BAD Journalism

I've written professionally for lots of newspapers, magazines, radio bla bla bla. From crime to environmental to government corruption, poisonous prisons, medical, shipping, legal, art, tourism, celebrity, international pro sports, and yes, a little NBA and NCAA basketball (mens and womens) and, well, just about everything else. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Sports writers, especially NBA writers, are masters of one narrow field of writing.

So is the following from the Boston Herald an issue of laziness, ignorance, or spitefulness, or worse, pure hype.

"The Blazers - their growth postponed by a year due to Oden’s knee surgery - are now the most promising young team in the league with a Northwest Division-leading 14-6 record that is also second best in the Western Conference behind the Lakers’ 15-2 mark."

"Growth postponed a year?" We improved by NINE GAMES over the previous year. (It was nine, right?)

And this is an not an isolated incident. Almost every article, sportscast, ESPN screed starts with: "Greg Oden and the Portland Trailblazers." Again and again I read sports articles where Oden is the one and only Trail Blazer STAR surrounded by happy little rookies.

Brandon Roy? Wasn't he last year?


Oh, and those Spanish guys!

Really, I almost cringe to hear anyone mention Oden. Leave him alone unless he does something amazing! Leave his injury last year out of your story unless it somehow is vital to what you are writing. Casual fans can banter on about Oden's impact or lack of impact or injury last year or early this year, but the sports writers should back off unless they have something intellegent to say. It's like they're just filling columns sometimes.(And believe me, I know a little about that.)

I like Oden. He's going to be a great player. But right now he's more mcguffen (Hitchcock refrence) than anything else. He's a force, but really, it's the overall team you should be writing about, not Oden. If you need to focus on one player, pick the star: Brandon Roy.




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