September 29, 2022 | 7:59 pm
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The NBA and Twitter are taking over the fan engagement space on social media

A special edition of The Baseline and it’s all about the NBA and Twitter. Joined by special guests, Kelsey Taylor, Senior Manager of Sports Partnerships at Twitter & creator of Hoops Spaces Christopher Barnett we break down and discuss the future of the NBA and its fan engagement through Twitter and how they will move the needle elevating their digital fan experience.

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Full show transcript below. Please be advised transcription is not 100% accurate and will contain typos and errors.

Cal Lee 00:01
This is the baseline, discussing the hot button topics of the end. Be a welcome everybody you’re tuned to the baseline Callie Warren Shaw Jabari Davis discussing the hot button topics of the NBA special edition of the baseline as we get into probably one of the most important aspects of where the NBA is going and where it’s headed to. And it’s not even regarding what the guys are doing on the basketball court, but the business at hand off the court. And this is what we consider as the NBA Twitter special because we have got some important people on board with us to talk about really how their imprint is going to have an impact on the way that we consume. NBA talk and the NBA spaces and the partnerships there have and I can’t wait for us to get into it. So let me go and roll out the red carpet to my peoples WWW dot shot sports dotnet Big Kahuna PNC a man Mr. Warren sharp and out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And out on out in the west side, my man, Jabari Davis doing this thing out in Tucson. What is good brothers.

Warren Shaw 01:05
I am stoked, like on the floor excited about what we have this week. Listen coming off all night last weekend to what we’re about to get into right now. This is the baseline is just going to new heights brother and I’m just again I can’t even I can’t even put it into words family JD How you feeling bro?

Jabari Davis 01:22
Same deal here and I gotta completely I gotta be honest with you. When I you know, when I join you guys, I wonder like, are we going to be able to do this specifically because you know, it’s already kind of a crowded booth. But I gotta give you guys both props you guys handled you guys, like two weeks in a row, stellar guests lined up. And I’m just happy to be

Cal Lee 01:38
well, we’re happy you’re a part of it as well to man, you know, you’re you’re bringing in the festivities, party favors and everything, man. So but we definitely have a jam packed show for you guys. And I’m telling you, your ears are going to be blessed with some quality content that we cannot wait to bring to the to the forefront. So in a little bit, we are going to have really one of the most dynamic individuals right now a part of Twitter. She is the Senior Manager of sports partnerships. Kelsey Taylor will be joining us to talk about the relationship that Twitter has along with the NBA and where that’s going to be going in the future and really what lies ahead. And then also a little bit later on and cannot wait. We have a great, great, great guy. He’s a host for coop spaces as he is the creator of the show called who spaces which you can find Monday through Friday at 10am. Amen. Christopher Barnett, he’s going to be hopping on board with this as well too, to be talking about his show and the quality of partnership that he has going on with Twitter and the steps that they have moving forward. So a lot a lot, a lot of discussions being had. And we are so grateful to have these guys on board so you don’t want to miss out on it. As always, we got to do the plugs. Be sure to get them on Michelle Astra Sports NBA get me a game face Lee, my manager Barry Davis said Jabari Davis MBA the show’s twitter handle at NBA baseline, you know where to find us. Just add the baseline to your search engine when you’re looking for podcasts, and allow us to be a go to resource discussing all things happening in association. If you want to catch this episode and our other episodes, be sure to check us at WWW dot baseline That is the home. Also we roll with the 19 media family. So be sure to go to www dot 90 Media Group comm they run these content streets. So it’s not just basketball talk, maybe it’s music, culture, entertainment life, you name it, they got it. Be sure to check those guys out and all of the quality programming that’s coming out of the 19 Media Group family. So we’re not going to waste any time we’re going to make sure that we keep you guys on lock, kick back, relax, and listen to some really really good stuff. as we as we embark on our journey with the baseline and Twitter and how they are taking over the NBA planet. You don’t want to miss this here on the baseline.

Cal Lee 04:42
Cal Lee, Warren Shaw, Jabari Davis. This is the baseline and our special show as we venture into the dynamics of the NBA, and its force in the social media and digital spaces and I think it’s apropos that we are able to bring on board with us, one of the key people who are helping to kind of lead the NBA in that dynamic space and continue to be a force in all of major sports, especially with this unique partnership that they have with Twitter, who we have with us this week, and we’re really excited to to have her on board. She is Senior Manager sports partnership. Kelsey Taylor, on board with us, Kelsey, thank you for helping us really understand the partnership that Twitter has with the NBA.

Kelsey Taylor 05:39
Of course, thank you so much for having me. Very excited to talk to you today.

Cal Lee 05:44
Absolutely. So the first question that we would like to ask because, obviously, for people to really understand who makes this, this this space work and how it operates is, can you give us a little insight into your background, and how you entered this role with Twitter?

Kelsey Taylor 06:04
Sure, yeah, I have a little bit of a background where I worked at a few different amazing companies thus far my career. After I graduated from the Wharton School at UPenn. I started my career on Wall Street, actually in investment banking at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch. I focused on like financial modeling and research related to investment opportunities for our clients focus mostly on the tech and media space. And after that is when I really started to dive into the sports industry, where I worked at the NFL, the National Football League, and media strategy and business development. And so while I was there, I helped drive the NFL media business by evaluating different opportunities in the media industry. And I manage our media rights with some of our key strategic partnerships like DirecTV and Sunday Ticket, there’s night football at the time with NBC, CBS, and Amazon, having you know, live NFL games on a digital platform was was pretty new at that time. So it was really great and fun to work on that business from from a league perspective. And then after the NFL, that brings me to where I am now at sports partnerships at Twitter. And here, I get to work on strategic partnerships with both sports leagues and media partners to bring truly the most premium sports content to Twitter, and drive advertising revenue. So I have amazing partners like NBC Sports just finished doing a bunch of stuff with them for Tokyo Olympics, and we’re already preparing for Super Bowl in Beijing, Winter Olympics, US Open with usta WNBA. And of course, the NBA, which we’re here to talk about today. So very fortunate to have worked in a few different environments, and really happy and excited to be at Twitter where I am in this workspace now.

