Homicide’s credibility, worth pays price for social network self gratification

For a man with a lot to say, Corey Williams’ medium of choice is an odd one.

The Melbourne Tigers import was the centre of attention during his side’s clash with Perth on Friday night, entering the game on the back of accusations that he’d defaced a courtside banner belonging to the Wildcats at an earlier practice session.  

The ill feeling between Williams and the Wildcats was made manifestly clear when the latter’s chief executive, Nick Marvin, told The West Australian: “Corey clearly has no respect for the Perth Wildcats fans and uses every opportunity to disparage us… We’ll reserve our right to respond by the way we play.”

Williams had the opportunity to respond not just through his on-court performance but also through half-time and post-game interviews with One HD sideline reporter Caty Price.

The Corey Williams of previous seasons would have relished the chance to counter Perth’s claims and talk trash in front of a national television audience. Alas, the Corey Williams of previous seasons has seemingly become so infatuated with the notion that his colourful antics are beneficial to the media-starved NBL that he is now behaving as if it is his raison d’être for being in the league.

Sure, he continues to play excellent basketball and has boosted the Tigers’ playoff chances.

That, however, is currently secondary to the excessive self-promotion that has reached a level equivalent to a boxer who, on the eve of a televised bout, engages in contrived conflict with his opponent for the sake of driving pay-per-view buys.

The only difference is that Williams is seeking to drive the number of followers he has on Twitter. Rather than respectfully answering Price’s questions, Williams treated the reporter with a sexist disdain, patronisingly telling the “sweetie” that if those watching at home wanted to hear the truth about the pre-game accusations cast at him, they must instead subscribe to his social network ramblings.     

In other words, he paradoxically had so much to say that he preferred to articulate it through a medium that only allows 140-character posts.

Unlike the boxer who receives the financial spoils of an increased buyrate, Williams’ goal brings nothing but the self-gratification that obviously comes with tweeting: “770 friend request in less than an hour? Let’s make it 1000 and that’s even a better look people!”

The irony of Friday night’s happenings is that Williams truly believes he was conducting himself in a manner that was for the good of the game. As one of his post-game tweets claimed:  “Sumtimes the game needs pranksters. Things like this only make it fun, entertaining and memorable…”

What the game truly needs is strong relationships with its media partners. The NBL’s presence on One HD has provided an enormous fillip for the league, yet Williams sees the network and its audience as ancillary to his own ego. In his mind, the means of degrading a reporter are justified by the end of attracting more people to his Twitter account, where the sexist comments continue through tweets such as “wild cats [are] too sensitive like women” and “Man the fuk up.”

Perhaps instead of manning up Williams should wisen up, because at the moment the only thing “Homicide” is killing is his own credibility and the opportunity to maximise his true value to the league through media platforms other than his own BlackBerry. 

Corey Williams hasn’t been the only NBL player to cause controversy on Twitter this season. Then Sydney import Taj McCullough tweeted this comment straight after his side’s loss to Townsville. It was soon deleted, but not before Scibz’ Spiel got a screen shot.