NBA players' use of social media is such a problem that Sixers players have to put their phones in a bag during team meals

The pitfalls of social media -- be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or otherwise -- are well-known. Every day there is someone, famous or not, getting in trouble for saying or doing something dumb online. NBA players, and even front-office personnel, are no strangers to this phenomenon. Just look to earlier this summer when Philadelphia 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo lost his job over a Twitter burner account scandal. 

Speaking of social media and the Sixers, a new tidbit from Tom Haberstroh's recent column shows the lengths that the team is going to try and curb players' phone habits. The entire piece is worth reading, and covers both the good and bad aspects of social media as it relates to the players and the league. This, though, was what stood out. Via Bleacher Report:

This is the digital home of #TheProcess-perhaps the most viral unofficial battle cry in sports. But there are limits. The 76ers are one of several teams in the NBA that have tried to implement "phone buckets" or "phone bags" on occasion during team meals. Put the phone in the bag and, you know, have real conversations. "I've been on teams where you literally don't talk to each other at dinner," Redick says. "Just six guys on their phones."

Trying to make players not only get off their phones, but actually put them in a bucket away from the table is a pretty drastic step. Though it's not hard to see where the Sixers are coming from on this. Team dinners -- and events like it -- are important in team building and camaraderie, and those aspects can truly impact the team on the court. 

This probably isn't something you could force all the time, or even very often. But at least on occasion it's probably not a bad idea to foster a better sense of togetherness. It would, however, be interesting to see what players think about gimmicks like this. Additionally, it will be pretty interesting to see what other steps teams take moving forward as the influence of smartphones and social media only figures to increase. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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