Warren Shaw 07:56
Well, Kelsey, you’re stunt’n on us here, right? I mean, that’s quite the resume, I can see why Twitter was like Yo, we need to get her immediately. So congratulations on all your previous success. And even kind of what I know you’re going to bring to the Twitter aspect as well. How long has no of course, how long has MBA and Twitter kind of been in partnership and just kind of what makes the NBA great fit for what Twitter does.

Kelsey Taylor 08:22
Yeah, so the NBA has been a partner with of Twitter’s for eight years and counting. So I’ve been at Twitter for two and a half years. I can’t take credit for the full eight years, but very, very strong partnership we have in place. They joined back in 2009 on the platform, that app NBA handle you, you know and love has been on the platform since 2009. And they’ve built one of the largest Twitter communities in the world. They have more than 380 million followers globally, across the league, the teams and the players. And fans tweet a lot about the NBA hundreds of 1000s of tweets per day. So everything about the NBA obviously makes it great for Twitter. They’re a leader in the sports industry, both on and off the court, you know, you’ve seen a lot of the social justice movements that they’ve done. And then they’re just fun. You know, they have great plays great moments. They’re an awesome sport. But funny moments, serious moments. You know, Twitter is really the place to find out what’s happening. And since there’s always something fun, or always something to pay attention to happening at the NBA. It just makes us a perfect fit. We see a lot of folks on Twitter agree that being part of the conversation on Twitter really helps them feel more connected to the game. So Twitter allows for that sort of second screen experience where you’re definitely missing out if you’re not on NBA Twitter, tweeting and engaging on the platform while you’re watching NBA games on TV. So it’s a really great partnership we have in place and I only see us growing From here,

Cal Lee 10:02
Senior Manager of sports partnerships, Kelsey Taylor joining us here on the baseline, be sure to catch her on Twitter at Kelsey Aaron at KELSEYE R. I n. So, Kelsey, you know, it’s really impressive what we’re seeing taking place here. And actually, there was an article that that was an extension from last year and one of the major print media’s that discussed how, you know, the NBA is is like, you know, moving forward with regards to its place in digital media, and how it’s becoming front and center. And it’s all because of its dynamic partnership with with Twitter. So is the partnership limited in scope? Or does it cover all that his NBA meaning players, teams, other branding partners, and etc?

Kelsey Taylor 11:00
Yeah, that’s a great question. So the sort of headlines that you see when NBA is partnering with with Twitter, that’s, that’s for our core partnership with the league itself. So like Twitter, and the league, like that National Basketball Association, but whenever we’re doing different content opportunities, or activation executions, we work with the league to tap into the teams and players as well. So it really is a holistic partnership. We also have strong relationships with the teams and players directly. So we work with the individual teams and players to help them grow and engage with their own Twitter fan bases, and also help drive monetization opportunities for them as well. So you’ll see you know, the key handle always, you know, creating great content and engaging with their fans. So we have, you know, a great relationship there, or, you know, where you see individual players, maybe on a space, that’s something that you know, is likely our team working with them to help create. So whenever we have new products and new opportunities, we’re tapping into the relationships with the teams and the players as well. So we’re very fortunate to have touch points and great partnerships in place across the full NBA community. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t share more about our WNBA relationship. I know this is focused on the NBA, but our WNBA WNBA partnership has a special place in my heart, we have an incredible partnership with the W. And hopefully you’ve had a chance to see some of the awesome work we’ve done. In the past with this the 25th season just recently ending we had a great experience with them throughout that season, to really bring great and opportunities for fans on the platform.

Warren Shaw 12:46
No, you absolutely did. And I think we’re big fans of the W here as well, too. And we saw or I think everybody saw you know, the the piece with REI Re and what she’s been able to do as well to just you know, the WNBA is so important like that is that is that is not you know, folklore that is for real, that is a real estate and if we ever heard one, right. So with the partnership, specifically with the league, and I’m so excited about some of the stuff that you’ve mentioned, or touched on it, it makes me wonder, you know, kind of go in this multiverse branching off in so many different conversations. But when we talk about the league, specifically, and what and what what Twitter wants to do with their spaces, what we’ve seen so far, is, you know, people in high, high level host if you will, like, you know, the Taylor rooks and Channing fries, and so forth and so forth. I want to ask, well, the Twitter run spaces be interactive, because what we’ve seen so far is pretty much the A I want to say kind of a linear conversation with those hosts, and a bunch of people joining in and listening and they’re super engaging. But how will Twitter spaces potentially become interactive, if at all?

