Written by Ashley Kraft
While NBA jokes are a long-standing tradition on the internet, one player in particular seems to have found a middle ground between a series of good-natured jokes and the occasional offhand Twitter snafu.
A large proportion of NBA players and their fans inhabit a hyper-literal mindset, often making sweeping generalizations and joking about particular lifestyle choices, such as “leaning into” and “hanging out.”
That the jokes tend to focus on certain social groups has long been part of the pregame routine, and the poking fun is not done at the expense of the player but rather at the uniquely bad clichés of fandom. And the spirit of inclusivity is never lost. After leading all rookies in overall points in the 2017-18 season, Ben Simmons joked, “I don’t want to get thrown out of an NBA game for dancing.”
But in the case of @Josiah28. . . Well, his viral video may have been the catalyst for a whole new generation of fan-to-player social media interaction.
The only thing you need to know about Twitter personality @Josiah28 is that he’s managed to turn an already-already-funny, hyper-subjective, and social media-centric fanbase into something that is both intentionally and independently real.
A combination of intentionally false statements, carefully chosen social trends, and the undeniable hunger for laughs on Twitter have created something that basically exists out of whole cloth, online, just for @Josiah28.
The question is: why does it exist at all? In particular, why does it exist to this degree in a sport that is, at its heart, inherently serious?