On Saturday, Etan “The Bard” Thomas laid into NBA owners in an Op-Ed to ESPN. I’m not going to go into detail about the post (Matt did a great job answer all of Etan’s questions here), but I will point out two things.
1) Etan Thomas does not appear to be a fan of Michael Jordan at this point in time. Two of the questions specifically deal with his (and presumably much of the NBPA and the players’) distaste with how Michael Jordan has been handling his lockout-related tenure as owner of the Bobcats. It was also not lost on many of us readers that there were 23 questions asked.
2) Thomas called out reporters for giving fans “false hope.”
During recent negotiations, reporters continuously tweeted and wrote articles citing “anonymous sources” saying that we were closer to a deal then we actually were, or that progress was being made. Why do reporters keep giving false hope to fans?Â
Matt lays into Etan for this one:
Woah, woah, woah, there, Mr. Thomas. This has made me nuts all week. The sports media has never been as friendly to you as they have been throughout this process. You donâ€™t want people questioning why it is that youâ€™re paid as much as you are to play a game? How about you not question the hard work that has proven to be responsible on the part of a group of journalists who wanted to cover you guys actually dribbling and shooting instead of wandering in and out of meetings in sweaters and hoodies? (Not you, Mr. Thomas, your taste in suits has been impeccable. Speaking of which, whereâ€™d you get that vest last week?) The NBA media has repeatedly pointed out to the public youâ€™re not the ones who started this, youâ€™re not the ones being unreasonable. So why do you insist on repeatedly coming after them just because itâ€™s convenient? Itâ€™s cheap, easy, and reeks of hypocrisy after your comments about not coming after athletes in labor talks just because theyâ€™re paid well.
I may be biased here, but I’ve got to side with Matt on this one. Just like that baby in the video, we fans would be crying all the time if we didn’t get our momentary peace of mind.Â We all have our ways of coping, our tiny things that make us feel better.Â Some babies listen to Biggie. Some NBA fans need snippets of news that tell them their season will be arriving sooner rather than later. People like hope. And as much as Matt has been on the record for disliking hope, I think we can all agree that the reporters of the lockout have been doing a fantastic job of relaying information, managing expectations, and keeping us all sane. And most of them do it with little to no pizza.
Keep up the good work, reporter-folks. Thanks for doing what you do.