When the final buzzer sounded last Saturday and the Golden State Warriors completed their four game sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans, the offseason had officially begun. Immediately many questions were asked by the Pelicans faithful:
Would Monty Williams and Dell Demps remain with the organization?
Would the Pelicans retain Omer Asik?
Would Anthony Davis accept the 5 year, $140+ million dollar extension that will keep him in a Pelicans uniform through the 2021 season?
Can the team remain healthy next season?
Those issues are fine and do warrant plenty of attention, but those issues cannot be resolved (aside from Monty/Dell) today. There is a free agent out there right now that could help the Pelicans organization take that next step.
I am talking about Chad Shanks or @chadjshanks.
Who the heck is that, you ask? How can someone that I have never heard of really help the organization, you say?
Chad Shanks organized the glorious troll job performed by the Houston Rockets official twitter feed. In case you missed it, he was the mastermind behind the Houston Rockets official twitter account. However, he recently lost his position as the digital communications manager because of the following tweet:
The tweet was sent out towards the end of Game 5 between the Mavericks and the Rockets in which Dallas was eliminated. For those of you that do not speak emoji, the tweet contained a horse’s head with a gun pointing at the head and followed by "Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon."
What made this such a humorous and well-timed tweet was the divisional rivalry that currently exists between these two franchises. With both teams experiencing recent success, the rivalry has been taken to a whole new level. Also, it hasn't helped matters that Mark Cuban and perceived genius, Daryl Morey, have come to blows via the media over various issues over the past few years. Here is a history of the bad blood between the two:
Dwight Howard choosing Houston over Dallas;
The hiring of Houston executive Gersson Rosas by Dallas as GM, but Rosas resigned and returned to Houston;
Dallas signing Chandler Parsons to a max contract;
Morey tried to "woo" Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki.
Then, right before the first round of the 2015 Playoffs, Mark Cuban made the following statements:
"James Harden, I think, is the MVP. Because that’s not a very good team over there (Rockets)."
All of that drama and rivalry, plus the fact that the Rockets have not had a huge amount of playoff success lately, led to the tweet.
My opinion on the tweet is that it was funny. I saw it on my phone the moment it was sent out and laughed. However, anything that can be construed as remotely funny in this society will be guaranteed to have a group of people that are offended by that statement.
The "internet mob" grabbed their pitchforks and torches and went after the Rockets and Chad. These people actually associated the two emojis in the tweet, with actual violence! Chad wasn’t fired because of the unfortunate order he placed those two exact emojis; he was fired because we cannot mix humor in our sports. No trash talking is allowed in digital media, apparently.
So what would bringing in Chad Shanks do for the Pelicans? He would instantly create a buzz about the Pelicans twitter account. To a much higher degree than the Atlanta Hawks account, which received accolades as the best NBA twitter account. I want the Pelicans to be the best in every facet of the organization. Hiring Chad to run the Pelicans official twitter account would accomplish that task, as far as digital media goes.
Remember how everyone felt when the Pelicans made The Special Man commercial? Pelicans fans would have a chance to replicate that feeling on every game night because who knows what gem Shanks might possibly be able to unleash into the twittersphere. (In case you were wondering if Shanks is a one hit wonder, he is not.)
Lastly, if I were a betting man, Mark Cuban is already speaking with him to bring Shanks in as the Mavs new digital communications manager. If the Pelicans swoop in and get him first, the Rockets and Mavs would be losing him to a divisional rival!
Tom Benson said he would give Monty and Dell the resources necessary to succeed. Well, giving the Pels the best social media account in the league would be a great way to start the off-season.
UPDATE: Since I wrote the rough draft of this article, Chad was a guest on ESPN’s The Dan Lebatard Show and accepted $500 to run the shows twitter account for the weekend. Pels fans, follow Chad, tweet him and the Pelicans official account and be a part of the Pelicans taking the next step in becoming the best organization in the NBA!