Why some NBA players are getting potatoes in the mail lately

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five

NBA players get all sorts of fan mail, although firing off tweets at players instead has probably cut into some of the stacks of stationary that players receive.

Most of the letters are autograph requests and sometimes ultimately get handled by an assistant or by a family member.

Very rarely does fan mail get into the news, but here's a fan mail success story for some entrepreneurs.

The odyssey started on Wednesday when Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks tweeted a photo of a custom-decorated potato.

He also thanked the sender, saying "Much appreciated...."

The senders also appreciated the Tweet, though, as it has drawn more than 40,000 retweets and more than 118,000 likes as of Friday.

Next up was Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat, whose likeness ended up on his potato, along with DJ Khaled.

More than 800 retweets and 1,600 likes later, it was another success.

Then, on Thursday, Frank Kaminsky of the Charlotte Hornets tweeted his tater, which he named "#FrankThePotato."

Frank said the image on the potato matched his expression when he received. Nevertheless, it drew a few hundred more retweets and over 1,000 likes.

The latest mark has been Kevin Durant, whose potato wasn't even artful, at least from what we saw in the picture on Twitter.

Here's what Durant, who is battling a knee injury as is out for an extended period of time, said with his tweet on Friday: "Treatment and inspirational potatoes. Thanks, whoever you are."

Over 3,000 retweets and more than 10,000 likes in about an hour.

So what's it all about?

It seems Dan Gartland of Sports Illustrated has cracked the code. It's right there in the fine print.


When you blow up Nowitzki's photo, you can see the return address headlined by Potato Parcel.

The company, which is run by Alex Craig and Riad Bekhit, appeared on "Shark Tank" last year, the hit show from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

The idea is that you can send messages to friends, families, co-workers, enemies, whoever through a potato. It's... original.

Apparently, the idea was mocked by Cuban.

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Potato Parcel has more than 3,500 followers on Twitter and has claimed responsibility for the gifts.

Whatever you think of the idea, or Cuban -- or potatoes, for that matter -- you have to respect the hustle.

The viral marketing campaign worked and the players played right into their hands.

Score one for the potato guys.

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