ESPN Drops the Ball on Draft Night


Worth mentioning as we recap last night’s NBA Draft and hand out our grades is that ESPN gets an F for it coverage this year. ESPN’s total obivlion to the technological world we live in shows two things: one that ESPN is quickly rendering itself no better than every other sports outlet and that Twitter has changed the way we get our sports news.

Every single pick that was announced last night was broke on Twitter by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski and CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.

Same goes for every announced trade on the night.

ESPN didn’t get around to announcing any of the trades until well after it was already old news on Twitter. Heck, even the picks by the time David Stern waddled out to the podium were old news.

The question then becomes, why didn’t ESPN react to this dramatic shift in reporting? Obviously the NBA had a leak (or was leaking) the picks out so why didn’t ESPN in all of it’s totalitarian ways adapt to this?

Everyone’s favorite ‘insider’ Chris Broussard was seen fiddling with his phone most of the night, why didn’t he suggest that they begin to talk about the picks they knew were going to go?

Seriously this is all ESPN had to do to not look like ignorant dinosaurs. Chris Broussard had to do was look at his phone off camera, tell Rece Davis what the pick was and pass the word down the line. Then someone could coyly suggest that the player who was going to be selected was just the absolute perfect fit with the team that was taking him.

Then ESPN looks like geniuses to the TV audience and doesn’t look like out of the loop fools to everyone who was on Twitter.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Just this week when Brandon Roy was announcing his un-reitrement CBSSports and Sports Illustrated reported that the teams had an interest in Roy. This was on Monday night/early Tuesday morning.

ESPN reported this bit of breaking news on Wednesday. They also used their notorious and ambiguous “sources” adjective so as not to give another site or writer credit for the story and have a slippery out incase someone calls them on it.

Dan Patrick, the former anchor and half of the Big Show duo with Keith Olbermann, regularly calls out ESPN for doing this and refers to his former employers only as “The Mothership”.

So basically when you hear news ‘break’ from ESPN and they’re using “sources” they really mean Adrian Wojnarowski and Jay Glazer (from the FOX NFL Pregame Show).

It’s a well known act among the greater journalism community that ESPN is popcorn news and rarely breaks an actual story on their own as their far too preoccupied with ratings. They’re quickly becoming the Fox News and Bleacher Report of the sports journalism world which is really unfortunate.

But nothing personified this more so then their negligence to get on board with the technology. And the most damning evidence against them was they knew this was going on, otherwise they would have mentioned Twitter a lot more then the one time they did. They didn’t want you to go on Twitter because then what’s the use of watching ESPN if you already know the pick.

Well most of you answered ‘for the analysis’ which is correct (but Chris Broussard was there so half the conversations had to be dumbed down). If only ESPN realized this they’d be fine. But it’s like the fat kid who still insists he’s skinny even though his muffin top regurlaly gets a sunburn from sticking out of his shirt.

It’s sad to see, but it shows that social media has shifted the focus of how sports news is reported. That tidal wave isn’t anything new but if you were oblivious to the power of Twitter and “regular, average joe” blogs before last night then you got a pretty shocking and powerfully wise wake up call with the NBA Draft and it’s coverage.