Posted by Tyler Hustwick 1 year, 7 months ago

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For those of you that might not know — I’m a basketball nut. More importantly, I’m a diehard Los Angeles Lakers fan. 

It’s been a tough year for my Lakers, so far we’ve posted a franchise worst 16-59 record, our beloved leader Kobe Bryant is limping off into the sunset and our prized collection of young talent has all but sputtered on the court. It seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, until they did… 

If you’ve paid any attention to Twitter trends this week — I mean, who doesn’t? You may have noticed that “Los Angeles Lakers”, “Nick Young”, “Iggy Azalea” and “D’Angelo Russell” have been lighting up the Interwebs. So, what gives?

The Lakers are a bad team. And over the course of a long, 82-game season, bad teams typically look for some sort of distraction from, well...being a bad team. The Lakers’ solution to this problem, has been the development of an on-going “prank war” within the locker room. As part this, D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ prized, 20-year-old prospect, decided to record a private conversation between himself and teammate Nick Young. In the video, Russell questions Young about his romantic exploits with other women — Young proposed to longtime girlfriend and pop star Iggy Azalea this past June. Then, in an apparent attempt to “prank” Young, Russell decided to “privately” share the video using his Snapchat account. 

Now for those unfamiliar with how Snapchat works — it’s used for creating photo and video messages, referred to as “snaps,” which can then be shared as a semi-public "stories" or sent privately to specific friends. However, the message can only be viewed for a user-specified length of time (1 to 10 seconds) before it becomes inaccessible. 

Suffice to say, there was nothing “private” about Russell’s message and it inevitably landed in the wrong hands and was published for the world to see. Now, Young and Azalea’s relationship appears to be all but over and Russell is being treated as a pariah by the NBA, his team and media for “outing” a teammate.

So what’s the lesson here? We already know to think before you tweet, but what’s happened here is a prime example of thinking before you click, type, snap, record or post anything, period. There’s a reason people have been sued, arrested, kicked out of school, denied from colleges, fired from their jobs, and more from posting the wrong thing on social media. Russell isn’t the first person to make a mistake like this and he certainly won’t be the last. But understand this: we live in an age of digital transparency, so if it’s something you wouldn’t want your mom, boss, wife, priest or the world to see, please — don’t put it out there. 

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