If Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets about an impending NBA trade or free agent move then it's a safe bet that it's about to go down. His timeline is a must-read for anyone trying to keep pace with the frenetic happenings of the Association. Depending on the players involved in the deal he's reporting on, Wojnarowski's tweets may get retweeted hundreds of times.
And, this stature makes him just the sort of NBA reporter that a Twitter prankster would want to impersonate.
On Thursday evening, Miami television station WSVN reported that the Miami Heat had signed free agent shooting guard Ray Allen, citing a tweet from Wojnarowski. Given the widespread reports that Allen was visiting the Heat this week and strongly considering joining the NBA champions, the news was hardly shocking.
The only problem was that there was no tweet from @WojYahooNBA reporting such a deal. There was, however, a tweet from @WojYahoooNBA that described it.
The profile for this account reads "NOT NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports and an NBA Insider for the NBC Sports Network.(PARODY)." Previously, the account had been tweeting about Dwight Howard being dealt to the Lakers.
Eventually, the news station realized its mistake.
This isn't the first time that a fake account caused some confusion when it comes to player movement in professional sports. An account meant to look as if it belongs to ESPN scoop maven Adam Schefter generated news during the on-off-on trade of Tim Tebow to the New York Jets in March . With various reporters offering conflicting information during the frenetic few hours after Jay Glazer initially reported on the deal, @AdarnSchefter fooled a lot of folks with a tweet saying that "It's official. The #Jaguars have traded for Tim Tebow."
Even the official @Sportscenter account was fooled, retweeting the fake Schefter account.