Just a little over eight years ago, one of the founding fathers behind NBA Twitter and its popularity, Rob Perez, was skimming through a New Orleans phonebook selling tickets for the then-New Orleans Hornets. After graduating college from University of North Carolina, Perez was working a job in the NBA and at the time, that was all he wanted in life.
“I loved it,” Perez told DIME. “I loved talking to people, and I wanted to work in the NBA.”
He was going to games, entertaining clients and enjoying it. However, after a couple years, Perez decided to leave the gig when he realized how much the ticket brokers who were buying tickets from him were making. He opted to quit his ticket sales role with the team to start his own outside company as a ticket broker. His new enterprise grew to the point where he could eventually sell it and pursue what he really wanted to do: create content focused on the NBA.
Perez was still employed, but he finally found himself with free time to spend on the internet. This was in the early days of the budding community now known as NBA Twitter, when watching sports and having Twitter up on a second screen wasn’t second nature. As Twitter grew in popularity, Rob, also known as @World_Wide_Wob (or some configuration of that name, mixed with the latest player involved in some petty action or other), found a niche and grew, too.
Tweeting videos and thoughts about the NBA constantly, Rob was entrenched in the culture. This was when “Late Night With Wob” was born. Rob would record himself discussing random topics around the league while eating Pizza Bites, which became somewhat of a phenomenon in the laser-focused online community. His following on social media grew, as did his tweets of bench mobs, pettiness, and other topics that were about basketball, but far from the Xs and Os.
After working for a variety of different media companies, Cycle, a media company owned by Wasserman’s Cycle Media, came calling. Cycle had a vision to create an all-inclusive Twitter-centric show, discussing the topics that both diehard hoopheads and non-basketball fans could appreciate. They called the show Buckets and brought a unique perspective to the concept of what an NBA show should be — made for NBA Twitter by one of NBA Twitter’s most popular entities.
The show manages to be entertaining for basketball junkies and casual fans alike, coupling off-court hilarity and pettiness with actual talking points around the league. After season one of the show proved to be a big hit, which led to discussions about what season two would add.
In the time between season’s one and two, Cycle would announce a partnership with ESPN, giving the show an opportunity to add a co-host.