relatively) anonymous 140-character bursts.
Some are milder than others, though I suppose one's definition of "mild" might vary depending on whether or not one is being accused of performing sexual acts with gazelles. And though Kimmel's show has come under some scrutiny in the past for faking some of the tweets participating celebrities recite, these tweets all appear to be quite real; even a couple that no longer appear to exist were still acknowledged/copped to by the people alleged to have written them. Because why not take credit for this?
(Two possible exceptions: The Costas and Kobe tweets. On the former, @annabellington27 isn't a real account and doesn't appear to have been one, though multiple people have definitely tweeted some variation on the "Bob Costas is a vampire" joke. On the latter, @Bizimana is a real account but we can't tell if it's got any Kobe tweets in its past.)
These, of course, are not actually the meanest things being written about athletes on Twitter — death threats are staggeringly common for athletes and their families, unfortunately — but those don't lend themselves quite as easily to goofs, you know? It's just as well — I'd much rather watch Rajon Rondo react to being compared to a cartoon turtle, anyway. (I just wouldn't want to be the guy who made the comparison. Rondo doesn't strike me as the kind of dude who forgets slights.)