Late Night Twitter Sessions Are Bad for NBA Shooting Percentages

A new study was released today that says that there's a strong correlation between an NBA player tweeting after 11 PM and having a terrible game the next day.
November 19, 2018, 3:35pm
LeBron James looking at his phone before practice at the Warriors practice court during the 2017 NBA Finals.
Photo by Larry W. Smith—EPA

Sometimes that thing you think is bad for you, well, actually is bad for you. According to Sports Illustrated, a study released this morning indicates that there is a correlation between late night tweeting and NBA players' performance the following day. And would you be surprised to learn that it made them worse?

Two professors from Stony Brook College published the study, in an attempt to understand the impact of sleep deprivation on NBA players, and the easiest way to get data was to track which players were tweeting late into the night. A similar study recently focused on sleep deprivation and tweeting by Donald Trump, and so NBA players, known for their social media presence, seemed like the next best test group, and late night tweeting felt like a good proxy for sleep deprivation.

According to SI, the professors combed through 37,073 tweets from 112 players sent between the hours of 11 PM and 7 AM in their local time zones from 2009-2016. The professors then slapped that info alongside their next-day stat lines to see how they were impacted—acknowledging that some scheduled tweets and social media-producer pushed tweets contributed to a margin of error.

The findings showed that across the board, players scored 1.14 fewer points and played 2 fewer minutes in games the next day, and that their shooting efficiency dropped by 1.7 percent. And later in the night? Even worse: players who tweeted out between 2am and 6am saw their shooting efficiency drop by 3.6 percent, which jumps to 3.95 percent when players are on the road.

According to one of the Stony Brook professors, Lauren Hale, Ph.D., this might not be significant individually, but has the potential to compound itself across a whole team, "If two or three players are sleep deprived, that adds up," she said per SI.

Now just imagine how Tweet God Joel Embiid is going to feel about the study. Hopefully he doesn't read it at 11:01pm.