As Serbia was beating defending World champion Spain on Wednesday, there were screams of joy and high fives being thrown. Sounds like a festive night in the stands, right? Well, yes. But also in the press seats. Serbian journalists celebrated the dramatic 92-89 win at the Sinan Erdem Dome with zest as their nation’s team advanced to the semifinals of the World Championship. It hardly went unnoticed. “It was the worst (he’s seen),” said Jorge Sierra, the Madrid-based editor-in-chief of HoopsHype.com who has attended many international basketball events.
Asked if he’s concerned he might have bothered some of the Spanish journalists, Todorovic said, “If I offend anybody I can say that I’m sorry.” Sierra, who covers primarily the NBA rather than the Spanish national team, said some of the Spanish journalists were upset. Not that they have that much of a right to grumble. “Some of them complained,” Sierra said. “But they really cannot complain all that much because they’re cheering, too. … There were some runs when (Spanish journalists) got a little excited. But it’s nothing compared to Serbia for their team.” While Sierra said he’s never seen sports reporters cheer like the Serbians did Wednesday, he did note some other examples. “The guys from Israel are pretty bad, too,” he said. “I was there at the (European) Final Four (in 2008 in Madrid) and they were heavily rooting for Maccabi. … Argentina’s reporters were pretty bad (Tuesday during a 93-89 win over Brazil). There’s different standards different places.”
American reporters actually don’t show much emotion at all during international events, which no doubt comes from their journalism upbringing back home. Jerome Holtzman, a longtime Chicago baseball writer, even once wrote a book entitled, “No Cheering in the Press Box.’ Nesobic said Americans don’t need to cheer at these Worlds because the team is “is expected to win the gold.” But Todorovic wonders if perhaps U.S. media members should cheer more at international events. “I think, yeah,” Todorovic said. “I spent six months in America in Atlanta. I know that Americans love their flag, their anthem. They’re proud of things. So why not be proud of your national team.”