(CBS) The wheels were set in motion Wednesday mid-morning, when ESPN's Marc Stein reported that coveted free agent big man DeAndre Jordan was being lobbied by Clippers officials to reverse his verbal commitment to sign with the Mavericks and instead re-sign with his former team when the NBA moratorium is lifted Thursday.
Then it really got bananas -- with a virtual banana actually included in the social media fun.
Shortly after news broke that the Clippers were sending president of basketball operations and coach Doc Rivers to Houston, Jordan's hometown, for an 11th-hour meeting, Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons -- a key recruiting figure in getting Jordan to commit to a four-year, $80-million deal with Dallas last Friday -- sent out a simple emoji with a clear meaning.
Parsons was hopping on a plane to go meet Jordan himself as well.
Just nine minutes later, Clippers guard J.J. Redick -- who was reportedly several hours away in Austin, Texas -- responded in kind.
Redick was hitting the road to join the Clippers' contingent that was meeting Jordan. So too, according to his Twitter and reports, was star Blake Griffin.
Not to be outdone, Clippers star point guard Chris Paul got in on the fun and realized the stakes as well. After recently vacationing in the Bahamas with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Paul returned to the States. He tweeted a pair of emojis that added up to a banana boat -- which he hilariously had hopped on with Wade and James while they were on vacation.
Paul, Redick and Rivers were joining Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and the newly added Paul Pierce as those meeting Jordan, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowksi.
Of course, Pierce was in on the social media chaos as well, though not with an emoji but a photo of a rocket ship.
As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, the Clippers were expressing growing confidence that they would lure Jordan back to Los Angeles, according to reports, though Jordan was still supposed to have an in-person meeting with the Mavericks later in the day.
for more features.