So I have had the tendency to write about the NBA. Why you might ask? Well, it is not because I necessarily like the NBA, or basketball for that matter, but more of the interesting stories that seem to pop up from time to time involving the sport. I do pay a tad bit more attention (and not very much at that) to college basketball. There is nothing like some March Madness action to keep you on the edge of your seat. Do you want to see you how little I watched it this year? Who won?
But instead of talking about the NBA directly today, I will only touch on them briefly. Of course, the point of this post is a decision that they have made recently, but the underlying theme here is the player that is involved. (Who out there is an Indiana Hoosiers fan? Speaking of the Hoosiers, there is a band from over the pond called the Hoosiers, and they are incredible. And no, none of them are from Indiana.)
Mark Titus plays for Ohio State. (They are pretty good, right?) He is actually from Brownsburg, Indiana and towers at six foot four inches. He is currently a junior at Ohio State and had the chance to share the floor with Greg Oden before his numerous injuries and disappointing, but “I told you so” introduction to the NBA. (He is tall, I get it, but he can not shoot and he is clumsy. He was supposed to be the next Lebron James. But guess what everyone, there will never be another King James. He is the next Jordan. And by the time he is done he will have surpassed Jordan in every ounce of the word talent.)
Mark is on Facebook. Of course, who these days is not on facebook? (Look at how I did not capitalize the F in facebook. Have you noticed that every time you do type it you capitalize it? But why? the word is not capitalized on http://www.facebook.com so why would you capitalize it here?) He is on MySpace. And he is a blogger. (Yes, I am a blogger as well, very good!) And that blog, called Club Trillion, has had over one million hits since he began is back in 2008. (Long time ago, right?)
So Mark is your typical college student and has been subscribing to the popular media tools that are at his finger tips. I use them every day and I am obsessed with them. While some of you out there have yet to subscribe to this so called “fad” you will. You will because you will be forced into it. If you can not say what you need to say in 140 characters, then I don’t want to hear it. Mark writes to his blog his life experiences as we all do and has gotten quite a bit of attention. Of course, that attention is not the good kind as he was ready to enter the NBA draft to make the next step in his career.
Mark goes to enter the draft, and does so, only to be stopped almost immediately. He is asked to withdrawal his name from the draft. Confused and concerned as to why the NBA would ask him to do such a thing, he asks the obvious question here, “Why?” The NBA stated that his blog made simply made a “mockery” of the NBA draft process and that he would withdrawal his name “or else.”. I assume that the “or else” meant that he would be basically kicked out of the draft, hurting his career more than simply being asked to leave.
So in his situation, most would go quietly, swearing under their breath of course, about the decision and move on with their lives, play one more year in college, and delete every blog post that he or she had ever written. But Mark did the exact opposite. He has since not only kept his online presence in tact, he has blogged about the experience. It is quite the read, and I highly suggest that you take the time to read through his latest post.
This brings up quite a lot of issues and a few that I hope to create some dialog about. First off, what does that say about the Internet in itself? It says that if you blog about your life, news events, or what you had for dinner last night, people see it, people read it, and people react to it. And that is the sole point of my blog. I just want people to react, and engage, in my writing. If I can affect one person from any number of my blog posts in either a positive or negative manner, than my blog has succeeded in every way possible.
The other issue it brings up is the right of the NBA to force him out of the draft. What if he continues to blog about his life. And he plays his senior year at Ohio State, becomes a better player, and tries to enter the draft next year. Are they going to force him out again next year? Where is his freedom of speech? And is it even to be considered speech? They are words on a blog that in the grand scheme of things, no one cares about. And how do you know that he is the actual one posting it?
I actually am glad that he has continued to blog. And to blog about this at that. He is taking a step toward Internet freedom. the United States government has been in talks over the last few months of beginning the first stage of Internet law and starting to control domain names, content that is entered, and the total number of websites that can be listed on the world wide web. I mean, sure, we take the Internet for granted. I came home last night to a now empty apartment with no Internet and I sat there for a minute confused on what to do. But on top of all that the government is trying to do they are pushing for a “switch” to be able to turn on and off certain sites. They are even talking about having Internet sheriffs (and they actually call them that) that will monitor users and their activity and write virtual citations for their behavior. Seems kind of silly but you wait and see if this is not something that is put into effect in the next few years.
It is nearly a full time job keeping my personal web presence at the level that it is. And even though this is a new process for me, even, with branding myself as rickyleepotts I am starting to see results only a few weeks in. But do not tell me that the government will have the power to monitor what I say. Or better yet be able to turn the Internet on and off. And you know, even if they do, Google will come up with a way around it. (That is more than likely the way this will end, though. The government will begin to put pressure on the big web firms, like Microsoft, Google, Symantec, etc. and force them to be the bad guy. You are already seeing that in the auto industry.)
I just hope that the Internet can continue to grow. If places like Twitter, who had a 1,382% growth last month alone, can continue users to stay active, then I can not foresee other companies biting this virtual hook. I bit on a long time ago, and I am not letting go. Hook. Line. Sinker.