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Podcast: How player empowerment might have led to player-specific fans

As players have charted their own path through the NBA, some fans have done the same.

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Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

This week, as the entire schedule was jumbled around, “The Anthony Irwin Show” was moved all the way from one end of the week to the other. But it was for a good reason, as I was lucky enough to welcome Josiah Johnson of “Outta Pocket” to talk about his Twitter presence, sports fandom, his time at UCLA and more.

To start the conversation, I was curious — given the Lakers’ recent history of asking people to take double duty — whether they have reached out to him to run their social media accounts while also starting at small forward. He said he’s down, so at least there’s that.

From there, we discussed how he goes about accumulating the wide variety of references and memes for his Twitter account, and what it was like the first time LeBron James retweeted him and shouted him out. As you’d expect, it was quite the experience (and something LeBron still does regularly).

As some might know, Josiah played four years at UCLA alongside future Lakers such as Jordan Farmar, Matt Barnes and Trevor Ariza. This gave me the excuse to ask him how hard he worked on getting Ariza back to the Lakers, especially once James signed a few years ago. So if Ariza comes back healthy and helps the Lakers win a championship, you all have Josiah to thank.

Over the course of the conversation, we also discussed the shift in younger generations to player fandom rather than team-based fandom, and how much the player empowerment era has had to do with that. It’s a fascinating look at the change in priorities for players and fans alike.

Finally, we wrapped on his most embarrassing moment on a basketball court. His were so good that I had to join in the fan and offered up my actual most embarrassing moment. No, it isn’t the eurostumble.

You can listen to all that and more in the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.