I Follow: TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott

Henry Abbott with Jeff Van Gundy at the NBA Finals. (Ben Cafardo/ESPN)

True Hoop’s Henry Abbott with analyst Jeff Van Gundy at the NBA Finals. (Kristen Hudak/ESPN)

Editor’s note: I Follow is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone.

Twitter handle: @TrueHoop
Followers: 78,660
Following: 1,812
(*as of 06/14/13)

Henry Abbott’s Twitter handle is @TrueHoop, so you know he’s serious about NBA basketball.

Abbott is an ESPN.com NBA senior writer and the TrueHoop name represents Henry’s TrueHoop Network of blogs, including TrueHoop TV, within ESPN.com’s NBA section.

Henry Abbott

Henry Abbott

Front Row had the opportunity to catch up with Henry this week during his rare downtime at the NBA Finals to discuss a number of topics, including an exchange with Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant, how he incorporates Twitter into his job, and his favorite cat video he’s seen tweeted.

How do you decide who to follow on Twitter?
My Twitter approach is different from almost everybody else’s. I do not read ‘em all. Not even close. Instead, I dip in whenever I want, and expect that the 1,812 people I follow will quickly get me up to speed. So I follow all the NBA players, a gazillion bloggers and journalists, and, for good measure, a number of professional cyclists, ’cause they’re hilarious on Twitter.

Who are some of your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
If I were a Ph.D. student, I’d make my thesis about the mystery of Tony Allen’s [Memphis Grizzlies] Twitter feed. It’s excitingly different. Also, we’ve made whole episodes of TrueHoop TV about the Twitter feeds of the Suns’ Kendall Marshall and writer Shea Serrano, and it’s because they’re wonderful.

What is your most memorable exchange on Twitter?
His second year in the league, Kevin Durant was a bundle of promise, but the fact was that his team played better when he was on the bench. (He took a lot of shots, wasn’t terribly efficient back then, and almost all young players struggle on defense). I wrote about this, and he Tweeted something about how it wasn’t right to criticize someone who worked too hard to get better every day. Fair point. And, I’m able to report, those same kinds of stats love Durant’s game now.

In what ways has Twitter changed your job?
Just knowing that a tropical storm of funny links, cat videos and people itching for a fight about something I wrote is always only a click away. . . I can’t say it makes it easier to find three uninterrupted hours to write some thoughtful story. That said, who doesn’t love a good cat video? I like the one with the cat in a box on a skateboard. The plot is predictable, but the pacing and cinematography make it.