Socially Active: 20 Players in the Postseason Share the Meaning of Their Motivational Hashtags

(Photo courtesy of James Harden's Instagram)

The NBA is all about personality—from the style and sneakers to the hairstyles and handshakes to the up-and-unders and uniform accessories. While those are visible with the players themselves, there’s another personable quality that’s only seen through words: personal hashtags that they use to identify themselves with and inspire others on their social media feeds.

“You do it because people want to join it, people always want to know more about you, know more about your personal life,” Bradley Beal, who has the hashtag #bOb, told the NBPA. “Social media is like the number one priority to people these days, so whenever you have a platform such as ours, it’s always important that you utilize it. It’s impacting people one way or another.”

Including Beal, the NBPA spoke with 20 players who have a consistent personal hashtag, and who are in the postseason, to reveal the essence of what they use most frequently. For each player capsule below (in alphabetical order), it features a relevant post from his Instagram account, the hashtag in the exact way he presents it and his insights.


My 5 vs you and yours! I am my brothers keeper! #nationalsiblingsday #bOb

A post shared by Bradley Beal (@bradbeal3) on

Bradley Beal (Wizards): #bOb

“It’s just ‘built on brotherhood.’ It’s like a crew—me and a few of my friends from back home. We just made up the group name and it’s fresh right now. I plan on incorporating my foundation into it and doing a lot of big things out of it—clothes and all that type of stuff. So it’s really kind of a motivational thing, just letting people know that our group is built on family, being with one another, protecting one another, and always being there for each other. That’s what we live by, that’s what we grew up on, that’s how we were raised.”


DeMarre Carroll (Raptors): #SrSwagDaddy

“It just says who I am as far as my fashion. I started it at the beginning of this year actually. A lot of the fans in Toronto were just, like, ‘I’m the best dressed,’ so I just started putting ‘Swag Daddy’ on Instagram. And somebody hashtagged it. I just ran with it, and I put the ‘Sr.’ in there because maybe my son wants to be ‘Swag Daddy Jr.’ So it’s been good. I try to dress to impress.”


Jae Crowder (Celtics): #99PROBLEMS

“I made it up because it’s from a popular Jay Z song. When you play against me, you’ve got 99 problems. I also chose No. 99 and not No. 9 out of respect for Rajon Rondo, and my best friend in college football was No. 99.”


Dewayne Dedmon (Spurs): #justwatch

“‘Just watch’ means there is more to come. It’s more like to all my doubters that said I wouldn’t make it or wouldn’t pan out to just sit back and watch. I use it to let people know that the process isn’t over.”


Men's Health (Poland) 261 pounds 😅😅😅😅#polishmachine #poland

A post shared by Marcin Gortat (@mgortat13) on

Marcin Gortat (Wizards): #polishmachine

“Never get hurt, always ready to play, always ready to practice, 33 years old, no injuries, knock on wood. Just basically performing at the highest level, running like a machine. Never get tired, never get injured.”


Got to keep a tunnel vision… #Focused #334

A post shared by JaMychal Green (@roadtoriches_0) on

JaMychal Green (Grizzlies): #334

“It’s my area code of my hometown of Montgomery, Ala. It means everything to me. That’s what got me prepared and got me ready for this moment. I’m just trying to put it on for my city and make everybody proud.”


Stay #LockedIn🔒 with a clear view.

A post shared by jharden13 (@jharden13) on

James Harden (Rockets): #LockedIn

“It means I’m focused. I’m focused more than ever. I’m focused in every aspect of my life—I’m locked in. That’s what my best friends and I are about right now.”


Even when your down #allheart

A post shared by Andrew Harrison (@drewroc5) on

Andrew Harrison (Grizzlies): #allheart

“It just goes off of what our team is putting on for. We just try to play from everything we have inside of us. Tony Allen started the whole thing, and I just kind of threw a little of myself on there. It just means you’re going to give it all you’ve got every time you step on the court. I want to show my passion for the game. I give it my all every time I play.”


#TrulyGrateful For My Blessings 🙏🏾 #BeGr8 – 4them #NBA

A post shared by Dwight Howard (@dwighthoward) on

Dwight Howard (Hawks): #BeGr8

“I changed my number from No. 12 to No. 8 when I joined the Hawks. ‘BeGr8’ is a message I want to share with people, especially kids, who may doubt themselves. So they know I believe in them as people believed in me.”


