HoopsHype Media rumors

July 11, 2014 Updates

Frank Isola: From a professional standpoint, the beat writers all hope Melo returns. Great player & great to deal with. Low maintenance superstar. Twitter @FisolaNYDN

On Wednesday, Mr. Jenkins traveled to Las Vegas. He met with Mr. James on Thursday night before writing the essay with him. Mr. Jenkins emailed the essay to his editors around mid-morning on Friday. "Everyone reading it was learning the news for the first time," Mr. Stone said. The magazine, which introduced a top-to-bottom redesign of its website last month, alerted its technology team that a big story would soon publish. That way they'd be prepared for the extra traffic. They weren't told, however, what the big scoop was about. Advertising Age

Only about six Sports Illustrated staffers saw the piece before it went live, according to Mr. Stone, who had worried it would somehow leak. "I can't tell you how stressful the last 24 hours were," he said. "There were a lot of smart, good reporters pursuing this story." "We're going to sleep well tonight," Mr. Fichtenbaum added. Advertising Age

Editors didn't tell their business-side counterparts about the scoop ahead of time. "The reason we got this story, I think, is because Lebron's team trusted us not to turn it into a circus," Mr. Stone explained. "So to parlay it into a commercial endeavor ahead of time would have been inappropriate." Advertising Age

Here's how Cleveland's radio & TV outlets broke the news live on-air. Up top we have WKNR radio, which reported the news amongst celebratory music and, it sounds like, quite a few tears. WKNR was one of only two major media outlets in Cleveland that actually had the news live; in a twist of fate, three of Cleveland's TV stations and its major news radio station WTAM were all at commercial when the news broke. Here's the one TV station that was live, ABC affiliate WEWS: Deadspin.com

July 9, 2014 Updates

Before asking how we got here, it’s worth studying the Trade Rumor Era. It has acquired its own language, its own high-PER reporters, and an ever-expanding schedule. “It’s not just the offseason,” said ESPN’s Marc Stein. “It’s transactions, period. People love transactions.” The strangeness of Stein’s new world began to dawn on him in January 2007, when he got massive traffic for reporting a trade. Earl Boykins had been shipped to Milwaukee. Grantland

But even those wordsmiths write with a new lexicon. An NBA player is no longer an NBA player. A player is (in descending order of desirability) an “asset,” a “piece,” a “trade chip,” a “salary dump,” or an “amnesty case.” A side effect of the new basketball writing is that “young piece,” like “outstanding length,” has been desexualized. “They cease to be basketball players and they cease to be human beings,” Bucher said. “Owners look at players and coaches as acquisitions and goods. We fall into doing the same thing.” Grantland

What was interesting in this case, Bucher told me, is that his source sent him dozens of texts and even mimicked the language of an NBA front office — telling Bucher, for instance, that his team was waiting for the second round to end. It was as if the source had inhaled the fumes of the Trade Rumor Era. An even stranger case was that of Oregonian columnist John Canzano, who reported on July 1 that Bosh and Dwyane Wade would return to Miami. Canzano even supplied the contract terms. The piranha tank barely twitched. Grantland

July 4, 2014 Updates

None of these accounts, though, managed to pull off what the now-suspended @WojoYahooNBA did earlier this week. That account, set up by two Florida high school kids, managed to fool a number of NBA writers and a larger number of NBA fans with some plausible but totally false transactions. Woj never reported that Luol Deng had signed with the Clippers. Wojo did that. The professionals quickly recognized their error, the non-professionals blocked @WojoYahooNBA and reported it for spam and the account was suspended that night, but not before celebrating its triumph -- if that's the word for all this -- with a couple of gloat-tweets. The whole thing, from the first tweet to the inevitable account-suspension, took about an hour. SB Nation

Tell me a little bit about how you and your buddy decided to do this. Obviously this is prime Woj Season, and everyone's watching him pretty hard. I get the timing. I just am curious about the motivation. We've seen people do it before, and it just popped into our heads a little bit after 12 a.m. It's just so, so easy to make a fake account with a random email. It was set up in about five minutes. Not to mention the fact that people jump to conclusions very quickly. We knew if someone big RT'ed one of those tweets, we'd fake out a ton of fans. That's exactly what happened too. Didn't take very long to get those "OH MY GOODNESS" tweets. SB Nation

How did you identify Woj as the ideal vehicle for this, beyond the obvious he-is-the-dude-for-this-stuff reasons? Woj is the man when it comes to NBA rumors, [and] we know that everyone knows who he is. His Twitter avi is recognizable, and so is that very long last name. Everything just fit perfectly, honestly, so we went with that. But of course we're fans of him, we follow Woj on Twitter and I know I always find myself stalking through his last few tweets to see if I missed anything during the day. SB Nation

July 3, 2014 Updates
July 2, 2014 Updates

Recently retired forward Shane Battier has reached a multiyear agreement to join ESPN as a men's college basketball analyst. Battier won an NCAA title at Duke in 2001, when he was named the most outstanding player in the Final Four. He just wrapped up his 13th NBA season, the last three of which were spent with the Miami Heat, with whom he won two championships. ESPN.com

June 29, 2014 Updates

The Louisville TV market turned in the highest ratings share for Thursday night's NBA draft on ESPN, posting a 7.1 ahead of Oklahoma City (6.3), Memphis (5.4) and Raleigh-Durham (5.2). Thursday's draft was ESPN's highest-ever rated draft overall with a 3.1 overnight rating nationally, up 19 percent from last year's 2.6. In 2013, Louisville also led all markets by rating share, a percentage measurement of TVs tuned to a program. Louisville Courier-Journal

June 27, 2014 Updates

The NBA draft delivered its highest rating on ESPN, surpassing the mark set 11 years ago when LeBron James was the No. 1 pick. The telecast Thursday had a 3.1 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. That's a 19 percent increase from last year's 2.6 mark. The previous record for the draft was a 2.7 overnight in 2003, the first year the network televised it. James was the first pick that year in a top five that included Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Boston Herald

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