Sparks forward Candace Parker tweeting the night away
Just last week, Sparks forward Candace Parker didn't know how Twitter worked. She didn't know what following someone's Twitter account meant. She didn't know how to follow people herself. She didn't know how to send direct messages.
Parker calls herself "technologically challenged." And when her agent, Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports, suggested on June 12 that she open up a Twitter account, Parker acknowledged she had to take a "Twitter 101 class" that entailed the sports agency setting up her page and walking her through the nuances of the social networking site.
Six days and 188 tweets later, Parker has attracted 4,395 followers and counting. A self-described text-message addict, Parker has found her new fix.
"I got hooked," Parker said. "It's fun. You meet a lot of people and it's an easy way to hit somebody back, instead of them sending you mail and you writing back to them. They have that access at the click of a button."
Of course, this phenomenon isn't unique to Parker. The Times' Diane Pucin reported in today's newspaper about how athletes, coaches and league executives are gravitating toward Twitter. Iranian citizens find the website useful in expressing diverse viewpoints. And then there are people, such as Lindsay Lohan, who do things like this.
Sparks center Lisa Leslie opened a Twitter page in May, and Parker has already surpassed her number of followers. At the rate that Parker's attracting new followers, it won't be long before she has more than the WNBA Twitter page.
On May 13, Parker, who was named the WNBA's most valuable player and rookie of the year at the end of last season, delivered her first child, a girl named Lailaa. Parker is married to Shelden Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Parker has missed the season so far, and says she could return in as few as six weeks.
And even with spending time with her daughter and working her way back onto the court, Parker tweets on her Samsung Blackjack wherever she goes.
So far, the most comical posts entailed what Parker describes as having a "battle going back and forth" with Williams about who can have the most posts and followers. Parker wins the number of followers, 4,395 to 398. Williams, who started an account one day before Parker, has 228 updates to Parker's 188.
After a night of bowling two days ago with Williams and his parents, Parker tweeted "sooooo I bowled three strikes in a row! fr a score of 148!!! beat shel by 39 pins! yaaayaaa!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhh dnt mess wit me bra."
Williams then posted, "OMG she freaking finished the game with a turkey seriously who does that!!!!!! plus I had some bad shoes on and it didn't have grip on it"
Parker's fielded tons of questions about Lailaa, her relationship with Williams, the keys to succeed as a professional women's basketball player and when she expects to rejoin the Sparks. Parker even offered two courtside seats to "Dads & Daughters Day," a promotion the Sparks are featuring for their Father's Day game on Sunday against the Sacramento Monarchs.
"give away 2 courtside tix for the Sparks Father's Day game," Parker wrote. "Tweet why your Dad deserves them by 6/20 12 pm and i'll pick"
Parker couldn't estimate how much time she spends a day on her new outlet, but she said it hasn't added much time to her day. Parker will also have a much cheaper cellphone bill.
"Now I don’t have to send 900 texts to keep in touch with people," Parker said.
-- Mark Medina
Photo: Sparks forward Candace Parker opened a Twitter account last week, and has already found a new passion. Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images