The stereotypes about Twitter, at least amongst oversharing athletes, are often true. The social media network is often used to talk up benign subjects like lost luggage, a massage appointment, or what’s for dinner.
NBA owners are usually just as innocuous and often boring on Twitter, because save for the occasional distasteful comment from Micky Arison or catfight diss from Mark Cuban, they have a corporate image to uphold. New’ish Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera usually works along those lines, but recently he decided to engage his most notorious player and Twitter user in a bit of trash talking – ostensibly for charity.
Via Grizzly Bear Blues, here’s the back and forth:
Hey GrindFather @aa000G9 -- How about we play 1:1 in Memphis before training camp start? I'll spot you a couple baskets to make it a game!
— Robert J Pera (@RobertPera) September 9, 2013
Thats free money!! Boss — Tony Allen (@aa000G9) September 9, 2013
It's worth noting that the 6-3 Pera does have some game. From Bloomberg:
Pera has a weekly pickup basketball game with friends, and he trains with former San Jose State player Terry Cannon. “He can really jump,” says Grizzlies CEO Levien. “He can make shots. He’s technically very proficient.” In November, at Pera’s first press conference in Memphis, a beat reporter asked if the fans would get to see him dunk. Pera hesitated a few beats before he answered: “Yeah, sure.” Levien then intervened to say he would do it some other time.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal, in attempting to learn more about the then-prospective Grizzlies owner, relayed this:
Former San Jose State player Terry Cannon said Pera came to him about three years ago looking for coaching. They work out one-on-one often in a local club, mostly in the afternoons.
"His strength is probably his shot," said Cannon, who estimated Pera at 6-foot-3. "He has great touch. He has pretty good footwork."
On the court, though, his jump shot and his competitiveness stand out.
"He doesn't like to lose," Moore said, before laughing. "He's driven. Very, very driven. He's very good at staying focused. He's a tireless worker. The guy, he loves what he does. I'm not sure in the four years I've worked with him, I think he's maybe taken a day or two off here or there."
Two days later, no word from either side as to whether or not the expected showdown will take place.
(Also, Tony? Don’t take pictures, much less tweet, while you’re driving. You have kids. And, just as importantly, most of the people in the cars you’re driving amongst have kids. Stop it.)