This ESPN headline really grabbed my attention: Tweet surrender: Bucks ban in-game Twittering. I mean, how could it not? Why would the Milwaukee Bucks announce a policy banning the use of Twitter during games if no players had actually been tweeting during games? They wouldn’t. And they didn’t, as it turns out:
Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva got a talking-to from Skiles after the coach learned Villanueva posted a message to his Twitter feed — a “tweet” — from his mobile phone during halftime of Sunday’s home victory over the Boston Celtics.
“We made a point to Charlie and the team that it’s nothing we ever want to happen again,” Skiles said 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.”
Using the screen name “CV31” — Villanueva’s initials and jersey number — Villanueva posted the following message during halftime Sunday:
“In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.”
And he did. Villanueva finished with a team-high 19 points as the Bucks, who are trying desperately to hold on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, beat the Celtics 86-77.
Villanueva said Tuesday that he didn’t think the post was a big deal at the time but now understands that posting to a Web site at halftime can create the impression he isn’t focused on the game.
“That wasn’t the case at all, because I was very into the game — as you can tell, the way I played,” Villanueva said. “But you can interpret it two different ways. You can look at it like, ‘OK, he’s definitely going to step up’ versus, ‘Oh, he’s really not into the game, he’s not paying attention.’ But that wasn’t the case at all. That wasn’t my intention at all.”