No NBA free agency period would be complete without a full-fledged emoji war and, thanks to Utah center Rudy Gobert, we now have one on our hands.
First, some context. Prized Utah Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward is an unrestricted free agent and had scheduled meetings with the Heat, Celtics and Jazz (in that order) to hear them out before he makes his decision. Hayward took his visit to Miami on Saturday, which reportedly went well.
Following the visit, Gobert decided to send out a tweet revealing his deepest, innermost thoughts about the franchises competing with the Jazz for Hayward.
🌴🗑☘️💩🎷🏆— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) July 2, 2017
In case you're not emoji-savvy, that translates to something to the effect of: Miami is trash, the Celtics are doo-doo and the Jazz are champions.
As you can imagine, that didn't go over so well with the Celtics, and All-Star Isaiah Thomas responded, presumably on behalf of his entire team, with the obvious retort.
🌴🏆🏆🏆☘️🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🎷🙅🏾♂️— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) July 2, 2017
Yup, Thomas simply pointed out that the Heat have three titles, the Celtics have a bazillion (17, to be exact) and the Jazz have ... well ... a big goose egg, signified by a man shrugging his shoulders as if to say, "sorry man, I got nothing for you."
Just to make sure every party was heard from, Heat center Hassan Whiteside responded similarly to Thomas, but this time included the time frame from the year 2000 to 2017 to give Miami the edge over both the Celtics and Jazz.
2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➡️2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣7️⃣☘️💍🌴💍💍💍 🎷🤷🏽♂️🤷♀️🤷🏻♂️— Hassan Whiteside (@youngwhiteside) July 2, 2017
Translation: Since 2000, the Celtics have one title (2008), the Heat have three (2006, 2012, 2013) and this time the Jazz have three people shrugging, wondering where all their championships went.
OK, it's officially an Emoji War. This is reminiscent of the tremendous emoji use during the DeAndre Jordan saga of 2015, in which various players tweeted the mode of transportation they were using to come persuade Jordan to join their team. A few examples:
✈️— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 8, 2015
🚙— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) July 8, 2015
✈️🚁🚙— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 8, 2015
🍌🚤— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 8, 2015
🏊— Mike Woodson (@MikeWoodsonNBA) July 8, 2015
This year's battle still has a ways to go to catchup to the 2015 madness, but there's still plenty of time left until Hayward makes his decision.