HoopsHype Media rumors

December 18, 2014 Updates

Turning the world upside down, Draper makes mighty ESPN the victim of a malicious Woj, who uses his column to browbeat sources. Almost everyone quoted is or once was at ESPN. Draper notes piously that he tried to get people to talk on the record. Of course, when they wouldn’t–bombs away!–he notes, “In private, NBA reporters complain endlessly about Wojnarowski’s methods.” Forbes.com

December 17, 2014 Updates

“Most of us are from a place where the pro football team is the dominant team, in terms of sports, entertainment, culture and discussion,” Wilbon said. “Most of us are from a place like that. But, are the Redskins all that Washington can follow? They can’t follow two things, sports fans here? Because the Wizards are on to something, Tony. And I don’t mean they’re on to something because they’re not 9-20. First of all, even if they had a more mediocre record, they’re really, I think, one of the four or five most appealing teams in the entire league, in terms of the way they play, the chemistry they have on the court, the personalities. They seem to be just the nicest people. And I have now been around them for a couple of weeks over a period of time to just sort of observe, and listen and have discussion, and they are a delight the Wizards are, as opposed to the fright that is the other team.” Washington Post

Wojnarowski now breaks news on Twitter so frequently that his fans have quit lumping his messages in with the millions of other “tweets” sent every day. Instead, basketball fans refer to them as #WojBombs. They are so essential to the functioning of the NBA that some league executives have turned on text notifications just for Wojnarowski’s tweets. “I signed a player, and my staff didn’t know that we got the guy yet, and I heard the cheering outside the office because they had seen Woj tweet it,” one team executive said. “I was still on the phone with the agent, negotiating areas of the exhibit, and Woj already had it.” The New Republic

When Wojnarowski began at Yahoo Sports in 2006 the site wasn’t known for its sports reporting. Wojnarowski singlehandedly changed that. “He is the one who made Yahoo, it is not Yahoo that made him,” says ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Wojnarowski churns out reported columns at a furious pace and often publishes them in the middle of the night. “He is a complete freaking animal,” says New York Daily News Knicks reporter Frank Isola. “Adrian is basically a reporter on steroids.” The New Republic

In fact, it often appears as though Adrian Wojnarowski lets his sourcing dictate not just the topic but also the tone of his writing. In private, NBA reporters complain endlessly about Wojnarowski’s methods. Some of it is undoubtedly professional jealousy, but his body of work shows they also have a point. The New Republic

In 2010, the NBA fined Dumars $500,000 for leaking multiple confidential league memos to Wojnarowski, according to multiple sources. This matches the third largest publicly known fine the league has ever handed down. The NBA decided that too many memos were making it into the media, so they conducted a sting operation over several months. They would change a few words or numbers in different team’s copies of otherwise identical memos, so that when the memos leaked they could spot the small differences and trace them back to the leaker. This approach caught Dumars red-handed, as well as an executive from another team who was fined $12,500 for leaking to a draft-focused website. The New Republic

Despite Wojnarowski’s past at ESPN—or perhaps because of it—his relationship with the network borders upon hatred as closely as anything in the sports media world. “I’ve had agents and executives tell me Woj has a jihad against ESPN,” said Bleacher Report’s (and formerly ESPN’s) Ric Bucher. “He has a mission to take ESPN down.” Bucher wasn’t the only person to use the word “jihad” to describe how Wojnarowski approaches competition with ESPN. Wojnarowski seizes every opportunity to take shots at ESPN, often referring to it as “that cheerleading network” or “a sports cable network” in his columns. The New Republic

Still, multiple sources say in 2012 Yahoo mistakenly forgot to exercise an option in Wojnarowski’s contract, and he unexpectedly found himself a writing free agent. NBA reporters Chris Sheridan and Bucher had left ESPN within the past year, and then-ESPN.com editor-in-chief Rob King came calling. They had a 45-minute telephone conversation but discussions never progressed beyond that stage, and the two never met in person. Said King through a spokesperson: “As per usual business operations, we had an exploratory conversation with Adrian when his contract expired, but before we had a chance to follow up, his agent informed us that he was staying at Yahoo.” A Bristol homecoming wasn’t in the cards. The New Republic

