It was a bizarre game at Assembly Hall on Monday night, to say the least. IU fell behind big to Ferris State, rallied to win in overtime, saw Victor Oladipo emerge as a fan favorite, and saw Matt Roth go down with what looked like a horrific knee injury.
But despite all that, the oddest event of the night didn’t even take place in the stadium, and probably went unnoticed by 95% of the people in attendance.
About five minutes into the game, word started circulating that top high school basketball prospect Austin Rivers, brother of IU’s Jeremiah Rivers, had tweeted something controversial. It took a few minutes for it to start making the re-tweet rounds, but when it did, it certainly lived up to its billing:
@AustinRivers25 Sometimes I wonder why my older brother went to Ind! Cause tom Creme is a joke! My bro deserves more respect …
The response from the IU faithful on Twitter was bewilderment followed by derision. I responded to a couple of IU students on Twitter with “Sometimes we wonder why his brother went to Indiana, too”. Nothing really serious — just another kid who, in an effort to defend a family member or friend, said something that they shouldn’t have on social media.
Except that within 20 minutes, two things happened. First, the Kentucky fans and media got ahold of the tweet, and used it to start ramming their Duke hate down everyone’s throat. Second, Austin Rivers started claiming that his account had been “hacked”, and that the same thing had happened to his Facebook page earlier. Here were some of Austin’s tweets after the “tom Creme” message:
– Sorry people out there! Someone is hacking into my twitter account and saying stuff! Someone hacked into my Facebook earlier this year!
– That’s why I deleted my facebook! Whoever out there hacked in my twitter please stop!!!
– Once again whoever has gotten in my account please say no more!Coach crean is a great coach!i have respect for him and everyone in the game
Alex Bozich from Inside The Hall noted (quite rightly) that the offending tweet came from an iPhone, as did all of the other tweets that Austin has sent. So the likelihood of this being a real honest-to-god hacking are pretty low.
Furthermore, no one has answered this: Why on earth would someone go to the trouble of hacking Austin Rivers’ Twitter feed during an EXHIBITION GAME for Indiana, to tweet something about Jeremiah Rivers getting dissed by Tom “Creme”? Wouldn’t you save that one for a more nationally pertinent game — or, hell, maybe even one that’s on live TV, as opposed to being on a pay-per-view only Internet feed?
I dunno, just a thought.
Regardless, I’m not buying it. Sounds like Austin meant what was said, until a bunch of people hopped on it. The “my account was hacked” is hard to fathom given the facts of this situation. All in all, a very strange start to the year.
UPDATE: I will say this — I don’t MIND that Austin Rivers tweeted that (if he did indeed tweet it). One of the neat things about social media is that we can share these opinions with others. I wasn’t offended by the tweet, although I can understand how a lot of IU fans might be, given that Jeremiah has struggled for this team on the court.