Thank the good Lord that is over with. Sorry, but in my five plus years covering the league, the weeks, days and hours leading up to the NBA trade deadline is my least favorite topic to address. Coaches don’t like to talk about it. Neither do players. And for some writers, it essentially complicates matters.
What typically ends up happening is pageviews and readership is exchanged for credibility.
But no one wants to talk about that. They want to talk about earning respect, while all along losing it.
Talk to any beat writer across the league and they will tell you what irritates them the most about this time of year is all the rumors loosely thrown around like a Chris Brown haymaker. Guys on the beat spend half of their day chasing dead end rumors. Then they spend the rest attempting to get confirmation from a general manager, someone in the front office or a team source on what – in most cases – results is mere speculation.
Somewhere in between they actually have time to write – that is – when they are not worried about the newspaper biz suffering.
Can’t help but think guys in my situation – who primarily deliver online content – are part of the problem during the ongoing hoopla in late January and early February.
But that’s not me. Has never been my angle – just to report rumor after rumor after rumor after rumor. That’s sloppy journalism.
I find comfort in knowing I’m not a rumor monger. I find comfort in knowing I’ve established relationships and friendships with front offices, other beat writers and legit sources around the league who know what I’m about. And if anything, I’m about refuting a rumor instead of conjuring one up.
Have I reported about trade talks? Of course. Do I make it my goal 98% of the times I write? Hardly.
Trust me. Being told by an editor that you can’t run a story during the few days leading up to the trade deadline because it is not “rumor related” is simply infuriating. So it’s not only guys on the beat who have to deal with the winds of the rumor mill.
Such hot air is felt everywhere.
So forget the number of reasons I gave for Portland not trading Raef LaFrentz’s expiring contract….while many in the media – including some collegues at HOOPSWORLD – said that was one move the Blazers would make.
Forget how I assumed Brad Miller and Joe Smith would be on some GM’s shortlist…..and yes, Smith will not finish the season in Oklahoma City.
Forget Donnie Walsh telling me the New York Knicks didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver with trades….days before they move three guys out of town.
Forget me trusting both the Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls would make moves at the deadline…..boy, did they ever.
Forget all that noise.
Allow me to return to the stories of basketball and life for the love of God Shammgod.
pic via: empty the bench