Kelsey Taylor 13:46
Yeah, so our spaces with the league, and our sort of NBA related partnerships have really taken off. You know, once when Twitter launched spaces, just a few months back, we had no way to foresee what would happen, you know, with spaces in the sports space, especially because clubhouse, you know, honestly was was where the audio conversation was happening. But being you know, NBA Twitter is just really, as I mentioned, a very engaged community. They it was it was almost like it was always there. We’ve had great listenership and consistent listenership across the spaces we’ve done with the league and our other NBA related partnerships. Some of them have an interactive, some of them haven’t. So we try to play with the mix and the style of the spaces so we keep it fresh and entertaining for fans. So for example, just a few weeks ago, we had Dirk join and he spoke about his journey in basketball and you know what it was like for him when he first started out all the way up until now, and that’s more of, you know, listening and learning and Those of us who are really big fans of the league, just enjoy that, right? Like just hearing from a star like Derek, tell us more about his journey. But then sometimes we do, you know, source questions from the audience, to have them ask questions directly to talent or players so that they can feel more engaged in that space. So it truly depends on the nature of the space and what we’re doing at the moment, that will dictate, you know, will we allow for fans to come off just being a listener and be a speaker or for them to submit questions in advance, but we play with the format. And hopefully, you know, throughout the rest of the season, you see us do just that.

Warren Shaw 15:48
Let me ask this kind of maybe an in source of follow up. So just what’s the responsibility? I mean, maybe to that as well, too. And how’s the basketball community kind of overall, embracing spaces? I mean, it’s really, it’s really great, because I see a lot of things happen in the social media, like, one company does one thing, and then another company kind of comes in does it better? Right. And I think in some aspects, you know, again, you mentioned clubhouse, like, it’s really interesting, because, you know, I think for me, I’m not even an iPhone user. So I couldn’t get into clubhouse to begin with. So I was like, whatever. And I don’t want to download another app. So to me, I’ve had Twitter, I’ve had Twitter for a very long time. And it was just dope that that experience kind of came to Twitter in general, just how do you think basketball the community of basketball is embracing spaces and kind of everything that you’re doing? I know, you touched on a little bit, but we can get more in depth

Kelsey Taylor 16:36
know that they really are. And I think honestly, you know, we obviously take credit, we will take credit for our product team building an awesome product for spaces, but to your point, because the conversation in the community is already on Twitter and engaging with the NBA the league, I mean, the the teams, the players, having a new product embedded in Twitter makes it natural for them to join and want to participate and engage in spaces. So it has been a really great adoption that we’ve seen. Again, the listenership that we’re seeing is very impressive. The NBA has a very strong listenership, even compared to other sports leagues, where the sort of trend that we’ve always seen and NBA, Twitter always sort of showing up engaging, and being a part of the content that we offer with the league, actually, was very parallel and consistent across into spaces. So the spaces opportunity is relatively new. I know. You know, we just announced our deal last last couple weeks. But what we’ve seen so far in the consistent spaces that we’ve been having weekly since that deal announcement is fans are excited, and they’re joining and they’re listening. And we hope that that momentum continues.

Cal Lee 18:05
This is the baseline, Callie Warren Shaw, Jabari Davis, discussing the hot button topics of the NBA and joining us is Kelsey Taylor, Senior Manager of sports partnerships. You can catch her on Twitter, at Kelsey Aaron. More importantly, you can also make sure you catch a capture all of a lot of the wonderful stuff that we’ve just been discussing by going to at Twitter sports. So, at least at a time, Kelsey, you know, for all the times I’ve known, it seems like Thursday night is the night it seems like it’s fight night when it comes to competing for the hearts and minds of the sports viewer and FL tries to do it, NBA has been a part of it. And essentially, atop that timeline, you know, people now have have moved themselves into different spaces for them to enjoy their sports, whether they’re doing it via through streaming apps, or still, you know, old fashioned get on either Fox or to TNT or things of that nature. Um, will there be a time when Twitter users can watch a live NBA game on the platform while using it?

Kelsey Taylor 19:20
Yeah, so you know, the thing about Twitter and the content that performs the best is we always work to have the best like I mentioned the most premium content from our sports partners, but we also want to make sure that the content is engaging and interactive for fans. So fans on Twitter really enjoy you know, the short form, highlight clips catching up on you know, what just happened or real time, you know, the dunk that, you know, just occurred in a game, but they also like to take part in the content and feel like they can engage and interact with it. So we do have a live content franchise called NBA Twitter live and that’s in partnership. With the NBA and Turner, Turner Sports. So that’s an opportunity where we have a second half live stream of games throughout the season primarily during temple times, like the opening week or all star or playoffs and finals. So we work with Turner and the NBA to actually bring about 20 per season, live second halves of games on Twitter. So what makes it really fun and interactive for fans and sort of an only on Twitter opportunity is fans are actually able to vote in a poll that goes out about an hour before the game starts on which player they want to see most in the second half live stream. So it’s actually an isolated camera on a on one player, when the fans actually tune in to watch the show. So say, you know, the nuts are playing the Lakers, and LeBron wins the vote. When fans tune in to the live stream that we have on Twitter, they see you know, Channing Frye and Taylor rooks, and you know, the talent actually hosting a show where you’re watching the second half of the live stream with them. And that live stream is focused on LeBron. So if LeBrons on the bench, or you know, he’s not doing something active, of course, you’re not going to watch him on the bench, you’ll see gameplay, but the focus is on him most of the time, so that fans are able to see him following their vote to watch him most. So we actually do have that franchise already. On the platform, this is the fourth season that we’re entering. For NBA Twitter alive. It’s one of our favorites. Because, you know, Twitter isn’t the place where you just sort of take what’s on TV and throw it on Twitter. That’s not fun for our fans and our platform. So we really love NBA Twitter live as an opportunity to make it really endemic to our platform, and the fans and the NBA Twitter community, so that it’s engaging and fun and interactive for them.

