Media’s impact on the NBA

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Photo Credit: photo via wikimedia commons under the creative commons license

The media has been creating story lines for the NBA since the leagues start. However, sometimes these story lines can have negative impacts on players careers like Russell Westbrook (left) and Kyrie Irving (right)

By: Matthew Mendives, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The media has a large impact on many aspects of our life. Everything produced on socials is almost always fabricated. Furthermore, the media’s impact on The NBA is a constant factor in the sports world.

The medias role

The media’s role in the NBA is to inform people of what is happening in the NBA world. This goes far beyond who wins and who loses. The media in theory should try to remain as unbiased as possible. In practice, however, that would be too boring for most people. Sports shows put their own spins on events to try and separate themselves from other networks. This on its own is not bad. However, sometimes the media can change the entire perception of a player, for the better and for the worse.

Negative impact

One player who the media has had a negative impact on is Kyrie Irving. The media has been forcing the narrative that Irving is a bad teammate. However, some of his former teammates disagree with this.

Kevin Love said, “I don’t really believe the narrative that he’s a bad teammate because I never experienced that.”

Jayson Tatum said “Ky is like my big brother,”

Caris Levert said, “I would honestly say Kyrie is one of the best teammates I’ve had.” Most of his former teammates have more good things to say about him than bad.

Another player who the media has had a negative impact on is Russell Westbrook. Similar to Irving, the media has been trying to portray Westbrook as a bad teammate. Westbrook also has teammates who would disagree with these claims. Kevin Durant said, “I just thought that criticism was always unfair”.

Enes Kanter said “People always say like ‘Oh, it’s so hard to play with him and everything.’ No. He makes himself better and he makes everyone else better around him.”

Jerami Grant said, “That’s just ignorant. I think people just listen to the media [who say that] and believe it”. Westbrook is another player who has been called a bad teammate despite his actual teammates disagreeing most of the time.

Positive impact

Of course, the media can help a player’s career for the better as well. One player I believe has been helped by the media is Zion Williamson. The media has been hyping up Willamson from the start. Bleacher report called him “Lebron with a dash of Anthony Davis.” I think the media hype for Williamson has kind of hid some of his weaknesses. For example, Williamson shoots just 64 percent from the FT line in his career. When Lebron James was struggling from the FT line like that, ESPN wrote a whole article about it.

Another player I believe has been positively impacted by the media is Luka Doncic. Doncic is one of the most loved players in the league. This is rightfully so, he’s super talented and a great guy. However, the media can sometimes show too much love to him. Fox sports claimed he was approaching “legend status” after 4 playoff games. However, he’s been immune to some of the criticisms of other “legends”. For example, Doncic has started off the year cold from three-point range, shooting just 28 percent. The media has been quiet about this. However, when James Harden was struggling from three last year the media went nuts.

How can the media improve

As you can see, the media can have a huge impact on the career of a player. With the media’s having that much power, they must strive to do better. First, they must stop trying to judge if a player is a bad teammate or not. Most of the people who are in the media’ haven’t played an NBA game. This furthers the need for attention on how much the media’s impact the NBA. The few that did most likely haven’t been teammates with most of these players. Only a teammate can judge if a person is a bad teammate. They must also hold stars to the same standards. You cannot call someone the next Lebron but then hold them to role player standards.

The media’s impact on the NBA is undeniable. They help make the NBA as entertaining as it is. They are an essential part of the NBA’s success. The media must continue to do their job. However, they must make some improvements to how they report.

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