NBA’s Evolving Relationship With Journalism
How our athletes are now celebrities.
The Marriage of Athlete Celebrity Journalism and the Future
Technology has made more immediate the global distribution of information and in the process everyone and anyone can express an opinion or present themselves as a reporter to an audience, including many who have no relationship with the people they are covering. There’s also the pressure of dealing with networks and sponsors. This seemed to be one of the rants that Cuban expressed in his blog.
The relationship between celebrity athlete and journalist may have changed over time.
“It was a working relationship,” Bucher said. “If you were in that group, you knew your job was to report news, positive or otherwise.”
As a result, athletes are slowly but surely distancing themselves from everyone. Despite all of the relationships being built athletes are going to still have a wall up and journalists know it.
“I think athletes are always going to be leery of journalists no matter what,” Daulerio said. “If athletes are not leery of some of the journalists that are covering them, those journalists are not doing their job.”
When an athlete’s mistake is publicized, it’s the job of agents, publicists, and other representatives to help craft and reshape the image of celebrity-athletes.
“If we feel a player is upset or may not be in the right frame of mind, we will try to shield or protect that player from potentially negative situations,” says Jonathan Rinehart.
“We also warn them if we know someone or something may be brought up so that they are prepared for what is coming and we will talk through way the best way to respond,” he added.
Ilana Nunn, Sr. Director of Public Relations & Marketing for Bill Duffy Associate Sports Management, an agency that represents Steve Nash, Yao Ming and Rajon Rondo says that making sure their client is knowledgeable of media and how to interact with media is a priority.
“Upon a client signing with us, we do a lot of research on them on YouTube, school websites, etc,” Nunn said.
BDA also recommends that their clients work with a communication trainer so that they are able to function in media functions and everyday people. The instructor helps them when they’re in loose situations in conversation.
“When you’re loose, you’re more yourself,” Nunn added.
The instructor uses improvisation, television shows and sitcoms to help them in those environments.
The major factors shaping modern sport and the modern sport star from the late 19th century to the present have been increasing professionalism, steadily rising media coverage, and growing commercial sponsorship. With this change, adjustments have been made to counter this.
Again, the relationship between sports, celebrity and journalism is not new, but the nature of the scope may be changing. TMZsport.com launching suggests the latest direction in the blurring between sports reporting and celebrity reporting.
Despite all of these changes, former Hofstra University guard Charles Jenkins isn’t too worried.
“I’ve watched so many people feed into the media and all of the attention that they get and it kind of affects the way that they play,” Jenkins said. “I’m not going to change any, I’m the same person that I was when walked in here my freshman year and that’s how I’m going to stay.”
The key to navigating through the new innovations of sports journalism for both the athlete and the journalist is maintaining some sort of professionalism.
Brandon Robinson began his sports journalism career at 12 years old with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets hosting the kids radio show, Nets Slammin’ Planet on New York radio. His show was featured on NBA Inside stuff with Ahmad Rashad, Hoop Magazine, MSG Network and Fox Sports Net. He has interviewed everyone from US governors, athletes and television personalities, earning the nickname, Scoop B. Brandon is a graduate from Hofstra University with a master’s degree in Journalism. You can follow him @ScoopB.