When the Media Makes Up Stories

It used to be football was a fall sport, basketball was in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. Now, with the internet, every sport is 24/7/365. Salaries are high, interest is higher. The media’s job has become infinitely more difficult. Fans’ appetites for information are insatiable.

As much as the sport is year round, there are still days – sometimes many in a row – in which nothing is happening. At least nothing worthwhile. Some guys have stories banked, usually human interest in nature, so during “drought” days, there’s something to fall back on. Every once in a while, however, something occurs that forces a reporter or writer to make a decision – is this news or nothing? Often, the answer depends on how competitors decide to approach it.

A great example is the recent interview with Doc Rivers following the Chris Paul trade. When he was asked about how the Clippers were going to play now that CP was gone, one of the things Doc mentioned was that they’d have more ball movement. Members of the media jumped all over his answer. “Aha! Controversy,” thought many of the scribes. “So there was tension between coach and player,” they concluded.

After hearing Doc explain exactly what he meant (if there’s anybody who’s aware of how to deal with the media, it’s Doc Rivers), it became quite apparent why he said what he said. The fact he continued to say that, with a point guard as talented as Chris Paul, you needed to have the ball in his hands – because you trusted him to make the right play. Quite obvious, made sense. No matter. It became a story.

When I listened to what Doc said, it certainly made sense to me. It’s exactly what I thought the answer was. Truthfully, if there were other, more interesting, more controversial items for the media:

“It never would have been mentioned.”

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