Ma fuzzy #Mr_avecclasse

A post shared by Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka7) on

Serge Ibaka (Raptors): #avecclasse

“Always have class [derived from French]. It’s a way that I try to represent myself. I want to share that with others.”


Luc Mbah a Moute (Clippers): #ekie

“It is a Cameroonian expression that is frequently used back home. To me, it serves as a reminder to never forget where I came from. I use it because it’s my way of exposing people around the world to my culture. It is also a way of representing my country and African culture.”


This Is All God's Doing Man You Can't Plan It 🙏🏽 #ZWZD

A post shared by Patrick McCaw 🏀 (@pmccaw0) on

Patrick McCaw (Warriors): #ZWZD

“Zero worries, zero doubts, so it’s just ‘ZWZD.’ That’s why I wear the number zero—just coming into the draft, I had zero worries and zero doubts on where I would land and where I would be this year. And I’m having an amazing rookie year.”


Gameday! #juglifewater #juglife #warriors #javale #godubs #javalemcgee

A post shared by Javale Pierre McGee (@javalemcgee) on

JaVale McGee (Warriors): #juglife

“When I was in Denver, I started reading up on drinking water and how important it is. And I started the hashtag #juglife, just playing around. So I started putting it on my Instagram and people started sending me back with the hashtag #juglife that, ‘I’m doing it, too.’ It’s pretty big to where people are stealing it now, like weightlifters. I’m sure people drink a gallon of water, but no one had a hashtag or a certain name for it. But I’m not really trying to get credit for it. It’s for the people who really need it and are affected. That’s all that really matters.”


Game day! Got Kurupt,Big Suge and the Dog Pound wit me lol..#DeathrowDC #Foeinc

A post shared by KeefMorris5.0 (@keefmorris5.0) on

Markieff Morris (Wizards): #Foeinc

“It’s ‘family over everything.’ Me and a couple of my guys that played AAU started it in high school when we were going to college. The message is just family over everything. At all times, family is the most important thing and that’s what keeps you level-headed. It’s basically between us. We had a lot of ups and downs in our group, and our bond just got stronger and it just means a lot to us.”


Money on the floor, lets get straight to it!!! #Shhh

A post shared by Wave Papi🙏🏽 (@kellyoubrejr) on

Kelly Oubre Jr. (Wizards): #Shhh

“‘Shhh’ pretty much just means we need less talking and more action in this world. A lot of people can say the things that sound good, say the things that they think might help the world. But we need to see action. We need more leaders by example and not by talking. During Rookie Transition, they said that we could build our brand however we want to people to see it. And I just want people to see that I’m somebody who’s trying to make this world a better place and I’m a positive person. Pretty much it’s just a replication of me trying to just be a leader by example.”


Was good to see my loved ones last night #FOE #LOE 💯

A post shared by Bobby BP Portis (@bportistime) on

Bobby Portis (Bulls): #FOE

“It’s ‘family over everything.’ It means a lot. I love being loyal to the people that I’m around and family is big with me.”


it's killing me not being able to go to war with my brothers, but I already know they got my back! #overlydedicated

A post shared by Glenn Robinson III (@glennrob3) on

Glenn Robinson III (Pacers): #overlydedicated

“It stands for all the hard work I put in to get where I am. It was different and appropriate.”


Pascal Siakam (Raptors): #humblehustle

“‘Humble hustle’ stands for the unconditional hustle I bring to the court. But it also embodies the hard work ethic that was instilled in me at a young age through my humble upbringing in Africa. Now that I am playing in the NBA, the hashtag serves as a reminder to me to stay humble in my grind.”


Yo big S/O to for the dope pic go check him out #ygc

A post shared by Marcus Smart (@youngamechanger) on

Marcus Smart (Celtics): #YGC

“‘YGC’ represents my YounGameChanger Foundation [that supports families with seriously and chronically ill children through encouragement and life-changing experiences]. After experiencing the death of my brother to cancer and knowing how it feels, it’s important for me to give back to other families struggling through the same thing I went through.”


Happy New Years so bless, More blessing more victories !! #5Deep #BYB #WallWay

A post shared by johnwall (@johnwall) on

John Wall (Wizards): #WallWay

“It’s just my family brand. It’s just what we are—we’re a family. I started it two years ago with my nephew. He raps. He’s an up-and-coming artist, [Wallway Pack], so we just used it as a brand and push it.”

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