Warren Shaw 22:05
doesn’t listen, Kelsey, you are spitting knowledge, you know, I mean, that hot fire, and I’m just I gotta say, I’m definitely a Twitter fanboy. And I don’t care for our listeners, like, Yo, this guy’s fanboy. And I don’t care. You know, I mean, because Twitter is definitely my platform of all the social media outlets that are out there. So one that I most identify with, you know, at the time, I was live tweeting games all the time, and so forth and so forth. It’s just kind of where I want to be. And from my experience, what I’ve seen is that MBA was the first to really, really embrace it. I, I don’t really follow the sports like that. So I could be wrong. But even the hashtag NBA Twitter, like that became like the first thing that I ever saw for any real sports league. I was like, yeah, now there’s NFL, Twitter, MLB, etc, etc, etc. You know, but to me, Dan Bay’s latched on to this, and they saw what it was early, and Twitter latched on as well. What can other leagues learn from the successful growth of the NBA on Twitter? And do you think there are any best practices that at least can potentially work, like, can use to increase their engagement? You’ve even worked in the NFL? You know, that means so, you know, what are some things that can maybe help some of those at least maybe catch up, at least in my opinion, but to the NBA is doing on Twitter?

Kelsey Taylor 23:11
Yeah. And look, we have so many beloved sports communities on the platform, as you mentioned, you know, NFL Twitter, NHL MLB MLS, and they’re all you know, doing very well, because we’ve had such strong partnerships with them over the last several years, what I what I would say has been the most successful for the NBA growth is, you know, NBA, Twitter is so special always has been, but it’s just real, like it’s it’s a genuine love of the sport, and the league genuinely interacts with his fans on the platform. Another thing that’s really important is having, you know, consistent content, that’s real time in the moment, allowing fans to really feel that they’re in it, they’re engaged. And that you’re that the NBA is providing content that they can’t necessarily get elsewhere also, so while you have the real time clips of you know, what’s happening during the game, there’s also like the NBA Twitter lives of the world are the spaces that we have, right so that fans feel like they’re getting content and getting access to the league or the teams or the players that they wouldn’t otherwise get. And it’s just keeping it fresh, and different. Interactive engaging, is are the key sort of words that continue to use because that’s really what’s important to keep fans engaged. But as I mentioned at the top, it’s really just being genuine and real with your community. Keeping the content fresh, keeping it different. And you know, always making sure that there’s there’s something for fans to enjoy, you know, from your your handle or, or your hashtag. So, um, you know, really proud and excited about the relationship that we have with the league and only see growth from here. And think that, you know, other leagues are looking to do the same. Some of the things I mentioned are definitely ways that they could start to do that as well.

Warren Shaw 25:17
Kelsey, we want to thank you so much for joining us here on the bass on NBA podcast. And again, dropping this knowledge about what the NBA and Twitter has going for it, what we can expect to see this upcoming season and into the years moving moving forward. We thank you so, so much for your time, is there any parting shots, you’d like to let our fans listeners know before we let you get up out of here?

Kelsey Taylor 25:38
Know just pay attention to NBA Twitter throughout the rest of the season. You know, there’s a lot that we have in store coming up over the next few months. You know, we haven’t even gotten to all star playoffs finals. So be sure to tune in to NBA Twitter and see what we have coming up next.

Cal Lee 25:56
Senior Outstanding Senior Manager of sports partnerships. Kelsey Taylor joining us here on the baseline Kelsey, once again, thank you so much for popping up with us and like my man, Shaw said, drop in that hot butane fire. Basically what is really one of the more remarkable partnerships that is taking over in sports today.

Kelsey Taylor 26:21
Thank you so much for having me.

Cal Lee 26:25
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Chris Barnett 29:22
I’m happy to be here cow and I’ll tell you what, Warren Jabari. I’m excited. I really am. I’ve listened. I’ve done my own note taking. I’m ready for you to I’m ready for the hard hitting questions. You’re not gonna make me cry. I’m really happy to be here. I’m a big fan. I think what you guys do is great. And thank you for all the support. superlatives. Appreciate it. Well, absolutely.

Cal Lee 29:47
So aside from the fact that you host this great show, that you have this awesome platform that you’re sharing with everybody, not just your experiences your You’re a basketball head, you’re also a combat that you’re a philosopher, you’re a person who likes to talk to cool people. So hopefully, we’re cool enough. You know, I’m saying that you could rock with us for a little bit. But I think people like our fans and listeners, they want to know a little bit more about you. So, you know, dig a little bit into your origin and your love for the passion of the NBA. How did that come about? For you? Where did that all take place?

Chris Barnett 30:28
You know, what, it’s a it’s a two part answer. The first part

Cal Lee 30:33
is, oh, by the way, since you have two part answers, we have the greatest to park questioner ever in the history of shows man show, so be prepared, you know, this is gonna be there’s gonna be like a mathematic formula when you two guys start, you know, saying having your interactions and everything like that. So I’m,

