A month and a half ago, I logged onto Twitter and saw my timeline clogged with people asking me to follow some account called “@DRE_DRUMMOND_.” Five tweets are easy to ignore; hundreds are not. Impressed by the amount of energy centered on this account, I of course had to click on it. I first read the bio attached:Official Twitter of Andre Drummond. Former UCONN HUSKY F, Now a Detroit Piston. Live by GOD, #T.A.G.O.D. Curious and admittedly ignorant in the sports arena, I took to Google for some research. I read the guy’s Wikipedia page… confronted by statistics and a bunch of basketball jargon, I gathered that he was gifted at basketball… and super, super tall. Not yet satisfied with my knowledge of this guy’s deal, I backtracked on his Twitter page a few months and checked out his Instagram… he appeared personable, youthful, and fun. And judging by the amount of me-related posts he had shared, it seemed he had been expressing his crush on me for quite some time. I found it sweet, gutsy, and flattering. It’s hard not to be impressed by a boy who will express his feelings for you in front of hundreds of thousands of people. I followed him back on Twitter and sent him a public message. We had a brief banter and then he sent me a private message with his phone number. Inevitably, I utilized it.
Text conversations started, followed by phone conversations, followed by daily hour-long FaceTime chats. He sent me flowers and gifts. I was giddy in the way I hate girls to be.
A few weeks after we started talking, Andre told me he was going to come visit California. I was excited. Then, as his visit crept closer, I began to feel a little unnerved. What if my fears of the overhype of cyberspace played out in my life? Granted, Andre and I had much more personal communication than the few flirty public tweets we would send each other every couple of days, but still… When you don’t have a million people telling you how cute your attempted date joke was like they tell you how cute your emoticon tweet exchange was, will any real spark exist? Will the chemistry between two people fall short of the buzz of millions? Maybe the more really is the merrier…
Also, what if the person I had built up in my head was different than the person I’d soon be sitting across from? What if technology aided and enhanced our conversations to the point where we felt crippled without it? What if two screens cannot properly replicate two humans after all?
Turns out, they can’t. Overall, the Andre Drummond I got to know in person is the same person he projects online, but it’s important to remember that the image displayed through a screen is in fact just that – a display. A person doesn’t converse in 140 characters, they don’t react in filters, and a well-played moment doesn’t loop itself every 6 seconds. We don’t live our life in glossy little quips, blips, and fragments, regardless of the fact that that’s what we’re encouraged to do in this day and age.
First of all, McCurdy shows tremendous perspective throughout her article, and if you’re confused about relationships in today’s technological world, you should read it. Because this is a Pistons blog, I excerpted the section about Drummond, but this article is about more than just those two.
But speaking of Drummond, he’s becoming a megastar. He’s dating a famous actress, and he’s featured prominently in a Wall Street Journal article that isn’t about basketball. Drummond gained national recognition last season from devoted NBA fans who campaigned for him to get more playing time. This is on a completely different, and larger, level.
I don’t know whether Drummond invites that attention, passively accepts it or tries to avoid it. But it’s growing, and it will be fascinating to watch how it affects him as he simultaneously takes on a larger role on the court.
Those issues might go hand in hand, but there’s also a level of privacy that should come with one, and I have a strong opinion for those who overly blend the two.
To those who have publically worried Drummond’s relationship with McCurdy might affect his focus on basketball, get a life. You might be the biggest Pistons fan in the world, but that doesn’t mean Drummond owes your team his complete devotion. Plenty of people choose to put their personal lives ahead of work, and I wouldn’t chastise Drummond if he choses to do the same. Basketball, or any job, isn’t everything.
If he still wants his NBA career to be his top priority and McCurdy becomes a distraction, that’s another story, and it might be worth discussing down the road. For now? Don’t pettily stress over the details of someone else’s relationship.
If you are worried about Drummond, let me refer you to the two people handling this situation most maturely. Through Twitter, of course:
— Jennette McCurdy (@jennettemccurdy) September 11, 2013
— Andre Drummond (@DRE_DRUMMOND_) September 11, 2013
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