This one was completely unnecessary and is a reminder the internet never sleeps. I can understand it in a way, we’ve all done a version of this in our life. Someone tells you about a movie or a song and you go “yeah, I know it.” It’s a reflex that most often comes from a place of wanting to be liked, one of the cool kids.
Rachel Nichols obviously wants and needs to be liked by NBA players. That’s how you get interviews with Jimmy Butler right after he blows up a practice (and the Timberwolves season). Still, when someone lies and stands nothing to gain and something to lose, on national TV, it’s not the best look
Thanks to Reddit and u/bravesabo we have one of those moments. Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters ever and that will be his trademark, but he is also a damn good defender. Draymond revolutionized the Warriors defense, but Klay always guards the opposing teams’ toughest perimeter assignment.
While discussing Klay’s defensive reputation and the fact he was never selected for the All-Defense team, Nichols joined McGrady and Pippen in being shocked and then had the slip-up:
Someone noticed, checked and we saw that Nichols didn’t pick Klay for All-Defense. This in itself isn’t something dramatic, as I explained at the beginning. It does speak to the change in how reporters have to cover NBA players these days.
Player empowerment means that most reporters work really hard to be liked by NBA players in order to have access and bring us stories about the league. Let me point out being respected and being liked are two different things, but it seems with this new generation of players, it is merging into one.
On a recent episode of “The Full 48”, David Locke talked how the media landscape and player availability have changed and it has become more and more difficult for reporters to have the off the record conversations that build the relationships with the players. If you don’t have those, players are more likely to resent you for criticism or an opinion piece.
But I have a feeling the majority of it is the new generation of social media addicts who also happen to play in the NBA has distorted the way players cope with criticism. Most of them have a trigger-finger to call someone a hater or a blog boy. Let’s use this to remind ourselves we don’t want pandering to become standard folklore in NBA (and other) reporting.
As Ricky Gervais explained his hosting of the Golden Globes (in which he ridiculed the celebrities in the room) – I can be liked by a few dozen of them here, or millions watching and reading. It’s an easy decision.