Chris Barnett 30:55
I see I see basketball and physics at the same time. So I’m ready. I’m planning for this. So my grandmother was a diehard pistons fan. You know, rip, she was also a diehard lions fan. Um, I go to my grave, hopefully, in 50 years, knowing that her fame of being a lion fan is what they fit in. But I tell you what, her love for the bad boy pistons, specifically Rick my horn, that that’s what really kind of roped me in as a child. But to be honest, I actually played baseball, I wasn’t very good baseball player. I pitched I play short in my play center. So straight up the middle. And that lasted until high school. I moved around every year as an Army brat, I grew up in the military. And that’s really what kind of fit in. But when we got to Maryland, when we settled down, I got picked on. Because I didn’t know how to play basketball. Everybody where we live just who? Nobody, there was no baseball field, nobody played baseball. So over the course of the summer, when all the kids got off the basketball court and went to the pool, I would go onto the court and I would just throw the ball. Like I didn’t know, I didn’t know what a jump shot was. I didn’t know what a hook shot was, I could dribble with one hand. And it was absolutely hilarious to watch this 12 year old kid who used to throw on a slide a curve and a fastball and changeup trying to figure out how to manipulate a orange ball to go through this little metal cylindrical. And it was there that I realized that more than baseball, it’s a game of fluid motion and a dynamic set of principles. And even at that young age that kind of stuck with me. But I knew I was going to be in the military. And I was going to serve and 911 happened and then I enlisted went over did some cool things came back injured, took some took some time to rehab. Got my mind, right. But I still found myself empty and this is the second part of the answer. I’m living with my father after I’m retired from the military. And I’m kind of in a bad way. You know, I everything that I wanted to do everybody that I knew my job, my passion was ripped away from me. And I’m literally watching Comcast sports as the Washington Wizards source my favorite team, the 70 Sixers, by the way, crazy story on how I became a Sixers fan. And I’m sitting here and I just can’t go to sleep. And I’m like, You know what, let me go on ESPN. And then I pull up the fantasy basketball mock draft room. And from then I think I was probably up about 30 hours straight, doing different mock draft, just mock draft like that’s how bad I was right? And I fell in love with basketball all over again. I learned advanced statistics I learned roster construction. I started paying attention to the Sloan guys coming out there Maury Sam hinkie Fan press the you know, I was a huge RC Buford fan. And then I started reading Sports Business Journal and some other things. And that really, really allowed me to see the game I think in its totality. And that’s really when I became a true diehard NBA fan.

Warren Shaw 34:23
So in other words, you do this, right? Like you do this for real like this. This is a visiting a play play. You’re about this life, right?

Chris Barnett 34:32
Well put it this way. I probably watch 80% of the games in the season

Warren Shaw 34:44
that’s a lot of basketball. And and most people do not Yeah, I mean league pass or otherwise, like they just can’t consume it. You know, and I’m kinda like that and my wife is like what? You know, stop. She’s like, Go downstairs with that. Go in your office like I I’m not trying to hear the squeaking of basketball sneakers, you know, 12 o’clock at night because you’re watching some West Coast game or whatever. Chris, it leads me to ask him, you know, just what got you into the media side is one thing to kind of be. And obviously, not in a disrespectful way, like to kind of be like a super fan, where you’re just like, kind of digging in and digging in, and so forth and so forth. But then how do you turn that passion into where now you can kind of be where you’re at, and kind of an on the media side?

Chris Barnett 35:28
Alright, so this fantasy takes us to California. So now now we’re crossing all the way across the country from Maryland, to the wonderful city of Sacramento, shout out sactown Never gonna move back there. It’s not gonna happen. But I tell you, you know, I’m up there. And I’m not a social media guy. I was deployed and I was away. So I didn’t get into Facebook. I didn’t get into Snapchat and all this stuff, right. But I had a Twitter for my mom, believe it or not, and recipes mom, my mom passed away in January. And it was just so we could talk back and forth. Because I just didn’t like Facebook. And there’s a whole story behind that we can talk offline. Anyway. surprising enough to me, I’m starting to message this guy named Zack. Right? And Zach Harper. Oh, know who he is. I’m just talking Sacramento Kings, right? And he’s like, hold up, I want you to talk to this guy to his name exactly, as well. And now it’s Zach Lowe, right. And so I’m texting back and forth with two guys. Zach Harper, who I have no idea who he is. And Zach Lowe, who I’m like, Oh, I know this guy. Right? And it’s just about the king. There’s, there’s no like, Hey, what’s this? What’s this? I’m like, Man, why is Boogie being wasted? Like it is just the crime. It’s a federal crime. The entire front office staff that was the coaching staff should be arrested by the federal government, put in jail because they are wasting a preeminent Senate name Boogie Cousins, right. And we will talk about how you fix Sacramento. And, you know, I said, Hey, in another life, I would love to do this. Right. But I never really thought that it would be possible. And then at that time, I’m actually in culinary school. And I’m working for a chef named James attackin, who’s working for Food Network. And I’m sitting here thinking, this is where I’m gonna go, right. And And now, here I am, nine and a half years later, and an opportunity happens with clubhouse. And my friends actually have to drag me on the clubhouse. Like, I’m just not a social media person. But they dragged me on to clubhouse. And we just talk ball because we’re already doing it via zoom and whatnot. And this is during the pandemic, and it really was is really popular. You know, people liked it. It was different than what was provided by you know, let’s call it the big box with your sports guys. And I did so well that Sean Brown, the Director of Sports, no reached out said, Hey, no, you’re doing great. The Lakers Nation at this point interview Gloria James, I’ve done Dr. KLIA Lee Muhammad Ali’s wife, like the band away, when he was the executive vice president, and everything is great. And like I’m meeting all these people within the media world and still in my mind, like, it’s a fad. It’s never gonna happen. And then I get recruited by some early adopters for Twitter, saying, Hey, we really like what you’re doing here. Want us to try here. And then now I’m here on the baseline pocket. Like it’s a great story. Like right then and there. Six minutes from lunch.

Jabari Davis 38:47
I gotta be honest with you, you’ll be in a yo the relic, the resonant California and here. That might be the first time I’ve ever heard someone say the beautiful city of Sacramento, no disrespect Sacramento but all disrespect Sacramento.

