Dani Diez de la Faya: Do you exist?

Twitter is a lovely place. You can stay in touch with what’s around you. See important life updates directly from anyone – friends to family to celebrities. Watch everyone else progress step-by-step in life in place of doing that yourself. It’s wonderful. Like the British Comedian Stewart Lee said, “It’s like a state surveillance agency run by gullible volunteers.” But as with any good state agency, there’s a tremendous amount of red tape, overhead, and clerical work that needs to interfere. In Twitter’s case, that means arduously assembling lists of accounts so that one can more easily compartmentalize the way they ingest the activities of others. Our lovely editor Matt Cianfrone was putting together a catalog of NBA Players’ twitter accounts, and that’s when the mystery of Dani Diez de la Faya began.

“I’m pretty sure that the NBA drafted [sic] a made up guy and then traded his draft rights around because I have never heard of Dani Diez de la Faya until right this moment,” said Editor Matt in our email chain.

I had never heard of this man either. Was he made up? The USA Sports Images Database seemed to think so.

Where are you, Dani? Who are you?

I had to know for sure.

My search started the same place as all great investigations of the past: Google. I typed in “Dani Diez de la Faya” which my phone immediately autocorrected to “Dani Dies de la Data.” Was this a clue? A smokescreen? An Android feature working as intended? It’s hard to say for sure.

Well, I entered the search anyway at which point Google asked me “Did you mean Dani Diez de la Faya?” I did. Google knew what I wanted, but the google Android OS tried to lead me astray. Google was in on the conspiracy. I was sure of it.

The first place I checked was the image results, because if Dani is a person, he probably has a face. I wanted to see it.

That is, in fact, a face. And he is, in fact, holding a basketball. That was curious. If someone wanted to convince me and humanity writ large that a basketball player named Dani Diez existed, isn’t this exactly the kind of photo they would stage?

The non-face based Google results were troubling as well. Supposedly the specter of Dani Diez settled in Portland. Dani Diez shouldn’t be overlooked by Blazers’ Edge. Supposed stats from some country called Europe on Basketball Reference. An empty biography on ESPN. What does it all mean? Are Disney and Google in cahoots? Is a new Disneyland (Dieznleyland?) opening in Rip City? How deep did the conspiracy hole go?

We may never know. There is a twitter account in his name, however. Unfortunately, the posts are all in some sort of scrambled code that I can’t crack. The n’s with the wavy line on top of them especially throw me off.

Perhaps he’s a camera mounted spy-unit that enjoys beautiful views.

Perhaps he’s a robot learning to run and breathe at the same time.

Perhaps he can fly.

Perhaps he’s cryogenically freezing his torso.

Perhaps he’s a normal bro who just likes broing out with his bros.

Or maybe that’s what they want you to think. So does Dani Diez de la Faya exist? In some form or another, I’m going to have to say yes. What that means is a more imposing question.

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