Skiles: No Tweeting in the Locker Room!
"We made a point to Charlie and the team that it's nothing we ever want to happen again," Skiles told the AP after practice Tuesday. "You know, (we) don't want to blow it out of proportion. But anything that gives the impression that we're not serious and focused at all times is not the correct way we want to go about our business."
Ironically, Villanueva's offending message noted a need to get serious and focused, saying, "Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up." That's exactly what Villanueva did: he scored 15 of his team-high 19 points after halftime (including 11 in the fourth quarter) helping the Bucks to an impressive 86-77 win over the Celtics. Unfortunately, like Skiles said, perception is reality; this could have just as easily backfired if the Bucks lost.
Does this mean this is the last time we'll see an athlete reach out to fans mid-game using social media? I highly doubt it.
Once upon a time, I'm sure interviewing coaches or players on TV at halftime seemed intrusive, but over time, television became an accepted (and more importantly, sponsored) medium. Now, we have cameras mounted on locker room walls recording halftime speeches, and players and coaches wired for sound eavesdropping on in-game conversation. Some games are even simulcast on the web, allowing viewers to control multiple camera angles and vote on what players they want cameras to follow.
As social media becomes more widely accepted and utilized (and, ahem, monetized) by leagues and teams, you can count on fan interaction extending beyond voting on camera angles to include actual interaction with players, whether it's asking questions at halftime via Twitter or something else entirely, using a web service that hasn't even been created yet.
This is all exciting and new and still being figured out, so in the meantime, yes, I can accept Skiles putting the hammer down as the Bucks and the NBA determine what are some reasonable boundaries. But at some point in the future, perhaps sooner than we realize, these types of intimate fan interactions will become the norm, not the exception.