Chris Barnett 38:59
Hey, truck, so as MAN trucks who and where my apartment was, it was $1,360 or 970 square foot two bedroom apartment. And I still have nightmares opening up my smart deal.

Jabari Davis 39:15
But to the point that you actually were just alluded to, how did it become a reality with Twitter? You know, like, how did hoop spaces and Twitter y’all come together?

Chris Barnett 39:24
Okay, so I started realizing what this technology is, in a historical sense, okay. And and give me 60 seconds here. One thing I remember and I tell my my dad this a couple of times, every few years, I look at him and I give him that side. I was like, you know, you could have bought into Starbucks, right? And that was because when he was getting out of the military, you know, Starbucks is offering franchises and You know, why not? And now look what happened, they blew up and then they came back and bought them all in the paid like 287% of the value so they could make it a corporate chain instead of a franchise chain. And so I’m sitting here February of this year, and I’m like, Okay, where’s this going? Like, it’s not going to go anywhere, it’s not going to be a fad, like individual platforms might become faddish, or they might change. But this is gonna kill radio. This isn’t Sirius XM, this isn’t satellite radio, this is live interaction. This is what people are craving, especially during the pandemic. So I started sitting down every day, probably about 10 hours a day. And I was reading and rewatching from 70s, on up how sports media and entertainment evolved. And I’m sitting here and I’m like, I can do this. And so, you know, I had to tell everybody, honestly, like, Hey, this is gonna sound crazy when I first tell you this, but what if I told you, there’s a world that exists? Now, if you take the red pill, you’re going to stay here. But if you take the blue pill, you’re going to go down the rabbit hole with me, and you’re going to see how far we can take this. And I said this, and like, literally, they all said, okay, sure, we come over and I lose half the people in a week. You know, and and I think it’s devastating. And I’m like, You know what, I’m still gonna do it. I ain’t got nothing else to do. I already scheduled out the time. And so from 1010 to 12. You know, I do this show. And people are like, Why are you doing this? And it’s like, because I can’t watch ESPN anymore. I’m just gonna say, I can’t watch ESPN anymore. I cannot do from the morning tip to first take to you know, the last, the last all work for me was around the horn. Like, I will feel like okay, guys, you’re the last bastion of you know, some type of sanity. And even that kind of just, like, even they were like, gonna be like, All right. And I just want to talk ball. That’s it. Just want to talk ball. And then believe it or not, it’s the underserved community. And and you know, it galvanized and people understood, Hey, you come here, we’re gonna talk ball. And we’ll be respectful about it. And yeah, you know, what, there might be some toxicity, there might be some back and forth. But at the end of the day, that there’s a thing called positive toxicity. And if you’ve ever played any competitive team sport, if you don’t air out that positive toxicity, that’s when it becomes negative. And we provide that platform unlike, you know, undisputed. And when you look at it in that context, you realize that undisputed in first take like it, not only did it become overly successful in terms of the world of sports and media, it came became too successful and it’s actually permeated throughout our society. And what we allow is a break you know, we provide levity and basketball, and that’s a great combination.

Cal Lee 43:16
Chris Barnett joining us here on the bass line. He is the host for hoop spaces, which you can catch Monday through Friday via Twitter 10am My god man i don’t even know where to begin. So you’re like you just completely left up the whole format right now right like so I’m just I’m just gonna keep it 100 with you. You said something to me. That actually made me realize that you were like the real life Morpheus before they probably made up the character Morpheus. Okay, with your approach as to how you see Media Communications, and how important of a role that plays even now with the social media platform so I want to pick your brain on this real quick before I let my brothers jump in on here. Is this the type of approach that you have really with any project that you do? Forget just groupspaces Is this an approach that you tend to have within yourself where if you believe that you want to do something it’s more than just you saying that you’re doing it it’s also you actually doing the necessary work to learn the history to what brings you to this particular place so that you have an idea of how and where you want to move this thing forward?

Chris Barnett 44:35
That’s that’s a philosophical question and I appreciate that.

Cal Lee 44:39
Well, you have hashtag philosophy on there, man. Somebody’s got to drop the P on you bro.

Chris Barnett 44:45
I’m agree with the dow of hoop space, right. There are there are. To quote Donald Rumsfeld. There are no knowns. There are known unknowns and there are other no known and unknown unknown sorry. And the issue with that statement is that it doesn’t allow for you to actually look at history in its proper context, right? When you when you separate certain things into basic classifications, like even if you go into science, you’re living a rigid existence. And the cool thing about a rigid existence is that it tends to work very well. And single and dual track individuals, right. And when I say single and dual track individuals, think of it like this, you are watching ESPN, and you don’t watch anybody else hear that single track person, right? If you’re watching ESPN and Fox, you that dual track person, but what happens when both tracks are the same? Right, you get this over amplification, it’s no longer an echo chamber. So reverb chamber, which is completely different. And the levity that’s provided is just merely being honest with the listener. Just imagine if everybody was honest with the listener and say, You know what, all those people, they’re just like you is just that they’ve done this as a job. And when you say it that way, you know, you allow each individual listener to actually realize that they have a potential within them that if they take it seriously, that they can not be as good as my Greenberg. But they can still reach some measure what they would define as personal success. And when you when you do that, then almost everything before you’re asking is kind of moot, you just kind of jump over that because there’s really no need. And that’s really cool about being honest and transparent about it is that the easier it is to do, the easier it is to stay consistent. The longer you stay consistent, the more you actually learn. The more you learn, the more you’re able to reinvest, the more you reinvest, the better your product becomes. And then it becomes a self, you know, repeating cycle of positivity, right? And then you take that, and then you apply it into anything you want. That’s really what you’re asking, right. So it’s really a philosophy of how you bring in data and take out data, but specifically how you target the individual person. So you can’t really say this is what I’m going to do for each and every situation, the only thing you can do is train for a baseline against all situations, and then have to take the extra step when you’re approached with something that you don’t know, to actively seek out those who do know, or actively seek out yourself. Yeah.

