It was the tweet that sparked one of the more ridiculous days in recent NBA memory:
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With that one plane emoji, fired off shortly after reports began to circulate that free-agent center DeAndre Jordan had started to change his mind about leaving the Los Angeles Clippers to join the Dallas Mavericks in free agency, Mavericks swingman/lead recruiter Chandler Parsons touched off a social-media firestorm. The viewing public took Parsons' tweet to mean that he was heading to Houston for one last meeting with Jordan to attempt to convince him to hold fast and stick to the agreement he'd made with Mark Cuban one week earlier; many Clippers soon responded in kind.
🚙— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) July 8, 2015
✈️🚁🚙— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 8, 2015
🍌🚤— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 8, 2015
🏊— Mike Woodson (@MikeWoodsonNBA) July 8, 2015
The insanity soon spread to totally uninvolved parties, like Kobe Bryant and Tony Romo, and became a ludicrous viral happening that, according to those involved, far outstripped the reality of the situation, which — as you surely know — ended with Jordan back in L.A., the Mavs up a certain creek, and Cuban and Doc Rivers waging a war of words that continues two months later.
The damnedest thing about it? According to Parsons, that plane didn't mean what we thought it meant. From an interview on Dallas' KRLD-FM, as transcribed by SportsDayDFW.com:
I loved the emojis during all of that, and then everybody started jumping on that and there were emojis everywhere — did you enjoy all that, or was it too stressful to enjoy it?
Parsons: You know what's funny? Actually, when I tweeted that plane emoji, I was leaving LA and going to Vegas for my girlfriend's birthday. I wasn't even going to Houston. I didn't even think about it initially, then it started blowing up, and obviously the timing of it was perfect and then it just kind of took off with J.J. [Redick] tweeting the car and [Chris Paul] and everybody — I saw the Dodgers, the Warriors, Kobe, MJ, everybody started tweeting it so that was more funny than ever. At that point, it was already over and he was going back to the Clippers, so might as well make light of it.
Oh. OK, then. So ... too late to delete all those tweets, everyone?
Whether you believe Parsons' story to be a correction of the record or an attempt to revise history in a way that limits his own exposure — I mean, if you weren't trying to hop on the private jet that you and Cubes had used in your previous attempt to seal the deal and in fact weren't even talking about trying to get another sitdown with Jordan, then did you even really lose out? — is, at this stage, pretty much immaterial. The Clips' gain was the Mavericks' loss, the relationship between Jordan and Parsons has changed forever, and we're now forced to take every emoji — even ones screenshotted and tweeted as picture attachments by future Hall of Famers — with more than a few grains of salt.
Oh, well. At least we'll always have our weird, exceptionally specific and exceedingly difficult-to-explain-to-someone-who-doesn't-use-social-media jokes.
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