Emoji’s were originally created as a cute and funny way to share your expressions between friends, family, and peers. They were meant to be harmless and to simply be a new way of conveying what you were saying over the sometimes ambiguous medium that is texting.
Now, however, emojis have come to be used in far more substantial, and influential ways.
With the rise of what is known as #NBATwitter (the collective community of fans, players, executives, etc. who follow and interact with the National Basketball League on Twitter. Go see @WorldWideWeb or @Netw3rk if you’re confused…) there in turn became a rise in subliminal messages being put out by players and league members conveying certain transactions and motivations of players. The main mode of communication for these players? You guessed it: Emojis.
Much of the emoji lore on #NBATwitter can be traced back to it’s earliest days in the summer of 2015, when many players in the league became involved in the free agency of Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan. It became known as the “Emoji Battle of the 2015 Summer” and spawned great moments like the Banana Boat boys, and helped grow #NBATwitter into what it is today. It all began with Chandler Parsons, and as Bleacher Report details, grew into so much more.
But how does this relate to who the Sacremento Kings will draft with the second pick in tomorrow’s 2018 NBA Draft? Well, according to TheRinger.com the team has already blown their cover, and informed the player who will be chosen.
The player: Luka Doncic, the beloved European basketballer who has been lighting up the second best league in the world at only the age of 19. The emoji: The hangloose emoji, mostly known as the gesture popularized by surfer dudes.
How do the two relate? Well the “hang-loose” emoji has become commonly used by the Sacremento King’s owner Vivek Ranadive in pictures and at events, and Doncic often uses it in Instagram comments and captions.
These all come on the heels of Vivek’s son Instagram Storing what appears to be a two week old picture of himself, Doncic, his father, and the Kings’ GM Vlade Divac.
A recently released photo of a secret meeting, the prominence of the emoji in NBA social media circles, and this particular emoji’s use in relation to the Vivek’s common love for the gesture all add up to one thing: Luka Doncic’s name will be called for the second pick of the draft.