In this age of unprecendent access, we should take inside info with a grain of salt

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We are in the age of the easiest, most direct access we’ve ever seen. That goes triple for sports which can be a good thing. But we’ve gotten to the point where we have so much access that it’s begun to have the opposite effect and become negative in many situations. With all the information thrown at us each day, it’s hard to know when something is absolutely 100 percent true. That’s why it’s probably best to take most of it with a grain of salt until further notice.

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Sports are such high stakes in this country and in a 24/7 news cycle, everyone wants to be first. News breakers like Adam Schefter, Adrian Wojnarowski, or Shams Charania, are paid to be first with news regarding their respective leagues. Sometimes reporters jump the gunremember Jon Heyman’s Arson Judge to the Giants tweet? — and other times it feels like they are guessing when it’s really just bad intel. Despite the pressure they are under to break stories, it’s hard to even trust these insiders who pretty much have unlimited access.

Sometimes these same folks with inside sources are even fooled by something they saw on the internet. While Stephen A. Smith isn’t classified as an insider per se, he’s been around a long time and has a wealth of connections throughout the sports world, especially in the NBA. But even Smith has fallen prey to the world of false reporting via social media. He allegedly took a report from “Ballsack Sports” a parody account on Twitter and presented the information as legit news regarding the situation in Brooklyn with James Harden and Kyrie Irving a couple of years ago. The internet is undefeated as they say.

There are so many scrutinizing eyes all over the world now. Fans can criticize anyone in the industry directly now whether warranted or not. We’re at the point where for much of the sports world this is all they’ve known. So many people have come up having access to social media from an early age that this is just the way it is.

Back in the day

If we go back just 25 years you had to be part of certain circles or you didn’t get most of this “behind the curtain” info until it happened. You may have read something in a chat room but there was no Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok back then. So, something like the potential LeBron James trade to Golden State that popped up recently would have never made the light of day in the early 2000s. James basically shrugged off the story but just having access provided a week’s worth of dissecting something that didn’t happen.

Former NBA star Carmelo Anthony recently told a story about how there was a deal in place that would’ve sent him to L.A. to become a Laker alongside Kobe Bryant. Instead, Anthony ended up in NYC with the Knicks and the rest is history. For most fans, this would be the first time they’d ever heard of Melo coming close to teaming up with Kobe. In 2024, we would’ve had that news the day of if not earlier and if it didn’t happen everyone would be on Twitter speculating as to why it fell apart.

“The deal was done with the Lakers. Me and Nenê for Lamar Odom and Bynum. That deal was done. I never thought about New York… When they turned that deal down, now it’s like: Oh, y’all don’t want me in the West, gonna send me to the East. Get me to New York.” – Carmelo Anthony

At this point we’ve gone so far down this rabbit hole of information there’s no turning back. It’s no longer about being accurate, everyone has to be first. If it’s wrong, we’ll deal with it on the back end. When that’s the attitude taken from the top of the food chain, then of course many others will follow, and it’ll continue to carry over. We’re living in the Twilight Zone era of sports media. Too much access can become dangerous and we’re seeing it all around us.

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