Tips, fakes among free-agency tweets

Chris Bosh had a nerve-racking Wednesday.

"Trying to ease my nerves. Tried to take a nap, but I can't sleep ..." the Toronto Raptors forward tweeted. "The day has been moving extremely slowly. It's always like that when something important is coming up!"

This was, after all, NBA free agency eve, and Bosh was right in the thick of it. Was he heading to South Beach with Dwyane Wade? Chicago with LeBron James? Would he play in his home state for the Houston Rockets? Perhaps be enticed by the bright lights of New York City?

Bosh also sent out a video detailing his thoughts.

Later Wednesday night, he let his followers know he was having dinner with his family and that "I'm sure free agency will be a big topic of discussion at some point."

And it sure was: "My cousin wants me to go to a certain team. I won't name the team he said, but it's funny how I can't get away."

As the clock neared clicking over to July 1 on the East Coast, Bosh put the caps lock on: "The time is finally here. Thank you for all the support. I'm nervous, but I'm excited and READY! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!"

Before it hit July 1 on the East Coast, Yao Ming was already reaching out to Bosh on Twitter to come to the Rockets.

He wrote: "Hey Chris, hopefully you'll play with us (Rockets) next season. I'll be healthy and I'd really look forward to playing together."

Call it a tampering tweet.

Shortly after meeting with Bosh, Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted: "Just finished meeting with Chris Bosh -- great player and person. He is about winning so I focused on how with Houston he can win a championship."

Early Thursday morning, Bosh was still taking us into his world.

"It's been an exciting first couple of hours," he wrote. "Got some interesting visits and presentations from Houston, Toronto, Chicago and Miami. We'll see who else will come out tomorrow."

Leading up to free agency, there have been a lot of rumors, false reports and speculation streaming through the Twitter fire hose at an alarming rate.

So it was refreshing that instead of reading all that, Bosh the primary source was giving us his thoughts and feelings as well as what teams he spoke with.

Does it give us the whole picture of what he's really thinking?

Likely not.

But it was certainly a compelling insight to an athlete's brain during one of the most anticipated times in league history.

Fake reporters add to the buzz

Speaking of misinformation, NBA free agency hit such a fever Wednesday on Twitter that instead of seeing the usual impostor accounts for an athletes, we were seeing them for reporters.

Dave D'Alessandro of The Star-Ledger was a victim, as a fake account surfaced purporting a three-way trade between the Nets, Cavs and Bucks.

It seemed like a bit of a weird trade for all sides involved, but it was still picked up by other outlets, and at least one Cleveland reporter gave it credence by checking in with sources and ultimately saying there was no truth to it.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated also found himself being impersonated, as the impostor tweeted things such as, "Mark my words here. Amare is coming to the Nets." And: "Several good sources tell me Nets in deep discussions with Nuggets on Melo. Centered around Favors and Harris plus more …"

With so much information flying around and so many consumers hanging on every last word to find out what their team may be doing, it can be easy to get duped.

All it takes is someone to create an account, fill in a bio and photo as if the person is someone else and let it fly.

Not everyone will be duped, of course. But at least some wool will be pulled over the masses' eyes.

It's just another sign that although there's great utility in the real-time nature of Twitter, there's also a bit of danger.

Ryan Corazza is a freelance writer and Web designer based in Chicago.