December 15, 2014 Updates
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December 12, 2014 Updates

Woven Digital, a publisher of fast-growing pop culture news and entertainment sites which include UPROXX and BroBible, today announced that it has raised $18 million in Series A financing led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). Also participating are Advancit Capital, The San Francisco 49ers, United Talent Agency, senior partners from leading entertainment law firm Ziffren Brittenhanm LLP, MySpace and SGN co-founder Chris DeWolfe, Buddy Media co-founder Mike Lazerow, and former NBA players Baron Davis and Jermaine O'Neal. IVP Principal Somesh Dash will join Woven's board of directors. PR Newswire

December 11, 2014 Updates

Sports and entertainment company, Day 6 Sports Group, is teaming up with the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the re-launch of Backyard Sports, a series of digital games starring kid versions of popular professional sports stars. After originally debuting in 1997, the brand is back and better than ever. The franchise will now be available in mobile game form for smartphones and tablets, making them even more accessible for devotees of the original series as well as casual gamers and sports fans of all ages. An entire roster of all new professional sports stars will also join the Backyard Sports team and will be enhanced by a vast array of fun in-game power ups and special, never seen before features. PR Newswire

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has joined forces with Day 6 Sports Group as the face of the Backyard Sports Basketball line and is the first NBA player to sign an endorsement deal with the franchise. "I grew up playing Backyard Sports, and having an opportunity to help bring it back to this generation of children is something I'm really thrilled about," said Curry. "Re-launching a brand that was so iconic is an exciting step for us," said Jim Wagner, CEO, Day 6 Sports Group. "And partnering with the NBA and Stephen Curry is the perfect way for us to engage with both our existing community of fans as well as the next generation of Backyard Sports players." PR Newswire

December 10, 2014 Updates

The Atlanta Hawks and iHeartMedia are collaborating to broadcast eight Hawks games on local Spanish language station El PatrÓn 105.3 FM this season, it was announced today. The ground-breaking news marks the first time Hawks contests will be aired completely in Spanish by an Atlanta radio outlet. “We are thrilled to enter a partnership with iHeartMedia and El PatrÓn 105.3,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin. “This collaboration presents exciting new opportunities for us to further engage the diverse, multicultural population of our great city. Broadcasting our games in Spanish is important for our organization as we continue to build bridges through basketball and connect with our community.” NBA.com

December 9, 2014 Updates

TNT’s Reggie Miller joined the show to talk about the big storylines in the League. Miller weighed in on high-profile players protesting – he said there could be a precedent issue if players protest about an issue in a way that’s not in line with what a lot of people think. Reggie also weighed in on the Warriors owner’s statement on former coach Mark Jackson. And he weighed in on how long Kobe Bryant will play. The Dan Patrick Show

December 5, 2014 Updates

According to numbers released by Fox Sports Southwest, the Spurs drew an average local TV rating of 8.0 in November, by far the best in the NBA through the opening weeks of the season. Cleveland, fueled by the additions of LeBron James and Kevin Love, finished second at 7.2. The 8.0 set a Spurs record for November on the network, besting the previous mark of 7.5 set in 2007. San Antonio Express-News

December 4, 2014 Updates

The scope of Earvin (Magic) Johnson’s impact on the basketball world is unquestioned: The Hall of Famer redefined the point guard position, captured five championships and played a leading role in driving the NBA’s international growth. But Johnson’s influence has only increased since he retired in 1996, becoming the chief executive of a billion-dollar company, the public face of a global health cause and a major philanthropist. To honor those diverse contributions, Sports Illustrated announced Thursday that Johnson has been recognized with the magazine’s Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award. Johnson, 55, is the second person and first professional athlete to receive the honor in SI's 60-year history. Sports Illustrated

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