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How the internet propelled the NBA to a new level of hype

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The new NBA season has been hyped like few before it, and Carles at Grantland thinks he knows why — the sport has made the leap into online-fuelled ubiquity. From the booming presence of basketball on Twitter to instant YouTube uploads, Carles argues that the mainstream leverage of social media means "we've finally arrived at a place where the NBA's fan-product relationship has been properly optimized."

For a while, the avid NBA bro fell in love not just with the product, but with the grind associated with following the league. There was something funny about feeling like one of only seven people in the world watching a game between the Bobcats and the Kings on League Pass. Now, it feels like television networks have effectively leveraged social media to make that experience accessible to everyone. In a way, the NBA seems to be 'the most Twitter-y' sport, especially when every team or player has at least 82 opportunities to trend on Twitter. We're so integrated into hashtag culture that we can selectively ignore the encouraged hashtags that networks flash onscreen during a television program to encourage people to participate in 'the discussion.' We don't need the tips.