Internet and the NBA in 1989

iphone NBA

The Internet is 20 years old today. And how it has changed our lives — for better and worse.

March 13, 1989 a man by the name of Tim Berners-Lee forged the idea to make pornog… information available to every man, woman and child across the “world wide web.” Surely there was no way he could have imagined the full extent of what he had created — as we still do not know what lies ahead on the medium.

It is a verified fact through numerous scientific studies that it is virtually impossible to prevent a basketball writer from linking a news item to basketball in some way. Imagine what the NBA would have been like had the internet existed back in the day, as it does today. Follow the narrative, if you will.

March 13, 1989

CHICAGO, IL — The Chicago Bulls have trounced the Indiana Pacers, 122-90 to the delight of their home fans.

Michael Jordan sits, legs splayed in the lockerroom, basking in the post-match haze of another victory for this emerging giant of a squad. He calls across the room to Sam Vincent, who is discussing the latest edition of Wii game, Rock Band with Scottie Pippen, “hey, Sam — why don’t we throw some tweets at those Pacers?”

He pulls his iphone out of his left sock and surfs to twitter.

airjordan23: @therifleman yo chuck, was your rifle all jammed up tonight? 7 points!! LOL

Within seconds a reply…

therifleman: @airjordan23 yeah, wateva. a shooter is always a shooter. you obviously forgot @DunkingDutchman putting 25 & 8 on your boy @BillC

Jordan calls out to Bill Cartwright, who is showering, “Bill, Person is laying smack on you on twitter!”

Cartwright responds. “I still haven’t logged into that thing. What is it, Twit Book?” He then elbows the wall.

airjordan23: @therifleman Bill just elbowed a hole through to your lockerroom – I see your rifle is more of a revolver. ROFL. Catch you on Facebook later.

pippen33: I’ve got a migraine.

The next day Jack Haley blogged about the whole incident and how the victory was so big that he even was afforded a six minute appearance on the court.


BOSTON, MA — The Boston Celtics have just crushed the New Jersey Nets 114-91 behind 23 points from rising star Reggie Lewis.

The mood in the Nets’ lockerroom is a sombre one as they quietly board the team bus to head toward Philadelphia for their next match. Most of the players pull out their ipods and laptops to pass the time without conversation. Their moods are stretched too much.

Buck Williams surfs on his laptop, trying to take his mind off the Nets with other trivialities. But he can’t help himself and logs into Twitter.

UncleBuck: @PDXBlazersFTW Yo, you think there is any chance of me headed your direction? I can’t take this losing. 23-40 man…

TheGlide: @UncleBuck How sweet it is!! Get your double-double butt over to Portland! We’re not winning games with Damn Bowie here inside.

the_real_shackleford: @UncleBuck what’s your deal man? Show some team spirit!!

jeskeets: RT @UncleBuck @PDXBlazersFTW Yo, you think there is any chance of me headed your direction? I can’t take this losing. 23-40 man…

The Internets were alive for the rest of that night.

Meanwhile amongst the Boston players, the mood was much more jubilant and playful.

Reggie Lewis visited Joe Kleine’s Facebook page and posted the following on his wall.

“Joe, I always knew you played small — but this just proves it!! Check this link.|en|kleine  (I promise I ain’t Rick Rollin’ you).” 

And, as had become customary after every Celtics victory, Ed Pinckney celebrated by posting links to photos from the 1985 NCAA Title Game in the comments section on Patrick Ewing’s blog (always under different usernames of course).


SALT LAKE CITY, UT — The Utah Jazz upset the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-83.

As had become a post-game ritual, the Utah Jazz rushed to their iphones after the match to tee up some training for their Court Rivals team (John Stockton insisted on this). They then sat down for a de-briefing from new coach Jerry Sloan.

Sloan, Stockton and Karl Malone later emerged to spend some time with the media.

Sloan: We’re happy with the win tonight. I think we saw the hustle that we need — particularly from John and Karl. Mark Eaton was a rock inside for us, as always. I’ll pass over to John and Karl now, as I can’t say any more, I’m saving all of my stories from this season for an exclusive blog column on The National‘s site.

A reporter then asked Stockton, “John, you must be happy with the 14 assists and 5 steals tonight?”

Stockton: It’s not about numbers. It’s about winning games as a team. Without Karl, those assists would be nothing.

Malone: That’s right!! It’s Stockton to Malone, baby!! Actually, you should check out our new YouTube channel — we’ve got some great instructional videos on how to run the pick and roll. The Mailman delivers, every time!

Reporter #2: Karl, you did seem to have trouble stopping Larry Nance tonight. Was allowing him 19 points within your game plan?

Malone: — check it out!! I’ve got some great trucking videos on there too. Also check out my new site — I’ve used GPS to map out some great trucking routes. Woo!

Reporter #2: Yes, yes Karl. But what about Nance? And Rpn Harper getting to the line 15 times?

Malone: Statistics – whatever. Go plug ’em into and see if they care. Oh, oh… and Darrell Griffith has got a great new video, “Jim Farmer cuts down Tree Rollins!!”