The 2018 NBA trade window began with a blockbuster as Blake Griffin along with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson, were sent to Detroit Pistons in exchange for Crvena Zvezda favourite Boban Marjanovic, Tobias Harris, a protected 2018 first-round pick and a 2019 second round pick, who went over to Los Angeles Clippers.
But none of the players involved in the move at the time made the headlines in this trade.
Imagine: It’s night time in mainland Europe. You’ve traded your street clothes for bed wear, you manage a yawn before it’s time to sleep but before you do, you take one glance at Twitter.
Two tweets almost simultaneously hit your screen, and just like that. Your once weary eyes, bulge in amazement.
Now we know that the way we read the news in this day and age is remarkable. That we don’t have to wait for the sports news, but instead, we can pick up everything on social media. And when it comes to basketball, no one is as well-informed as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, who rightly earned praise for this breaking story.
For years, Wojnarowski was known for being one of the hardest working sports journalists at Yahoo Sports but when The Vertical was merely an idea, an emerging news-breaker by the name of Shams Charania was making a name for himself on RealGM. And when The Vertical came to be in September 2015, the two joined forces with Woj seemingly taking Charania under his wing.
Then things got interesting when Wojnarowski joined ESPN in July of last year, leaving Charania to take care of The Vertical until Yahoo Sports decided to go in a different direction and end the popular basketball website, best known for its unparalleled NBA Draft coverage.
Charania has remained with Yahoo and since last summer the two have been locked in a battle of NBA scoops with Woj being seemingly used more for TV and on-screen work by ESPN more than furiously publishing online content, while Charania has remained loyal to Twitter and the written word with Yahoo.
Because of that, it seems that Charania has slowly but surely taken the mantle of number one NBA news-breaker.
But you could argue that Woj hasn’t been as effective as usual because of his new duties at ESPN. He’s on SportsCenter to talk about NBA news and has a lot more tasks than just being a breaking news reporter, remaining behind his laptop.
But, while Woj has broken his share of stories whilst at ESPN, Charania has reported the bigger news that people would pay more attention to.
For example, the two journalists turned heads during last year’s NBA free agency. SportingNews broke down the reporting of the two. A simple scroll down each of their Twitter timelines helps us determine who broke news first.
Below are the results from midnight July 1:
Wojnarowski: Tony Snell, Patty Mills, Jrue Holiday, Langston Gallaway, JJ Redick, Amir Johnson, Serge Ibaka, Nene, Ben McLemore.
Charania: Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, Jeff Teague, Christiano Felicio, PJ Tucker, Taj Gibson, Jodie Meeks, Kyle Korver, Justin Holiday, Paul Millsap.
A disclaimer: Charania was the first to report the numbers of the Curry deal, saying the contract was being finalised, Woj reported when the deal was done. But Charania takes this for having the numbers.
And looking at the list, Charania’s looks far more impressive than Wojnarowski. However, the two look certain to make their own headlines everytime a blockbuster trade happens, as NBA fans and indeed even media outlets look to those two for their fix of news.
And indeed, Blake Griffin is now a Detroit Pistons player.