The Sacramento Kings new ownership group is led by Vivek Ranadive, a man who made serious money in software. The most visible minority owner, Shaquille O’Neal, is a self-admitted techie and was among the first stars to use Tout. Thus, it’s fitting that even as the more things (hopefully) change for this proud-but-oft turbulent franchise, the more they stay the same in one respect: The longest tenured King, starting power forward Jason Thompson, shares this love of social media and technology. There’s a soft spot in the big man’s heart for the Blackberry, but Thompson is pretty much all iPhone these days. Here’s a look inside his.
So what are some of your favorite apps?
“Different things. I’ve got NBA Apps, I’ve got Twitter. Instagram. Kik. I just try different things. I’ve got most of them with the music. Shazam. I just try different things.
What’s your Instagram account like? Is it a bunch of selfies? Pictures of things around you?
“No, just different things that I might be doing.”
(Editor’s note: At this point, the entire Kings locker room immediately busted up laughing, then accused Thompson of being a serial selfie-r. Thompson denied this, saying there are teammates with far more selfies than him. So who’s telling the truth? I went straight to the source and checked out Thompson’s Instagram account. As it turns out, his teammates weren’t lying about the existence of selfies, but there are probably more pictures of Thompson in general than those truly meeting a “selfie” definition. As is often the case with most questions, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.)
What’s the app you’re most reliant on?
“I’d say the Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes you can just go on Twitter and learn about what’s going during the day without even Tweeting. People don’t understand that, like you’ve got to tell your business to everybody. But really you just know what’s going on, check the trending topics and just see what’s going on.”
So you’re actively following on Twitter, but not necessarily Tweeting a lot?
“Exactly. You can be active by just going on, seeing what your friends are doing, laughing at different things. I’m a big Vine guy, too. Just laughing at the videos. I don’t ever post any videos or anything like that, but I’m always just laughing and looking at that kind of stuff.”
What’s your most recently downloaded app?
“Uber and Snapchat.”
What do you think of Snapchat?
“I think it’s cool. It’s a like a teaser. If you’re gonna send a picture to somebody, you might as well text it to them. I think it’s for people that if you may not know them well and you don’t want them to ever have the picture again, then it’s good for them.”
What about Uber?
“Uber’s good, man. Once you get to the point of trusting and being safe and all that type of stuff, I think it’s good. It’s reliable. You don’t need to have a driver. They’ll always be there and all you have to do is just a hit a button.”
I would think the first time, though, using the service feels sketchy.
“Oh, yeah. Because you don’t know how they would know your information like that. Where you’re at. It’s all about credit card, too, so it when it comes to certain things like that, it’s tough. But it’s definitely good for people who’ve had a couple drinks.”
What’s the weirdest app you have?
“I think it would probably be the emojis. Having different faces for texts. Sometimes, you don’t even have to text [words]. You can just send the picture and people will understand what’s going on.”
What games are you really into?
“I like Phase 10. I like Angry Birds. I like to play Spades. I like competitive type things. I’m not too big on Temple Run, or anything like that, like a lot of people are.”
What app is most crucial for someone with an NBA lifestyle?
“The league pass and things like that. I’m big on looking at different stats and former teammates and guys that I know. Checking up on the games and things like that, especially if you’re on the plane, you’re on the bus, or something like that. It’s good to check it out.”