On a recent podcast with Bill Simmons, Brian Windhorst called Woj the 31st franchise in the NBA. He elaborated that Woj has so much insight and influence that he (Windhorst) knows of occasions when staff members were getting fired and would find out from Woj. He is the ultimate insider, breaking news about everyone and everything.
That line of work requires quid pro quo. Agents and teams share information with Woj and expect something in return. It is a delicate line to dance on, maintaining journalistic professionalism and not becoming an outlet for misinformation, but maintaining an ecosystem where people are willing to share information with you.
Of course, with high power comes great responsibility. That’s why we have checks and balances, to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Is Woj to powerful for anyone to hold him in check? According to one Reddit user, seems so.
In a fascinating analysis by pianomormon, you can find excerpts from Woj’s articles that do paint a picture of personal animosity towards LeBron. LeBron’s team has pointed out several times that they are changing the way the industry works and that dominant figures in the status quo dislike them because of that. Here are a few examples:
From woj’s 2009 article, ‘King James left the playoffs as a loser’ “Here’s the question: Who has the guts to tell him that he sounds like an immature, self-absorbed brat? Here’s the problem for the Cavaliers and James: No one”
From woj’s 2010 article, ‘LeBron’s moment of truth awaits’: “Everything has come too easy to him, and he still doesn’t believe that winning championships takes a consuming, obsessive desire that borders on the maniacal. He is chasing high school and college kids on recruiting trips for his fledgling marketing company, medicating his insecurities with unending and unfolding free-agent dramas.”
On LeBron’ decision: As The New Republic put it: “His reporting on LeBron James was consistently sloppy and poorly sourced, yet Wojnarowski had the audacity to present his piece as the definitive account. With just two quotes from anonymous sources and a history of being wrong about James, it doesn’t deserve to be treated as reliable.”
Is Woj one of those people? Here’s the entire Reddit thread by pianomormon, you be the judge yourself.