Warren Shaw 47:51
Chris, you know, as you touched on that here, one of the things I think it’s important to to recognize in what you’re doing is exactly that, that community space. No pun intended, obviously, it’s just like, kind of doing it at that, at that level where everybody can feel like they’re a part of the conversation. Like you’ve touched on in here, but just maybe even a little bit more just what does that mean for you? You know, I like being able to do that daily interact, and I’ve been in your spaces and no and you know, obviously there’s a lot of regulars you know, I mean, but you treat everybody like norm from cheers you don’t I mean that’s kind of an old reference but everyone like hey, you know them and you know what they’re about, you know what their podcast is like, that’s a lot of hard work to kind of remember and recognize all those people even if you aren’t dealing with them on a regular basis. So just that community that you’re building just kind of can you tap into a little bit a little bit about that a little bit more.

Chris Barnett 48:45
Yeah, I I have not done this alone. Although everybody will tell you that I’ve done it I I’m I’m not that type of person. Right. I have a great number two, I call it my William Riker. His name is Ryan. We call him who spaces Ryan. He does a lot of work for me on the back end that allows some administrative things to go smoothly and allows me to give that extra five minutes of focus that I kind of need for my prep but really it comes down to a gift that I have, and I’ve had to accept it I’ve had too many people tell me it’s a gift. But like I compartmentalize everything every conversation that I’ve ever had is tucked away in some type of neat data files if I was a computer, right? Like I’m going to remember Warren saw in the baseline NBA podcast for the rest of life like it’s just kind of how I am I’m going to remember JP the wholesome truth teller half of the dunk tales podcast it’s not dripping because I just am that and and when you say it like that people like oh wow, you’re kind of conceited and it’s just like, Well, I’m not trying to be conceited. But you know what, I know the automat fool you know on that podcast is going to be dropping on a Wednesday. I know exactly last week last podcast gonna be dropping on a Monday like they’re dope people and I’ve listened to it when I can. So why wouldn’t I want to actually, you know, pot, we’re gonna pump them up and say, hey, check these people out their passion, you know what they’re doing, and you’re going to enjoy it. And when you do it that way, it just sticks in your memory even easier. You know, you don’t have to worry about all the negative stuff and compartmentalize the negative thing.

Jabari Davis 50:20
It was so funny earlier, you referenced echo chambers, and I’m gonna be honest with you, part of the reasons why I’ve come around on the on the spaces you go, you’ll just in general, it’s because it’s it’s a departure from what we have, which I honestly think you’ll like, generally, MBA conversation can be a bit of an echo chamber, because they you know, they hear the topics that are discussed on undisputed they hear the topics that are being discussed on, you know, whatever, first hate and then they just, you know, go back and just repeat that. One of the things that I appreciate most about your spaces is that I don’t hear that same type of stuff. Now everything you have to you have to have topics, of course, but I don’t feel like it’s that same real recycled, regurgitated your message that I can see on the timeline, you know, from clips of you know, every other show. Do you personally have a favorite spaces moment? Or spaces in general?

Chris Barnett 51:12
Oh, you know what, it’s hard. It’s hard to maintain, like that organic sense that you’re alluding to. Um, I will tell you, my favorite space was when an NBA player has been on a burner. I’m not gonna say which player um, people have to understand NBA players are there. They’re hilarious. They are there is not one that isn’t funny when it comes to fan and media engagement. And I will tell you, I will tell you what team he played for. You can tell me after if you can guess it play for the Washington Wizards. And I had made the comment that he is the funniest dude that I’ve ever seen, you know, an NBA jerseys. And he really appreciated it. And he hopped into the space and trolled me for, like 20 minutes. And I couldn’t tell anybody. And that was probably my favorite space. You know, I’m not counting that. I would say that my most. The one that I’ve most really enjoyed beyond that was talking to Dr. Khalil Ali kalila Camacho Lee was Muhammad Ali’s hearse wife and principally responsible for his meteoric meteoric rise. She was married to him awfully young, so different time, but she taught him a lot. And I really appreciate being able to what I say sit and talk with living history. And I appreciated every moment she stayed and answered everybody’s question. I think it was like two hours. And then she thanked me afterwards for crying out loud. It’s something that I will always remember. And I’ll tell you it’s definitely hopefully happening again. See what I did there. I put that out there so I can say hey, look, come on back. We want you back. We want your hilarious story. And no, it’s not whom you’re saying. So

Cal Lee 53:25
be careful what you wish.

What You Wish For so I’m not trying to put you we’re not trying to put you on the spot. Yeah. Oh, it’s all good. It’s all good

Cal Lee 53:33
as you can as you can tell the platforms we use. Oh, it’s

Jabari Davis 53:36
all good. I guess if if you’ll take

Chris Barnett 53:39
you right if you guess right I’ll tell you but if you don’t if you don’t get it I’m not it’s that simple.

