I am both confused and befuddled by the recent hoopla over the supposed sale of the Charlotte Bobcats. I don’t think it’s been confirmed by the league or any of the parties involved. An announcement of George Postolos’s group buying the team and leaving it open for Michael Jordan and whatever group he has in place to match his offer seems a bit premature. It’s been going on since May.
The story I’ve heard from my own unnamed sources, legit however, unnamed because it was just a friendly discussion with an amateur blogger (me), I heard that in the summer a certain reporter called a banker in New York and simply asked “Do you represent Bob Johnson in any sale of the Charlotte Bobcats?” Well, if there were to be a sale, he certainly would. Thank you very much, story, ran, printed, circulated and dissected in the world of NBA writers and the blogosphere.
Not that the sale was imminent, not that there was an offer received, let alone accepted but that there was a banker in New York that represented RLJ Companies if the Bobcats were to change hands. This is hardly breaking news. So the story played and played that way all summer. No party coming forth to confirm nor deny the claim and possible suitors coming and going like pizza delivery guys.
I’m not saying that I have insider info or I know what will happen. No one is telling me anything. This is meant more as a condemnation of the type of reporting rampant in the league even within the umbrella as small as the one over Charlotte and the Bobcats. There are only a handful of regular beat writers for the Bobcats. There are hardly any on a national scale. If you get bored in the summer months, don’t make up a story and then watch it play.
Ric Buecher picks up the story yesterday, unsure where his sources lie but he has “confirmed” from several “close” to the parties involved. He also said via Twitter:For those who care: sources say Bobcats’ sale should go through this month. George Postolos has made an offer, Jordan has Feb to match.
For those who care Ric? Get the gel out of your hair and listen: there are teams outside of the Northeast, Texas and the Lakers. Why would you post a tweet and an article on ESPN.com if you assumed no one cared? Ric’s sources, I have a feeling, are former Charlotte Hornet’s GM Carl Scheer. I read this 2 or 3 weeks ago on insidehoops.com.
So my questions are: why not full disclosure? Why not sit down with the involved parties and get their quotes on record? This “He said/She said” Entertainment Tonight/Inside Edition journalism doesn’t have a place in sports, in my opinion. Say what you heard, say who you heard it from and confirm it. You learn it in Journalism 101, if you go to class, which I didn’t.
It’s all rumor and conjecture and all these guys are hoping for self-fulfilling prophecy. Bold move to step up and say “The Bobcats are for sale!” Then “George Postolos is buying them!” And finally “Michael Jordan has first refusal and an agreement to match any offer!” Now it’s “Offer has been accepted Jordan 30 days to match!”
If it doesn’t happen, no one remembers that you were wrong or even worse that you lied and you’re a crappy journalist. If you’re right you say “Told you so. Another one confirmed by Sleuth Sleuthington!”
I get why this is salacious; we’re talking about the greatest basketball player ever, the first African American billionaire and an NBA franchise. The problem I have is why it even matters to begin with. Sure, the guy owns the team, signs the paychecks, hires the office folk and has final say on basically everything; but I’m on message boards, searching, reading, talking, cheering and paying a hunk of my measly income to get to go watch “his” team. It’s my team, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more games than Bob Johnson and Michael Jordan combined!
Just watch and wait and most of all please be careful what you read and believe. They don’t get paid to get it right they get paid to get people to read their stuff.