My Worries about Just Passing it Along…

Published: February 22, 2011

A few days ago I was given information from a reliable inside source that talks were ongoing between the Hornets and Cavaliers and I felt conflicted about posting the information on this site. My sources integrity could not have been compromised, so that was not the concern, as much as the fact that I simple do not like this new age idea of news reporters becoming news makers and sometimes it is hard to see that line.

With social media, twitter, blog sites, etc. word travels faster than ever and it is no longer good to report on a story; instead, you have to be the one to break it. Yeah, we have a few stories on Melo this morning, but really read over the majority of those stories. The first few paragraphs talk about the trade, but then the focus turns on: What’s NEXT? Denver might move Danillo, the Knicks will be going after CP3 or D-Will. This trade might lead to Troy Murphy landing in X city, Ray Felton is going to Y……. and on and on and on. Nobody wants to read about today, they just want the scoop on tomorrow.

I hold off on that type of journalism for the most part, but I do feel an obligation to report on things I hear from time to time when they come from somebody I trust. Somebody I trust told me 4 days before draft night that Darren Collison would be the pick, so I let it be known on several Hornets web sites. I was also told that MT5 would be a target either late in the 1st or early in the second. I reported that too.

I was told several days before this year’s draft that Pattrick Patterson would be the pick if the Hornets stayed at 11 (and believe me, he would have been) and that the three targets after the trade went down were Quincy Pondexter, Larry Sanders, and Craig Brackins. I let this be known right before the unfortunate draft day crash of Hornets247.

I am not trying to brag or justify my track record, I am just pointing out that I have shared in the past and I would likely share again, but I am conflicted on this as a member of the media. Why can’t we just wait? Why can’t fans just enjoy the present without needing speculation on events that might or might not happen? Why does an article about a trade whisper I heard get 5 times as many views as a solid piece that breaks down Okafor’s value to the team or an examination of Chris Paul’s clutch time stats?

This is part of why I am conflicted. The other part resides in the fact that I know 99% of things that are discussed never come to fruition. This is why I tend to only pass along the draft day rumblings that I hear, because teams have more control in that setting. The Hornets had a general idea of who would be available at #21 and because of that, it was pretty clear that Collison would be a Hornet. The trade front is so much more fluid and unpredictable, however. Every GM is a car salesman, and they have 29 customers they are simultaneously capable of negotiating with. I have heard dozens of stories where a deal appears to be done, and then minutes later the rug is pulled out from underneath them and a swap takes place between two other teams.

I know Demps talked to Cavs GM Chris Grant, but what I can’t tell you is how many other people each man talked to that day, or that week. This is why I personally feel uncomfortable passing the information along, and only do so if the conversations are passed the preliminary stage. Whether you choose to believe them or not is your choice, but I personally vow that I will never create something or pass along a rumor that comes from a source that I do not know or trust.

Full disclosure, I do not recieve any payment for this job and likely never will. We take all of the money that the site creates and invest it back into the site so that Hornets fans can have a credible, efficient blog that has the resources of a ESPN at their disposal. I have no desire to make a name for myself in this field, and in all honesty, if I wanted to be a full time NBA columnist for a major paper or website, I would have no problem getting that position. I have quality connections, am a relatively good looking guy in a field that has a bevy of “radio faces”, and a wealth of knowledge on the NBA.

I will never go that route, however, and therefore I have no incentive to fabricate stories just to drive up page views. I do this because I have the ability to do it and because I am privy to some information that others do not recieve and I feel a responsibility to pass it along when I deem it beneficial. The conflict is always there, however, and I don’t know whether I will be more forthcoming in the future, or if I will maintain my reluctance. But what I want all the readers to know, above all else, is that when I do disclose, you should know that I have done my homework and I will release any information with the upmost integrity.

By the way, has anybody heard the one about the Hornets trading CP3 straight up for D-Will?

Sometimes you just gotta laugh at yourself.


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