Jabari Davis 53:46
And it’s a former it’s a former member of the wizards

Chris Barnett 53:49
shout out Saul’s already out is a former member of the wizard. Yeah. I said he used to play

Jabari Davis 53:57
I got you I’ll come back to you with my guest I’ll step aside so cow can give you

Cal Lee 54:01
nah, this is good man. Just be careful what you wish for sir.

Warren Shaw 54:05
I am going to try to redirect as you do at times usually at the hour long break of your spaces. We’re going to transition to transition back to kind of the Twitter conversation and I want to give you big props and shouts my guy being selected into the Twitter spark program communities has launched the whole situation tell the people tell us what’s what’s in store that like what’s really going to be poppin when it comes to Twitter sparking and the communities that that Twitter’s got you kind of wrapped up in

Chris Barnett 54:38
Yeah, it’s it’s a great program. I think it’s a great program. Um, they are they are slow walking this because they want to do this right. And I appreciate that. You can you can put together a program You can throw money at a program, you can throw people at a program. But if you don’t take the time, then then the program itself, you know, might not work. And I think what we have here in the Twitter Spark is, is an affirmation of individual content creator ism, an affirmation of the power, or the empowerment of the professional athlete. There are no professional athletes, you know, in the program. But what I’m saying is, the overall art can very easily be seen as designed how some of these athletes have been able to take advantage of social media, and business. And I think that part right there, Twitter is just nailing it. I mean, I don’t think they’ve missed a free throw on this. For what is going to mean for hoop spaces is a third of validation of an idea, and growth of a positive community that didn’t exist. And I say that because individual people on Twitter are nice, but we understand collectively, some fan bases are not nice. And that makes NBA Twitter at times an extremely toxic place. And I think what we have here are people who realize the the power of positivity for the lack of a better phrase, as I get my Zig Ziglar on over here, I think you’re gonna enjoy it, I think you will see not only an increase of The Daily Show and other activities, but we’ll be able to grow a repository of like minded fans, people who want to know the game better. I talked to a couple people who want to do shows that they never thought they would ever want to talk about. And that’s amazing. To have people say, Man, I didn’t even think we could even talk about something like this, I thought all we could talk about and literally this is what somebody said, was how much ad is better than Yana? And I’m like, well, one, he thought. Two, he’s not and three stopped watching. You know, Fox, it’s okay. Um, basketball is beautiful. Let’s talk about everybody how everybody game is good. And I think with the backing of the Twitter spark program, you’ll be able to see not only myself but some other individuals, I can’t say right now. You’re gonna you’re gonna like it. You’re you’re really gonna like it.

Cal Lee 57:34
He is the one and only really one of the premier centerpieces, that I think if you’re talking about what basketball is gonna be, especially with its partnership with Twitter, it’s definitely in good hands on man, Chris Barnett, he is the host for hoop spaces. Chris, man, I can’t tell you enough, man, we really, really appreciate you hopping on board, sharing some awesome stories given some well in depth perspective. But more importantly, just less than us with your authentic presence,

Chris Barnett 58:06
I appreciate it, I gotta give you fair warning, I don’t do well. And I’ll start blushing over here. And then I’ll start stuttering and not being able to

Cal Lee 58:15
write phenomenal stuff. Well, man, I cannot tell you like having two quality individuals like Kelsey Taylor and Christopher Barnett really set the tone. And I think if you’re somebody who is just a general, a casual NBA fan, to me, you got to feel good about knowing that they are basically, you know, moving in so many different directions, that it makes you feel comfortable, that you’re going to be a part of something that’s going to be well placed. And hopefully this will be taken as serious as more than anything, because I think this is the future of where the NBA can be. I think it can be setting a standard for all of the major sports outlets as well too, as to how they can really reach out and build up their fan engagement. Again, since we’re going through the post-pandemic air.

Warren Shaw 59:06
I always said it when we’re speaking to Kelsey, you know, Twitter is my favorite social media platform. And I don’t think I don’t see anything changing that, especially when the NBA what I love also is now kind of just doubling down on the relationship with them as well, too. One thing I’ll say, you know, and I don’t know, maybe it’s taboo to say or whatever. But if this is our show, right? Twitter recognizes what’s going on here. And the fact that we had on you know, two people of color, you know, one female, one male as well too. And they’re in these kind of high functioning capacity roles at Twitter is where things need to be. So you know, shout outs to Kelsey and Chris for what they’re doing. I’m stoked that they were able to join us here today man JD what you think about the show today?

Jabari Davis 59:49
Exactly that you absolutely love to see it you absolutely love to see it I’m happy for them. I’m Hope you know additional opportunities come to each of them as well as others. Others like them. Hell, even us, you You know, but, but like you I’m gonna keep it 100% real with you. I love Twitter. I was all y’all for a while I was at cat they would say Yo, like, You’ll pretend to hate it and pretend like you know, like, I didn’t like all the filth in the nonsense and all that, but obviously I keep coming back. So it’s good to see it’s good to see the collaboration between the NBA it’s good to see that, you know, he’s good to see you the NBA and Twitter embracing, you know one another. And I’m actually just excited and looking forward to whatever your whatever the future holds.

Cal Lee 1:00:27
Absolutely. And once again, we like to thank our guests, Kelsey Taylor, and also Christopher Barnett, if you guys are not familiar with what they’re doing, I encourage you please go to their to their Twitter spaces, Twitter handles, be sure to go to Kelsey Taylor @KelseyErin, or go to Twitter sports. And then also make sure you check out Chris Barnett. You can basically catch him @HoopSpaces. For the baseline, Cal Lee Warren Shaw, Jabari Davis. We appreciate you guys we hope you enjoyed this program. Catch up with you next time.

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