The “Got ‘Em” Game

The Clippers 'Got Em!
Poor Nick Young. The Clippers “Got ‘Em!”

If you’ve ever sat through a long plane flight or cross-country car ride, you know that entertaining yourself for a number of hours proves to be difficult. The movie option exists and so does reading a book or magazine, but really, which college student or adult doesn’t love a nap? Going to sleep helps a person look and walk less like a zombie upon arrival to their destination. It is a perfect option for anyone who needs to catch up on some shuteye!

Except, it isn’t–not if you’re an NBA player, anyway.

Last season, followers of NBA players on Twitter noticed a certain trend that was becoming popular. Bad quality pictures of a bunch of men usually in sweats surrounding one poor sleeping fellow in the middle, with his mouth wide open appeared on multiple feeds. The dude was just trying to sleep off his tiredness from the more hectic than usual NBA schedule due to the 2011 Lockout, and his so-called teammates took advantage of it.

They “got ‘em.”

DeAndre Jordan, a center for the Los Angeles Clippers, is the man responsible for starting this game. The rules are easy. Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Team U.S.A. broke it down for The New York Times, but I’m going to simplify it further:

  1. Wait until your buddy falls asleep.
  2. Snap a picture of him with the conscious guys posing around him–the cheesier, the better.
  3. Post it to Twitter or Instagram for your thousands of followers to retweet and reblog to more thousands.
  4. Don’t forget to hashtag #GotEm.

At first, this game was popular just among the boys on the Clippers, a team that has 13 of its players on Twitter. It soon spread to the Minnesota Timberwolves and even the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team, as various players began posting their #GotEm shenanigans to Twitter and Instagram for the world to see.

It’s great. I, as a fan of Love and the NBA, get to see a different side of the players–something more than their game face and sideline interviews. Instagram and Twitter provide an inside look to their lives off the court, and they’re not just cheap paparazzi shots–they’re photos the players post themselves, completely legitimate and acceptable.

Well, the pictures are almost completely legitimate and acceptable. The sleeping “victims” obviously don’t give the embarrassing photos the green light, but they usually get their revenge on the basketball player-turned-cameraman sooner or later.

The article from The New York Times, linked above, includes a hilarious snapshot of multiple players on the U.S. team completely passed out. Love seemed to have waited for the perfect moment, and hit six birds (some of his U.S.A. teammates)–plus the daddy bird (Coach Mike Krzyzewski)–with just one stone, or rather, click of the camera.

When these players posted their pictures on social media websites, bigger media organizations picked them up and turned Got ‘Em into a news story. ESPN featured some pictures on SportsCenter, and The New York Times, Daily Mail, and Buzz Feed published articles about the NBA players’ cute little game on their websites.

I won’t be surprised if I see more teams hopping onto the #GotEm train as the season gets set to begin. In fact, I’m looking forward to laughing at which open-mouthed, knocked out, NBA professional gets “got” next.

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