CHICAGO - When I made the plunge from the dying newspaper industry unto the vibrant yet complicated world of the online media a few years ago, I was encouraged by my new-found peers to join Twitter.
I politely declined.
Because I'm an old timer and when I have something to say, good or bad, about anything, you better believe I'll come out swinging with more than just 140 insufficiently lame characters.
But while preparing for my upcoming NBA Finals trip to Cleveland yesterday I found myself scouring through Twitter. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is setting Twitterverse on fire for all the wrong reasons. And I want to witness it in all its undignified glory.
We hate crashes but we watch it anyway. We watch it for the gore, the bloodshed, and the volatility that makes life so fickle.
"I like Ty Lue, and think he's an underrated coach but his insistence on playing Clarkson is just indefensible," Nick Wright of Fox Sports 1 said.
"Jordan Clarkson might be the only guy in the league who doesn't care that he shares the floor with LeBron James. Treats every possession like, 'I'mma let you finish, You might be the greatest of all time, but it's my time to shine," added Michael Lee of Yahoo! Sports.
"This machine can produce 300 bricks a minute," read a tweet from Business Insider.
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer sounded more mystified than irked, "Why does Ty Lue have Jordan Clarkson out there?'
I unearthed many more tweets. Some were hilarious, others scathing, and a few do not the deserve the ink in this family-oriented publication.
Bottom line is this: Ang lupit ng social media.
The stones of contempt hurled at Jordan are foul but not necessarily flagrant.
All is fair in love and war. It also rings true in the arena of sports, where heroes are beatified while the mere mortals are crucified in the altar of unmet expectations.
I love Jordan Clarkson. A lot. And I feel sorry for him, but he gave his critics the sticks they are now using to flog him.
In his maiden playoffs appearance, Jordan has appeared in 19 games thus far. And he has not acquitted himself well, averaging just 4.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists per while logging in 15.1 minutes a contest. He has made only 37 of 123 field goals and 11 of 46 triples. Do the math to get his percentages and try not to cringe.
In two NBA Finals games so far, JC averaged only thee points per. He is 3-of-13 from the field and 0-for-3 from long distance. Jordan made an assist during garbage time of Game Two but as Tom Haberstroh of ESPN pointed out, it was his first dime since Game 4 of the Celtics series. Ouch.
During that span, JC's line is this - 113 minutes and 39 points; 16-of-56 from the field and 6-of-21 from long distance. He also has two turnovers and a solitary free throw.
Naturally, the condemnation was swift from a Cleveland fan base where the clamor for a championship grows louder with each passing rumor that this might indeed be LeBron's last season as a Cavalier.
I tried all my limited powers to get hold of Jordan and ask for his comments. but the exercise proved as futile as Cleveland's gallant attempt to make these 2018 NBA Finals even remotely competitive.
Jordan is probably feeling blue like his blinding bright Nikes but he can find comfort in the song by the Shirelles, which says, "Mama said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this Mama said."
As bad as it may all seem, Jordan is still "lucky" he isn't J.R. Smith.
Each time Smith stepped in the free throw line in Game Two, the jampacked crowd at the Oracle Arena sarcastically chanted "MVP MVP!," obviously referring to his Game One mental blunder that helped the Warriors steal the series opener in overtime.
The mockery was an unchained, unhinged melody of taunting that was cruelly savage. I hope and pray that Smith finds a hole big enough to hide him.
As for Clarkson, well, he is 25. He is young and rich beyond his wildest dreams, thanks to a four-year $50 million contract extension he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last July 2016. As they say, money doesn't buy you happiness but if you have it, you can at least choose your misery.
According to celebrity website TMZ. Jordan just bought a Woodland Hills home in Los Angeles for a cool $3.2 million. The palatial abode has a "chef's kitchen, dope home theater, a salt water pool, a spa and a BBQ center." He can chill there, nurse his wounded pride, and get ready for the next season.
Jordan Clarkson was in the news cycle for a few days but once Golden State completes what I believe will be a sweep, we will all forget about him and Smith.
All we will talk about is the baby GOAT that is LeBron James and his legacy of going just 3-for-6 in the NBA Finals. James has the most steals in the history of the NBA playoffs with 417, but he can't steal this destined 2018 title from the Warriors.
Sure, Twitter had fun roasting Clarkson. But it will have a feast in frying the bigger King fish that is LeBron.